Becoming the Cave: Merry Christmas from Time Eternal

Dear Time Eternalites, Just a quick note in between baking and cleaning to wish you and your families, friends, and enemies a blessed and meaningful Feast of Christ’s Nativity. Wherever you are, whatever this Christmas looks like for you, I pray you encounter the manifested love of God in our humble, earthly realities. May we and all creation endeavor…

Waiting in Faithful Expectation for the Fullness of Time (Guest Post)

Welcome to the next installment of the Nativity Blogathon on Time Eternal. This morning, I am SO EXCITED to introduce you to my beloved spiritual father, Fr. Steven Kostoff. _Time and Despondency_ readers may recall from its sporadic references to him that Fr. Steven has been lending his pastoral guidance to my despondency almost as soon as I…

Marking Time: The Christmas Countdown

When I was growing up, our holidays were very secular. We didn’t belong to a church, and we didn’t experience liturgical seasons like the Orthodox do. My mom was Danish, and because Denmark happens to be a Lutheran nation, there are some secular Danish traditions that grow out of the Lutheran experience.  In particular, the Danes love to…

When God Waited for Our Salvation: Timing the Resurrection in St. Athanasius’ _On the Incarnation_

As I mentioned the other day, I’m reading St. Athanasius’ On the Incarnation during this Nativity season. This time around, I’m listening to the treatise on audiobook while going about other tasks. Since I frequently zone out to concentrate on whatever I’m doing–the dishes, the laundry, cleaning the bathroom–I’m listening to it multiple times and letting my mind…

Reading St. Athanasius in Advent

Some people get into the “Christmas spirit”–however hokey that phrase is–by decorating, others by buying gifts or making cutout cookies or visiting or knitting. I dabble in all of the above, but what most ushers me into the unique and solemn joy of these short weeks before Christ’s birth is reading–or rather, rereading. Along with all the other…

Adventures in Holy Water: What a leaky font taught me about sacramental reality

Note: This essay was originally written in January 2015, after a particularly memorable Eve of Theophany.  For Orthodox families like ours, today is Theophany: the commemoration of Christ’s baptism. Liturgically, it marks the end of Christmas, and the beginning of something new—a turn from Christ’s infancy and towards His life on earth. And so, we’ll take down the lights,…

Christmas Eve with Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Well, Saturday is upon us and this evening, we will embark on the Great and Holy Feast of the Nativity of Christ. Call me crazy, but there’s always a bit of grief when you know a fast is ending. Believe me I’m looking forward to Christmas and all that entails (cough Bacon cough). But the fasts are always such a…

The Holy Friday of Christmas? What we remember when Christmas falls on a Sunday

Christmas being on a Sunday this year is kind of messing with my sense of time–I keep thinking it’s holy week. On this last day of the work week (perhaps last working day of 2016), time feels quiet, still and contemplative, like things are winding down. Like we are in the sad but peaceful eye of a storm…

Waiting for Christmas Bread: Orthodox-ifying an Old German Custom

Yesterday, we were talking about perfectionism and Christmas. At the end of the post, I mentioned something I was doing to help curb the all-or-nothing attitude of perfectionism during the holidays. Something to help prepare my heart for the Feast of the Nativity of Christ. That thing is making Kletzenbrot (dried pear bread), a German fruit bread that contains many…