When we look in the mirror, do we see God? We were created in the image of God, but we fall short of the glory of God. We WANT to think we are the most worthy, the most good, but God reminds us that we still lack something. We must become reflections of God, in His Goodness. God has given us His commandments to learn to live as God wants us to live, including giving everything away for someone else. We will have eternal life when we love as God loves.
When as the last time you found joy in the work of others? This may sound like a strange question, but it is often on mind when I read the Holy Scriptures. St Paul so often tells others that they bring him joy, it makes me wonder about today. Can we truly say that others bring us joy?
When Jesus was called “good” by the rich ruler He said, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” (Luke 18.19) He of course is good because He is God, but He is also a reflection of the goodness of the Father. In that moment with the rich ruler, Jesus was teaching us the truth of the incarnation of God in the Son – Jesus Christ. And as a Son is a reflection of the Father, so Jesus is a reflection of the Goodness that is in the Father. The ruler is right to call Him good, he just wasn’t fully aware of Jesus' divinity.
Many people ask me why the Church talks about stewardship so much if, as people tend to say, God doesn’t need our money. It is true that God doesn’t need our money, but others in the Church and world do. Many people are still on the ‘thanksgiving high’ as the holiday weekends continues, so I thought I would offer an alternative to holiday shopping.
As part of our annual Nativity Fast Fundraiser, we have set a goal of $2,000 for this year. Those funds will guarantee half of next year's projected budget. Please help us help others to Live A New Life In Christ. You may always choose to become a monthly supporter and help our monthly expenses throughout the year. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, thank YOU for your support!
Yesterday, we gathered as families and friends around a banquet table to give thanks to God. Some of us began the day with Divine Liturgy, some opting to enjoy a relaxing morning with family, but we all were thankful to the many gifts we received. Whether we recognize all the gifts or not, we were thankful. Today, the ‘day after’, many of us are looking at a packed refrigerator of leftovers and wondering how to get back on track with our fasting. How do ignore all that food?
Today is the Feast of Thanksgiving, not a ‘sanctioned’ nor ‘traditional’ Feast in the Orthodox sense of the word, but a Feast, nonetheless. It is also the Feast of St Katherine the Great Martyr of Alexandria. Today is the only day in the American Civil Calendar dedicated to giving thanks to God for blessings. We all have something to give thanks for, even if we don’t see the blessings.
Parents spend many years preparing their children for their future. Miles of driving from activity to activity and hours of sitting on sidelines and bleachers cheering them on, all in the name of raising them as well rounded. The only problem is, Church often is the last item on the list of important activities for our children’s future.
It can be difficult sitting in your house fasting for Christmas when all your friends are out partying it up until all hours of the night. It can be difficult being a restaurant this time of year with your friends being able only to eat a few menu items. It’s the holiday season, and that normally means PARTY! But, for us Orthodox, it means prayer and fasting. This is the season I feel most like an outsider among my friends.
Every day, the Church commemorates a variety of saints, some ancient and some recent. If you were in a monastery, you might hear their names being commemorated in the Orthros during what is called the Synaxarion, a listing of the saints for those dates. In the long form, the Synaxarion includes the stories of the saints, but lo, we do not live in monasteries and most of our churches do not celebrate daily Orthros for us to attend. So many of us go without ever knowing the saints, and it is a shame.