Strange Things, Indeed

Christ is risen! It’s called “spoiling the Egyptians.” Now, before you run off and start saying “Fr. Barnabas is being disrespectful to Egyptians” (I’m not, really), let me explain what that means. It comes from the Hebrew scriptures story about the Children of Israel finally leaving the slavery they suffered in ancient Egypt. As they were going, they took with them the wealth they had earned, and the Egyptians themselves gave them…

Upside Down or Right Side UP?

Christ is risen! It actually was funny, but I had to get past my embarrassment first! You see, I had taken off my coat one winter day in Middle School and, lo and behold, I had put on my shirt inside out. All the kids saw it and started laughing. I had been in a hurry. I was going to miss the bus, and I didn’t pay attention. But it was sure…

NO Distinction!

Christ is risen! “They have to keep the rules, just like us!” Yeah, that’s true. We should all be held to the same standard. But wait a tick, have you kept the “rules” you expect others to keep? I know it’s hard to get your mind to shift from “what should be” to “what is,” but that’s what our lesson requires today. And there’s the rub, dear ones. But what if the…

Talk About An Understatement!

Christ is risen! It seems we are a society of fads. To say that our modern culture is captured by the immediate and temporary seems to be a bit of an understatement! But what about a genuine swell of reaction? I have seen in my own life the power of the tipping point when a message becomes so attractive that even those who you would never suspect of buying into a message,…

We Don’t Vote on Truth

Christ is risen! I love the word “exhort.” We don’t use it much or hear it much today, especially when the very idea of having firm beliefs and settled wisdom is in such disfavor. We live in the day and age where most people much prefer to see “gray” everywhere instead of “black and white.” In fact, the very notion that there could be anything that was that clear, that uncomplicated, that…

Ideas Matter!

Christ is risen! Let’s face it, ideas matter. And the reason they matter is because ideas have consequences. Ideas flow from a mindset, a way of looking at the world and organizing the multitude of stimuli we receive through our senses every day. So, when you have an idea or an attitude or an opinion, it both comes from “someplace” and it is going to have consequences. This matters! It’s why, sometimes,…

We Struggle To Believe

Christ is risen! It was exasperating! I tried to get my buddy’s attention but he was too busy enjoying building a fire in the woods near our neighborhood where we were going to camp out for the night. Never mind that it was the dry part of summer. Never mind that there was a “burning ban” on. Of course, everybody paid attention when the two Sheriff’s officers walked up to our little…

I Have Much to Say and Much to Judge

Christ is risen! One of the best things I’ve ever done in my professional life is work with an executive coach. “What” you may ask “is a priest doing working with a professional coach?” And I’ll be happy to answer you: Communication and Leadership is hard work. It’s hard work because it requires a person to communicate deep and lasting truths to different kinds of people. Let me give you an example:…

God Shows No Partiality!

Christ is risen! I grew up in the volatile 1960’s when the Civil Rights movement was really getting traction. I watched as a boy as marches and riots occurred around the country and our nation struggled with throwing off the scourge of racism and the sin of discrimination based on the color of a person’s skin. By the way, how is it possible that the pigmentation of someone’s skin could make them…

Our God is a Consuming Fire!

Christ is risen! What is the regular rhythm of your life? Looking at your daily routine, what does it teach you about your “habit” of prayer and devotion? The questions are not meant to bring shame or confrontation, but revelation. St. Basil taught that to know God one must get to know one’s self without falling into the trap of self-centeredness. Yes, I know, very difficult. But now we have arrived at…