Great and Holy Pascha: The Restoration of the Kingdom

Blog 7 Great and Holy Pascha: The Restoration of the Kingdom On great and Holy Pascha, we flash forward just a little from that Easter morning, and we read Acts 1, gazing upon the tableau of the disciples, talking with the risen Lord for 40 days, and listening to his final words. Luke rehearses for us the climactic conclusion of his gospel, and tells us that Jesus, after his resurrection, spoke to…

The Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt: A Cautionary Tale and Godly Ambition

Judges 9: 1-56; Isaiah 53: 7-12; Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 10:32-45 The power of the story has always fascinated me. Beginning as a child who cut her teeth on C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, and as an undergraduate who wrestled with and appreciated genre in literary studies, I have been trained to ask questions about the inter-relationships between form, content and tenor. The Scriptures are replete with different mini-forms and also full-blown…

The Sunday of the Adoration of the Holy Cross: Learning Obedience.

Readings: Hebrews 4:14-5:8; Mark 8:34-9:1; Sirach 2:1-9; Isaiah 50:4-9 Anyone who has nurtured toddlers remembers the moment—that time when the little darling asserts his or her self-will in utter clarity. My oldest daughter, as in every area of life, was precocious–it happened the November before she turned two. The weather in Ottawa, Canada (the coldest capital city in the world!) had turned bitterly cold; already we had begun the routine of snow…

Sunday of Orthodoxy: On Icons and Ladders

Today has appeared a day full of joy because the splendor of true doctrine shines forth brilliantly, and the Church of Christ now sparkles, adorned by the elevation of the Icons of the saints and their illustrating pictures, and believers attain there a unity rewarded by God. In this hymn for the first Sunday in Lent, we are directed to the glory of the true faith, and to the brilliance of those…

Meatfare Sunday: On Food and Judgment

What brings us close to the Lord? What separates us from him? These are the two questions posed and answered (with some surprises!) in the epistle (1 Cor 8:8-9:2) and gospel readings (Matt 25:31-46) for this Meatfare Sunday, the Sunday of the Last Judgment. Let’s look first at the epistle. In 1 Corinthians 8, the apostle is addressing Christians who were worried about whether they could eat meat that was being sold…

Coals, Tongs, and Human Mediation

The Divine Liturgy for Feb. 2 is a major holy day, and focuses upon “The Presentation of the Lord” as an infant of 40 days in the Temple—or, as we often call it in Orthodoxy, “the Meeting” of the Lord. This is a special day for me, since my final decision to seek entrance into the Orthodox Church came directly as a result of this feast. (God works in mysterious ways!) Six…

The Old Testament, A Lamp for Today

I was delighted during the most recent meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature to attend a panel discussion of Richard Hays’s most recent book: Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness (Baker, 2014). Throughout the presentation, as I saw Richard demonstrating a figural reading of the OT from the evangelists’ method, I kept thinking to myself—this is wonderful for Protestants who need to have method and doctrine demonstrated by…