Baptized Into His Death

Christ is Baptized! We are a death denying culture. In the US, the Funeral business is a $20 Billion industry employing over 13,000 people nationwide! And, in 2016 we crossed that line where over half of the American’s who passed away choose cremation over a burial. If we don’t choose cremation, we apply technics to the body to make it look less like a corpse. While all of this may seem to…

I Have Become All Things to All People

Christ is born! It was arrogant of me, I know. I thought I knew how to communicate deep Orthodox wisdom to everyone. But, here I am in front of these folks who are very different from me. They weren’t from my country. They didn’t speak my language. They didn’t know any of the references to the Bible I was making because they had never read the Bible! And I knew I was…

To Make the Invisible Visible!

Christ is born! “To Make the Invisible Visible.” These were the words of a catechist to a catechumen when he was asked why would God become a man? The Christian Faith is unique among all world religions in this mystery of God in the Flesh. Oh, to be sure some religions have gods they can see, and other religions insist their god can never be seen, even going so far as to…

In The Last Days Some Will Depart

Christ is born! Why do people stop practicing the faith? Why are we seeing so many young people abandon the faith of their youth? Countless studies have been done trying to answer this question. Every time I travel to speak around the country in parishes big and small, I get asked this question as well. And there are as many answers as there are studies. All of these articles and writers usually…

In the Days of His Flesh

Christ is born! “But why does it matter?” With that question, I was stumped. I thought I had a pretty good grasp of the subject we were discussing and had made some strong points as to why I was right about this. Then came that question: “But why does it matter?” And a very good question it is. I remember speaking to a group of young seminarians about the importance of Preaching…

The Whole Fullness of Deity Dwells

Christ is born! And Happy New Year! There’s no getting around this. The identity of Jesus Christ is the crux on which human history rests. He’s either merely an itinerant Jewish rabbi that fell afoul of the Roman occupiers; a gifted religious teacher and philosopher and “ascended master”; a figment of the imagination of gullible people; a “great prophet” that had some good things to say; or He’s actually what the Historic…

A New Year Without Fear!

Christ is born! Fear is an emotion that has both a psychological and physical response. When I am afraid, my knees knock; my hands sweat; my mind races; and my heart beats faster, all in response to fear! Funny how my body reacts the same way to being in love! I’m just teasing. But, seriously, fear motivates so many of our actions and reactions. I know people who spend their whole lives…

Count The Cost

Christ is born! This is the time of year when we normally spend some moments reflecting on the previous year and looking forward to the next. Some will make some New Year’s Resolutions. Others will systematically set goals and specific benchmarks for the coming year. Me? Well, I do a little bit of both. But an idea that keeps coming back to me is how to do this while, at the same…

Marvel

Christ is born! Glorify Him! I always wonder at those who constantly insist “You can’t judge me.” Of course I can’t. Besides, I don’t need to judge you. We always judge ourselves. Our words, our actions, and our thoughts all contain all that is needed to “judge” rightly the true state of our souls. It is also why the Last Judgement and our constant Orthodox prayer “For a Christian end to our…

We NEED Awe

Christ is Born! Glorify Him! The Christian Church has been around a long time! And the place it’s existed the longest is the place where it first sprang up. The Church is, at it’s heart, a Semitic Faith, an Eastern Faith. And that’s because the Christian Church is the fulfillment of the promises made by God to Abraham, the father of the Faithful. So there are a lot of Jewish elements in…