The True Meaning of the Rainbow

The True Meaning of the Rainbow

For the first several days of October, South Carolina was hit by a storm of epic proportions.  Boone Hall Plantation, which is 3 miles from my house, received 26.88 inches of rain in three days time.  While numbers vary according to temperature, that would be the equivalent of 268 inches—22...

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Right and Wrong

Right and Wrong

“Words mean things.”  This is a phrase that one of my teachers branded onto my brain.  “Words mean things.”  And yet today, words seem disposable, like so much of the “stuff” we use.  We might prefer to toss a paper plate than to wash a dish.  We might rather buy...

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The Samaritan Woman, The Acts of the Holy Apostles, The Holy Ascension, Pentecost, and the Pew Report

The Samaritan Woman, The Acts of the Holy Apostles, The Holy Ascension, Pentecost, and the Pew Report

Just a few Sundays ago, we read the account of the Samaritan Woman, that marvelous encounter with Jesus, at the same hour as his crucifixion, the 6th hour.  The scene was a scandal for everyone.  Jesus, alone with a half-breed woman in the middle of the day. The Lord pierced...

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Evangelism and the Love of the Stranger

Evangelism and the Love of the Stranger

“They look at us like we from the zoo! This no work! This no work, Maria! They different people. So dry! That family is like a piece of toast. No honeys, no jam, just dry! My daughter! My daughter gonna marry Ian Miller. A Xeno! A Xeno with a toast...

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A Light Shining in the Darkness

A Light Shining in the Darkness

One of the greatest neglects of those who defend the Sanctity of Life from its most rudimentary beginning to natural death is putting that belief into tangible, positive action. Countless scores of those of us who fight tooth and nail with word and placard fall terribly short when it comes...

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Journey to Bethlehem, Part 4

Journey to Bethlehem, Part 4

Read part 1, part 2, and part 3.  Our journey to Bethlehem through the images in St. Andrei Rublev’s Nativity finishes at the center—a center which has two foci: Mary, the Virgin Mother, and the somewhat less obvious (because of His size) newborn Christ (who, biblically speaking, is not “Jesus”...

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Journey to Bethlehem, Part 3

Journey to Bethlehem, Part 3

Click to read Part 1 and Part 2 The Angels are rejoicing and proclaiming the Good News.  The Magi, journeying from afar, bear their gifts foreshadowing the divinity, sovereignty, and humanity of Christ.  The shepherds, the first Jews to believe, explain what they have seen and heard, leading others, too, to...

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Journey to Bethlehem, Part 2

Journey to Bethlehem, Part 2

What shall we offer Thee, O Christ, Who for our sakes hast appeared on earth as man? Every creature made by Thee offers Thee thank. The angels offer a hymn; the heavens a star; the wisemen gifts; the shepherds, their wonder; the earth, its cave; the wilderness, a manger.  And...

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Journey to Bethlehem, Part 1

Journey to Bethlehem, Part 1

About seven hundred years ago, St. Andrei Rublev or one of his disciples painted perhaps the most memorable and beautiful icon of the Nativity of Christ. The 14th century icon is warped and cracked, but is in remarkable shape despite its age and history.  It tells us, in earthen pigments bound to...

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Orientation

Orientation

So many churches (especially in the OCA) in the Northeast are celebrating, right now, their half- or centennial anniversaries. What marvelous celebrations. I give thanks to God for every Orthodox Christian, who 50-100 years ago brought and kept the Holy Orthodox Faith in this land, so that I, a stranger...

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Death is the Last Enemy of Humankind

Death is the Last Enemy of Humankind

Death is the last enemy of humankind. Everyone who is born into this world is guaranteed one death. Death is inevitable. And in the Orthodox Christian tradition, the fear of death is considered to be one of, if not the most, significant causes of sin and destruction in the world....

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Ancient Christianity Confronts Death and Halloween

Ancient Christianity Confronts Death and Halloween

I remember well walking the streets of our cozy steel-mill suburb of Pittsburgh with our two- and four-year-old sons in a wagon, flanked by our neighbors and their children as we went off trick-or-treating. Without leaving even the first block, I thought, “Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore!” Whole front...

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