Sunday, April 29, 2007

Liturgy anti-semitic?

Thank you

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Happy Independence Day

"If you will, it is no fairytale" - Theodore Herzl, visionary of Zionism

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day

Genesis 1

The Beginning
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blessed Theotokos, pray for our weary world

"Acquire the Holy Spirit and Thousands around you will be saved"

"I have three things I'd like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a shit. What's worse is that you're more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night."

Tony Campolo, telling it like it is.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Save the Environment, for Christ's sake!

Thankfully the Patriarch of Constantinople has come out in favor of environmental protection, seeing the connection with the Church and the Earth, both of which were created by God. It says in Genesis numero uno that man (or people, if you read my politically correct NRSV Bible) are stewards of the good world that our Lord created. Lately I have been drawn to the Orthodox Church, partly because of its fluid, organic notion of the oneness of all humanity. I will explain this further on another post. Unfortunately the union of evangelical Christians and the GOP in this country has wrought dangerous relationships between church and state issues. Even though our ultimate destiny is not of this world, Christians not caring for the protection of the world because of their political prejudice is absolutely disgusting. The Church should not change to try to accommodate the times, including the liturgy, female ordination, marriage, and abortion. Political parties are a man-made institution, and both parties have elements of Christian values, but the heavenly Kingdom is not of this world, right? I'm opposed to both extreme secular liberals and conservative theocrats. Let us give "help to the helpless, hope to the hopeless, and love for the broken heart." That should be the message to the world. The environment has unfortunately become a political buzz word, and there are extremists on either side. However, the Church must not be afraid to save the Earth, in addition to our souls.

Blessed Are The.........

The following is a quote from Tony Campolo, an evanglical Christian who is willing to challenge conservative evangelicals on some of the "wedge issues." I like his approach, especially how he reminds us about the true meaning of Jesus' message.

"My empathy for the suffering of gay and lesbian people came a hard way. I was in high school and there was a boy in our high school who was gay. We’ll call him Roger. We really made life difficult for Roger. A large city school, West Philadelphia High, we ridiculed him, we mocked him, we humiliated him in every way we knew how. On Fridays after PhysEd when we all went into the showers, Roger would never go in with us because he was afraid. When he did take his turn we waited for him and when he came out of the showers we had our wet towels ready and we would whip them at his little naked body and sting him. And we thought that was funny.

I wasn’t there the day they grabbed Roger and they took this screaming, naked little kid and shoved him into the corner of the shower. And as he screamed and cried, five guys urinated all over him. I wasn’t there when it happened. But he went home that night, went to bed I think at about 10 o’ clock. They say he got up at about 2 o’ clock in the morning, went down to the basement of his house, and he hung himself.

And I knew I wasn’t a Christian. Oh, I believed all the right things. I was orthodox. I was evangelical to the core. But I wasn’t a Christian, because if I had been a Christian I would have been his friend. I would have stood up for him and I would have defended him. And when they came to pick on him I would have said, “Lay off. This is Roger, my friend.” But I was afraid to be Roger’s friend because I knew what happened to people who were friends with those like Roger. I knew what would happen to me. I didn’t want them talking about me. If I was Roger’s friend they would talk about me.

I wish I could go back and relive that particular period of my life, because then I would know on that day that I stand for judgment, Jesus would say, “Blessed are ye, when they reviled you and when they said terrible things against you falsely, for my sake, because you loved the wrong people.”

Christianity at its best has always been about loving people that society says are the wrong people to love."

Have you ever not defended someone when you should have, or not bore the burden that Christ demands of us? I know that's true in my case. Forgive me.

Silver lining?

Amidst all the horror of yesterday's violence, it appears that a Professor and Holocaust victim who was shot and killed saved countless numbers of students' lives. Ironically this occurred on Holocaust Remembrance Day! Perhaps only those that have seen such inhuman carnage can truly appreciate the value and dignity of human life. It is a glorious thing when we can use and transfigure tragedies and sufferings that occur in our lives in order to carry out God's will, just as this martyr did. May he eternally rest in peace.

One of my favorite sayings from the Jewish Talmud, which is a commentary on Jewish law by various Rabbis, states, "Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world (Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:1 (22a)." Also, the Jewish notion of Tikkun Olam, which is Hebrew for "Repairing the World," in which we, as God's children, try to create a world like the one that existed before The Fall, in which there is no war, violence, poverty or death. Isaiah spoke of this City of Shalom in 2:2-4, in which, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." My favorite quote from the Scriptures comes from Psalm 139: "For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb...I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth." This teaches the importance of each individual life.

Just a week ago we celebrated how our Lord assumed human form, coming to the Earth on a rescue mission, and dying on a cross as a criminal would, so that each of us could individually commune with God, and die no more. It is these moments that we cry out to God, and they make us even more anxious for the day when He will come again. Until then, let us not only pray for peace and love, but embody them.

Me wandering around Red Rock Canyon - outside of Las Vegas, NV

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter (Pascha)

Christ is Risen!

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη!

ألمسيح قام

Хрңстос Воскресе!

Hristos a înviat!

Christ est ressuscite !

Kristus ar Upstanden!

Cristo esta resucitado!