No, Christmas is Not Pagan. Just Stop.

Well, it’s time for a good Christmas rant. This requires a rant, because every year, we see the same ignorant silliness. (Sorry, but it’s just true.) Supposedly, Christmas is secretly pagan, secretly syncretist, secretly a co-opting of pagan stuff and ignorantly claiming it to be Christian. But the truth about these things is so available that it’s literally staring out at you even from…

The Three Ways Christians Approach the World

There are generally three approaches that Christians have taken when it comes to their surrounding cultures: 1) Rejection, resistance, and hostility: This approach sharply distinguishes the Church from the world, emphasizing that the Church is so much “not of this world” that the world must be fled and an alternate community established. It is a posture that is fully closed to the world —…

A Christmas More Meaningful Than Magical

Nativity of Christ, December 25, 2016 Galatians 4:4-7; Matthew 2:1-12 V. Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Christ is born! Christmas can be magical. Many of us remember that when from when we were kids, and we try to recapture it as adults. And we often fail.…

Who Shall I Be at Christmas?

Eve of the Nativity, December 24, 2016 Galatians 3:8-12; Luke 13:18-29 V. Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Who shall I be at Christmas? Shall I be as old Israel, caught in captivity and under the domination of powers and attitudes and thoughts alien to the person…

How Many Days is Orthodox Christmas?

Well, Christmas is almost here (on the New Calendar, anyway), so we’re planning out how many days of ham we’re going to be eating, right? Or perhaps it’s several days of turkey leftovers. You’ve got to be able to cover every day of Christmas so that we’re not just singing Christmas but also eating it for the whole festal period. But we have a…

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…

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…