Friday, November 15, 2013


November, thanks I believe to a razor company ironically enough, has become known as “No Shave November” in various circles. Men have for many centuries equated beards with “manliness” as it is also a sign of physical maturity and, ahem, puberty. Once a boy was able to grow a beard, it was an indication that he had become, or at least was becoming, a man. So today, men with beards tend to make fun of men without beards. Although I doubt Gillett has this in mind, since I’m sure they just want to sell more razors, and after “No Shave November” men will need new razors after ruining their blades removing a month’s worth of beard growth….but who am I to judge?

I’ve had a beard since I was 17 years old. The only exception was two different semesters in college when I worked for the cafeteria and, since I had NO DESIRE to wear one of those goofy hair nets on my face, I had to shave. On a side note, but then again this entire blog post is a side note I think, that Christmas, when I arrived home my mother said, “Why did you shave? I liked the beard?” I was crushed. I couldn’t believe my mother preferred I covered up my beautiful face. I always thought a mother was SUPPOSED to love her son’s face no matter what….but that all really doesn’t matter. I have a beard ever since and I have no desire to shave. My wife wouldn’t know me if I did….

As a Greek Orthodox Priest, I have a beard as part of an ancient tradition which equate the priest as an Icon of Jesus Christ. Jesus had a beard, so priests do too. It’s really that simple. There are some who think a priest is a REAL priest unless he grows a beard – as if he isn’t an Icon of Jesus Christ without a beard. But since ALL humans are Icons of God, I don’t really get worked up about it. MOST Orthodox Priests have beards, SOME don’t. It doesn’t bother me one way or another. And if someone wants to argue about whether or not a priest should or shouldn’t wear a beard, I’m not the right guy to call. If you want a beard, then have a beard. If you don’t….well so long as your bishop agrees, more power to you. I, for one, won’t think you less of a priest.

I might think less of a man…..but that’s the beard talking, not the priest.

This post is the first in a series of posts for the 40 Days of Blogging Challenge sponsored by the Preachers Institute. You may find other blogs participating in this challenge. I hope you enjoy this year’s Advent journey.

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