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…

The Fruit of Waiting: Advent Through a Doula’s Eyes (Guest Post)

In this unique guest post, doula Laura Jansson reflects on the connections between Advent and the kind of waiting and her work helping mothers birth their infants into the world. What a timely perspective! ~*~ Advent – a time of waiting. But if we’re honest, what are we waiting for? What are you most looking forward to about…

Keep the Cross in Christmas: Reframing the Annual Culture Wars

Honestly, I’m kind of bracing myself for the annual Christmas wars. Any day now, people will start populating their newsfeeds with the frantic mantra to “Keep Christ in Christmas!” It’s not that I wish to minimize the importance of Christmas or that I’m unconcerned about religious liberty. In this case, though, I wonder if we actually recognize what…

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…

What Does it Mean to Be Human? Engaging Orthodoxy Panel Discussion

Hi Time Eternalites! Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving to all! May we be creatures of response and thanksgiving to God for His seen and unseen providence in the moments of our lives… This past weekend, I was blessed to participate in the third annual Engaging Orthodoxy panel discussion held at North Park University in Chicago. This year’s topic was “What does…

Condemned or Redeemable? Thoughts about Internet and Ministry after the #DMOPC18 Symposium

As many of you know, I have recently returned from a trip to Greece, in which I participated in the Second International Symposium on Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care, held from June 18-21 at the Orthodox Academy of Crete (of Great and Holy Council 2016 fame). The symposium was organized by Pemptousia, with support from various other…

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…

Christmas Cookies for a Jehovah’s Witness

  Addie (not her real name) is my neighbor. She lives down the hall of our apartment building. Our first real conversation happened last year. As I recall, it was Boxing Day (Dec 26). Between church and family gatherings, my husband and I had amassed more yuletide sweets than we could eat in a lifetime. I thought of…

What if Christmas *Did* Come from a Pagan Festival?

While traveling on the subway the other day, I overheard an interesting conversation between two strangers.   “Actually,” one person began grumbling, “They don’t know when he was born. I mean, if Christ was so important, you’d think we’d at least know his birthday!” A second person responded with similar cynicism: “And plus, Christmas came from a pagan…