Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nativity Site Embarrassment

Last night on the news a clip was shown of two groups of monks,one Greek Orthodox and the other Armenian,fighting with brooms while cleaning their areas at the church of the nativity.
Seems they had encroached into each others spaces and instead of just apologizing,they raised their brooms and starting hitting each other with them.
The fact that they got angry with each other,was bad enough,but the commentator said that this can be a common sight.
Common sight? Excuse me but how much belief do these monks have in the God of love and forgiveness when they are beating each other over the heads with brooms,as the local police try to brake it up,with clubs?
The sad part is that not one monk stepped forward to humbly ask for forgiveness or apologize to the other side.
Last week was Christmas,a time when we are to love our neighbors,because Jesus came down to earth in the form of a baby to save us from ourselves.
How sad that the clergy,whom we Orthodox look up to,feel they can act like a ruthless mob in a Holy public place.
It embarrasses me that we has members of the Orthodox Church,sit by and accept this humiliation to our faith,from professed religious men who know better.
I for one would like to say to both sides of this mess,what should have been said by at least one monk, that "I am sorry for what you felt was a violation of you side of the cleaning sight,at one of the Holiest of Christian places where Jesus himself was said to have been born."
Maybe if I,has a member of the Orthodox Church,ask you both for forgiveness,next time you men will think twice before raising your hand,or broom,to your brother in anger,maybe instead you will shake hands and grant each other the right of way.
A song I learned in grammar school says:"they know we are Christians by our love,by our love and they will know we are Christians by our love."
One other thing I would like to tell these monks is if you think your actions are not know by others,trust me today is day number two and once again on the world evening news they replayed the clip for the whole of the United States to see one more time.
I'll bet more people in this country,saw this shameless clip,then took the time to watch the 60 minutes show Sunday evening about Mount Athos and the peaceful loving monks,that reside there.
To bad,how sad!
To be Orthodox means to follow the unchanged truth and be held to a higher standard of living,what that means is when we do unchristian things the world keeps putting it in front of every ones eyes.
The evil one relishes our falls and takes joy in our shamefulness and how can you blame him....

Monday, December 19, 2011

An Old Fashioned Christmas

What makes an old fashioned Christmas?
Last night we and some friends,went to Old Sturbridge Village to celebrate the season in an old fashioned way.
Though the outside air was chilly our spirits were warm.
We got to partake of ginger bread and mulled cider,take a horse and cart ride while watching a bon fire roar in the center square.
Pretty fresh garland with tiny sparkling lights where everywhere while candle lit lanterns illuminated the walk ways.
18Th century caroling in complete garb and a modern brass band,played out songs of Christmas yester year complete with Father Christmas dressed in his green velvet robe with white fur trim a crown of garland encircled his head..yes this Santa decided clothes where on his menu especially with Jack Frost nipping at his nose on this cold December night.
Ginger bread houses and pretty little Christmas trees,decorated the house of the haves while the more modest cottages had happy people sitting near their fireplaces greeting all those who entered.
No candy for these knitted hanging stockings,with nut cups adorning the mantles,real fruits of the fall season and handmade wooden toys would be the Christmas morning fare for the tots residing in these houses.
Food,family and guest where what the day was about.
Carolers going house to house,being invited inside for a warm drink or a simple morsel of food.
In this village of yester year neighbors where your prime source of entertainment,with the understanding that no one survives alone,the entire neighborhood became your tight knit family.
A very different sort of Christmas when compared to our own modern Holiday Festivities.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Naked Santas/Real Christmas Meaning

Tis the season to see and hear the ridiculous.
In San Francisco some of the locals decided to try and get into the World Book of Records by having the largest grouping of naked Santa Clauses assembled in one area.
O.K. some times life requires you to just have a sense of humor and move on.
Personally I have never wanted to see Santa naked,for a man his size clothing is a blessing not an option,of course I can say the same about my own personal build,put it on would be my mantra,one that these Santa's need to adopt.
This is laughable to me.
Why you may ask? Because Santa is not the reason I celebrate Christmas..Jesus is..
With this in mind tolerance to stupidity can become a way of life.
Most of us know who Santa or Saint Nicolas really was and walking around neighborhoods naked was not his claim to fame.
Only in hot California can you get away with Santa in the buff,to try this in New England would be a very chilly challenge,to say the least.
I'm not sure why we Christians allow ourselves to become offended with this nonsense,all it does is distract us from the real reason we are here on this earth and why we celebrate Christmas.
Jesus said we are in the world not of the world.
So why are we so surprised when the world acts crass and insulting.
besides its hard to be all that we can be when we're angry about things like clerks not saying Merry Christmas,Town Halls not allowing Religious Decorations to be displayed or Santas running around in their birthday suits.
Good and evil both abound in the world around us,to focus only on the silly and ridiculous detracts from all the good and charitable things that so many people are doing at this holiday season.
So let the naked Santas have their day because in the end the real meaning of Christmas comes to us from the people who feed the hungry,cloth the naked and bring cheer to those who are sick.
These are the unspoken Santas who don't take the headlines and do it with their clothes in place.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Meaning Of The Season

Recently I read on face book of a priest standing in line at the Post Office and the person in front of him asking for Christmas Stamps but not the religious ones.
O.K. now lets get this straight people,why are you even bothering to celebrate Christmas if you do not believe in the birth of Christ and what he stands for?
Why not just skip the whole Christmas buying,tree decorating,cookie making and gift wrapping and not celebrate it at all,because you missed the whole reason of the season.
Does it offend you and those who are receiving your cards that each of you may have to view a picture of Mary,Joseph and baby Jesus on your postal envelope?
Those who complain about Christmas and its affiliation to religion are the same people who expect to have December the 25TH off and get paid for it.
Maybe the time has come for you to skip the pay and go back to work because like it or not Jesus is the reason for the season and if that offends sorry..
Many people claim to hate Christmas and all it stands for,they say it is depressing and sad,well life is what you make of it and maybe if you spent some time handing out food to the homeless and poor on this upcoming said holiday,you too could realize the real reason of the season and understand how many people have it worse off then you and your perceived issues,so get over your self.
Angry words at this time of year? You bet...
Jesus came into this world to teach us to love God through helping others.
If your sick of the Holiday Season then spend the day visiting those in a Nursing Home,Children's Hospital, or prison and when your done walk into the closest church,get down on your knees and thank God that you are one of the lucky ones.
Christmas is what you make of it,if you put little into it,then you will get little out.
This year instead of complaining try to drop off a canned good or inexpensive toy at a collection box,then you will understand the saying that it is more blessed to give then receive.
In the end its not about what you get but what you are willing to give.
Jesus gave up life for us now what are you willing to give up ?