Jesus Is Not Part of the Christmas Story

Sunday before the Nativity, December 18, 2016 Hebrews 11:9-10, 32-40; Matthew 1:1-15 V. Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. We are now one week away from celebrating a great mystery of the Christian faith—the birth of the God-man Jesus Christ into this world. Yet as we approach…

St. Nicholas and the Battle Against Idolatry

A couple brief incidents from the Life of St. Nicholas of Myra in Lycia, whose feast we celebrate today, which are perhaps less well-known than other tales of the Wonder-worker: After the persecution of the Church was lifted in AD 313, St. Nicholas began to travel freely throughout his diocese of Myra in Lycia. He found that there were many altars built throughout his…

From Darkness, Light

At this time of year, we Christians begin thinking about the shining of the Light in the darkness. The Lord Jesus will soon be born in our festal calendar, and He is lauded in our hymns as the Sun of Righteousness, the Orient from on high Whose coming at this moment begins to enlighten the nations. And this lines up poetically quite beautifully with…

We Are the Gift

The feast we celebrate today in the Orthodox Church is the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, a feast based on attestation found in the ancient Protoevangelion of James. Many of my sermons on this feast have dwelt on dealing with the historicity of the feast, something I myself have struggled with. It is not difficult to believe that the Virgin Mary entered…

The Nativity and the Vindication of Creation

During this Nativity fast / Advent season, I’ve decided to take up a challenge I’ve not done for over a year—40 days of blogging. So beginning today and continuing through Christmas Eve, I’ll be posting every day on this weblog (I still really dislike the word blog even though it’s well-established now). This will include sermons (yes, I know I’m a couple weeks behind!),…

The Voice Crying in the Wilderness

Today’s saintly commemoration is the conception of John the Forerunner, known to most English speakers as John the Baptist, which is narrated for us, along with his birth, in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel. A major thematic element for today is the Voice. Zachariah, not believing the archangel, is made bereft of his voice until such time as he participates in the naming…

Where is the Power of Pentecost?

Sunday of Pentecost, June 19, 2016 Acts 2:1-11; John 7:32-57, 8:12 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. We come now to the great feast of Pentecost, the feast that completes all that we have been laboring for and struggling with for the past few months, beginning with…