Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day

Martin Luther King Jr is remembered today. For many people it's a difficult holiday to celebrate since there are few established rituals. For me as a Christian, as king was, I like to take time and go to a prayer service for peace and racial reconciliation. It's important to recognize that the work King gave his life for is still in great need of great men and women to fight against the injustice built in our systems, attitudes and even our hearts.Although there is a place to lament for his … [Read more...]

Reading The Wedding at Cana icon

The Gospel reading last Sunday was "the wedding at Cana." A powerful story about Jesus' miraculous transformation of water into wine at a wedding feast. You can read the whole thing in John 2:1-11. The icon associated with this story has had a special place in my heart. I bought this icon for my wife just after we got engaged. It has had a place on honor in our home everywhere we've lived. I see it every day. The version I have on my wall is a little bit different then the one above. This icon … [Read more...]

The Liturgy of Espresso

I am a huge coffee geek. I work with coffee, teach coffee, do coffee consulting. Heck I even have a coffee centered blog (If you haven't seen it check out Mug Life). After many years of trying to practice a contemplative prayer life while working as a Barista, a number of prayers and reflections began to emerge. I kept them mostly to myself, but every once in a while I would tell a friend, "coffee is in itself a pattern for worship," or "did you know the Cappuccino is the perfect metaphor for … [Read more...]

Reading The Baptism of Christ icon

Today my Church celebrates one of the Great feasts of the Church. The Baptism of Jesus or "Theophany." Like all Great Christian feasts it points back to the saving work of God through Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection. In the baptism of Christ we see a prefigurement of his death as he enters the water, and a promise of his and our own resurrection in his emersion from the water. I thought it might be fun to take a look at the icon of Theophany today as we celebrate this feast.In the … [Read more...]

Mother of God

Yesterday was the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God in the Catholic Church.If this title for Mary seems funny to you don't worry. The early church had problems with it too. Just look at what went down at the First Council of Ephesus!Many of us protestants get nervous when we here the title. We think this is used to put Mary on too high a pedestal. Interestingly the term emerged less as a way of exalting Mary but as a way to assert the Divinity of Christ.The Greek for "Mother of God" is Θεοτόκος (T … [Read more...]

The Massacre of the Innocents

“A voice is heard in Ramah,weeping and great mourning,Rachel weeping for her childrenand refusing to be comforted,because they are no more.”(Matthew 2:18, Jer. 31:15)This week the church remembers the The Massacre of the Innocents with "Holy Innocents' Day." Here we remember the fallen children murdered by Herod.Most of you have heard the story. Some wise men show up in Herod's court and tell him they saw a star that says a king is born. Herod Freaks out and orders the execution of all young mal … [Read more...]

St. John Chrysostom, “Homily on Christmas Morning”

While many from Eastern Christian traditions are failure with St. John Chrysostom and his writings (his Paschal homily is read every year in the Orthodox church). We in the west often overlook him. As we continue to celebrate Christmas I thought it might be cool to post another famous Homily (sermon) by St. John Chrysostom. This was has been called "the first Christmas sermon"St. John Chrysostom’s Christmas HomilyBEHOLD a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no … [Read more...]

The 12 Days of Christmas: A Coded Catholic Catechesis?

This week I ran into an article over at snopes. That talks about how some people are saying the 12 days of Christmas song is actually a series of codes used to teach Catholic children about the faith during the times in which being a Catholic was outlawed in England. The true love in the song is God, and the gifts he gives can be decoded as follows:A Partridge in a Pear Tree = JesusTwo Turtle Doves = Old and New TestamentsThree French Hens = The Three Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope, and … [Read more...]

The light has come! – Rejoice

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He … [Read more...]