“Hebbin – Yes, Debbil – No” (And Other Great Sermons)


Ever wonder where sermons come from?

The answer is, of course, a good hot shower … but more on that later.

Currently, I’ve got a homelitical dilemma playing out …

You see, I’m the Candy Man.

I got this idea years ago from an old priest up at Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville – NY. Fr Vasiliy was kinda scary looking – yet, all the children came running up to him to get a blessing. Odd. I found him a bit intimidating! But there were all the kids bringing a smile to his face as he blessed them, ruffled their hair, etc.

I later found out his secret. Candy. Fr Vasiliy kept a pocket full of candy and as each kid received a blessing, they also received a piece of candy.

So I keep candy in my office. Werthers on the desk, Twizzlers in a drawer. On Sundays, sometimes there’s a line of very short people at my office door.

But it was a Saturday night that recently spawned my preaching dilemma.

My friend Tommy, aged 10, came into my office after Great Vespers and as he was getting some candy said, “What are you doing tonight?”

I said, “It’s Saturday … I gotta work on a sermon.” As I pulled the Twizzler bag from the lower drawer and offered Tommy a stick, I said: “Hebbin – Yes; Debbil – No.”

Tommy said, “What?”

I repeated: “Hebbin, Yes; Debbil, No … think that’ll preach?”

“You should really do that,” he said.

We laughed, he took a Twizzler … and that was that.

I forgot all about it – until the next morning when Tommy came in the altar to serve and walked by me saying, “Remember – Hebbin, Yes; Debbil, No.”

Uh oh.

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