Saturday, December 9, 2017

how to be a Christian in our nit-picky, negative world: a guest post by Judie Jolma

"I recently began studies for a Masters of Theology and was surprised by my impressions after the first class. Introduction to Theology was almost entirely apologetic in nature. Instead of embarking on a study to delve deeper into an understanding of what our hearts love, it was a defense - an argument - to prove our position‘s validity for those who don’t believe. Are we insecure in our belief? Do we think that love can be inspired by arguments? (Don’t mistake these comments as relativistic slop that does not demand holiness. That is not my point.) 
There is a place for apologetics, to be sure. But when so many encyclicals are specifically drafted for this cause it colors the nature of our faith. We have somehow abandoned our first love, abandoned the way of the lover in Song of Solomon who searches for the fairest of ten thousands, whose hands drip with myrrh. And this departure has come from the shepherds (hirelings) who lead us. Do our hearts faint being love-sick for our Lord, our bridegroom? Or do we live in a passionless faith where we choose sides like a political party? 

Do our faces shine because they reflect the light of the Father - like the moon reflecting the sun? Or do we live a cold, calculating faith inspecting the correctness of our brother’s beliefs? We worry about definitions and proper form. We check the boxes, and like the Pharisees thank God that we are not like that tax collector. 

The whole church needs a course correction. We are all guilty of the sin of the older brother in the story of the prodigal son. We need to abandon the notion that intimacy can be charted and measured. We need to stop running away from the negative and run toward the true, good and beautiful.

Put away these petty arguments. Pray like a lover. Reach out in the liturgy to touch the priest’s vestments and be healed of all that hurt that inspires you to fight and strive. Can’t we all see how much woundedness there is coming from each person around us? Hurting people hurt people. But only the lover sings.

Go to liturgy and sing."
---Judie Jolma 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Blessed Nativity Fast, Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from priest's wife!

2017 has not been a good year in blogging for me. Only 13 posts. My peak was 2012 with 198 posts. Am I still blogging? Hmmm....with 13 posts in 2017, I don't think that qualifies as blogging. And this is not the sort of blog that can survive on a blog post every 3 months and 1,000+ comments of 'I love your blog! You are awesome! We love whatever posting you can do! You do you!' Somehow, even over the internet, everyone knows who the cool kids are. Wow- how INFP of me... anyway...

whether or not I blog- I pray you are having a blessed nativity fast

Eastern Hospitality during the Nativity Fast

Image result for eastern hospitality

It is all Greek to me! Academy of Classical Greek on-line for homeschoolers and others

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