In Lazarus’ Tomb

Largely ignored by much of Christendom, the Orthodox celebrate “Lazarus Saturday” on the day before Palm Sunday. It is something of a “prequel” to the next weekend’s Pascha. It is, indeed a little Pascha just before the greater one. And this, of course, was arranged by Christ Himself, who raised His friend Lazarus from the dead as something of a last action before entering Jerusalem and beginning His slow ascent to Golgotha‚Ķ

Saved in Weakness

It is counter-intuitive that God saves man through His own weakness. The irony of the Divine Reversal has provided endless material for the hymnographers of the Church through the centuries: the Strong becomes weak; the Sinless takes on our sin; the Rich becomes poor; God becomes man Рthe whole of the gospel seems to be a Divine irony. This irony has a beauty that has always drawn me. Sometimes the imagery…

So Close to Heaven

When I think of the Iconostasis of the Church (the wall that demarcates the Holy Place) I thinkof “boundaries,” and how the definitions that exist in the Church reflect even greater realities. I believe those realities are two-fold. The first reality is to be found within ourselves. Fearfully and wonderfully made, created in the image of God, there is a spiritual reality to our composition and inner relationship that is far too‚Ķ

Met. Kallistos Ware on Christ and Creation

The mystery of Christ’s Pascha, I noted in my previous post, is the meaning and fulfillment of all things. There are many ways to consider this in the heart. One is to look at creation from within the Scriptures. Today I offer some thoughts of Met. Kallistos Ware, from a small book of his The Beginning of the Day. ¬†His thoughts are on creation and our Christian relationship to the world around‚Ķ

The Mystery of Pascha

In his Revelation, St. John describes Christ as the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (13:8). It is one of many interesting statements within that book of images and wonders. However, his description of Christ has much to say about the mystery of Pascha (Christ’s resurrection). First, it is clear that Pascha is more than a historical event. It is certainly includes the historical death, burial and resurrection of Christ.‚Ķ

Christos Voskrese – Christ Is Risen!

This delightful youtube video is a favorite of mine. One of our readers and occasional commenter, ¬†Dejan, (without a doubt my favorite Serb) provided the English translation. ¬†The words are from a poem by St. Nikolai Velimirovich who served for a time as the Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary – truly one of the great Serbian saints of the modern era. Translation: People rejoice, nations hear: Christ is risen, and brings the‚Ķ

The Sound of Silence

On Holy Saturday the Church celebrates Christ victory in the very depths of Hades. I was reminded as well, that this victory happens “silently,” without a witness on the earth – and yet it is a dogma of the faith. It is a silence that overwhelms the world. It is said that “silence is the language of the world to come.” We are also told that those who are in the grave‚Ķ

In the Midst of Holy Week

Holy Week has long been my favorite time of year. I remember coming to it rather slowly in my college years. My wife and I were active Episcopalians at the time (while in college we volunteered to be in charge of the junior youth group – some 60 teenagers – that qualifies as being “active”). For whatever reasons I had never paid much attention to Holy Week before. There was Palm Sunday‚Ķ

In the Belly of the Whale

The marvelous book of Jonah, read in its entirety on Holy Saturday, includes a very rich prayer which is obviously intended to be spoken from within the depths of Hades itself – thus its inclusion on Holy Saturday, the day on which Christ is proclaiming liberty to those “in prison.” Like the phrase from Psalm 139, “Lo if I descend into Hell there art there,” this prayer in Jonah is a poignant‚Ķ

Palm Sunday and Hearing the Word of God

I am convinced after years of preaching and listening to preaching that the bulk of Scripture has become lost to our ears. We hear it, but fail to “hear” it. And I do not mean this merely in the moral sense (doubtless we fail to be “doers” of the word). Rather, I am aware of a kind of dullness, of seeing a very narrow set of things that become the lens through‚Ķ