I must admit that even as an Orthodox Priest there are some circumstances where I find it difficult to talk about my faith. I am not always as prepared as I should be to give an answer for my faith and the joy I have in my Lord Jesus. There was this time at my daughter’s kindergarten curriculum night that stands out as a particular low point. A parent who was unfamiliar with Eastern Orthodoxy simply asked me what I believed. He caught me off guard with his straight forward question. I stumbled to get much of anything out. I started with what I now affectionately refer to as the evangelistic “kiss of death.” What I should have told him was how I grew up a church kid who was nothing more that an “admirer of God.” How I simply could not figure out what Jesus had to do with God. I could have mentioned going to Young Life camp in Colorado as a 15 year old and how sad I was that my parents were divorcing and that I had gotten in so much trouble with the law and my school. I could have told this nice man how as a teenager I was surprised by the love of God when I heard about Jesus. I could have told him how my life changed when I decided to respond to the love of God in Christ Jesus by devoting myself to Him. Heck, I could have even dropped all that personal stuff and hit him hard with some serious theology. What did I say? I stuttered out, “Well, it’s complicated.” The Lord has never let me forget it. I mostly do better than I did that night.
The Lord said to his disciples, “When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of man comes. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:23-31
Thursday, June 25, 2009 Leavetaking of the Nativity of the Forerunner John the Baptist