Sometimes It’s Best to Stay at Home: Homily for the 20th Sunday After Pentecost in the Orthodox Church

Epistle to the Galatians 1:11-19 Gospel According to St. Luke 8:27-39            It’s usually more exciting to go off on a trip than it is to stay at home.  Travel gives us at least a bit of adventure, a change of scenery, that gets us out of our usual routine.  Sometimes if we stay in the same place too long, we get restless and long for something new.…

The Parable of the Sower: An Orthodox Homily for the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council

                      Mark Twain is supposed to have said that “it’s not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that bother me; it’s the parts that I do understand.”  In other words, we have more than enough already to stay busy with in the Christian life—we don’t need to go looking for new challenges.              Christ Himself reminded the Apostles that He had…

High School Football and Orthodox Christian Asceticism

            Where I live in West Texas, there is no shortage of asceticism, especially during the terribly hot month of August.  That’s when high school football players and band members spend several hours each day practicing in the blazing sun.  Members of the tennis team, cheerleaders, and other athletes do the same.  They want to become better at what they do, so they accept a good measure of discomfort without much complaint…

Christ’s Compassion and Integrity: Orthodox Homily on the Raising of the Son of the Widow of Nain

2 Corinthians 9:6-11 Luke 7:11-16             No one likes a hypocrite, someone who says one thing and does another.  As Christians, we must be very careful not to condemn ourselves and scandalize others by not living out what we teach to be true.   Instead, we must be people of integrity who live out our beliefs every day in what we say and do.             Jesus Christ is…

Be All That You Can Be: Character Development in Eastern Orthodox Christianity

            I was asked recently if it is still possible to raise children with character in our culture.  The person who asked wondered because many societal institutions—including many churches—seem to excuse all kinds of behavior because it is much easier and more popular just to pat people on the back than to call them to be all that they can be.  Okay, that sounds too much like those old Army recruiting ads. …