The Two Marys

In the Gospels we have two descriptions of the Mother of God. The feeling-tone of each is different. In Luke, she is the one to whom the angelic messenger announces the coming of God’s son through the inseminating power of the Holy Spirit. She is humble and open, experiencing an other-worldly event.

The Mother in Matthew’s Gospel receives royal gifts. She must flee to Egypt to save her little Son from Herod’s persecution. In John’s Gospel she stands under the cross. Mother’s innocence has become bitter experience, but she also partakes in her Son’s subsequent rise from death.

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Advent and Nelson Mandela

One of the greatest leaders of our time, the late Nelson Mandela once said…

Photo by Geoff Sims/Colin Legg

“As I walked out the prison door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

Thus spoke the lion of Africa, who for 27 years was imprisoned- not for crimes- but for his moral ideals. One can only imagine how much resentment and anger, how much darkness filled a human soul such as his who was so unjustly imprisoned for such a long time.

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Are You a Zombie?

Movie review and Anthroposophical commentary by Arthur Hildreth Jr.

The next time you are in front of the mirror take a good hard look and ask yourself, Am I a zombie? In fact, take note of your behavior in the company of others and ask again, Am I a zombie? You might also look around you and take note of anyone else you think might be a zombie. You may be surprised with what you find out about yourself and the people you think you know and those you see at school or work nearly every day. You may even believe the buzz in the media and the subject of some six hundred movies in the last forty years of a coming zombie apocalypse. You might even believe you are living it, or not living!

Until recently, zombie movies have been more a warning of impending doom depicting flesh-eating corpses whose condition spreads to all who are injured, eaten or killed by them. The term Zombie has many meanings in today’s culture from a mixed alcoholic drink to a flesh eating reanimated corpse. Warm Bodies a Zombie movie based on Isaac Marion’s novel and released in February 2013 has an advertising tagline, “He’s still dead but he is getting warmer.” This movie, taking place mostly after the “Zombie Apocalypse”, is a romantic comedy and offers hope rather than doom. Read more


No Truer Friend Than Christ

True friends are people who prove themselves over time. They truly listen in a way that draws out of us strengths we did not know we had. They stand by us in our trials, offering their support. Their constancy gives them a depth of knowledge about us, both of our strengths and of our weaknesses that allows them to be a gentle and loving mirror in which we can truly see ourselves. The result is that we are known. We feel accepted, just as we are. We are loved.

Christ is truly our truest friend. Read more

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Living in the Midst of a Battleground: The War in Syria

Life comes to us with many simple yet essential blessings whose value we often forget about until we no longer have them. We take such blessings as water to drink, food to eat, talking to someone freely or even simply taking a walk; we take them for granted until we have them no more. This is one of the faces of the war. It shows itself by taking away from normal people the essentials of life. How does a war start? How does it grow to last for years? How is it that in our lifetime, we, the citizens of the earth, have not yet found a way to extend a hand to stop it, to transform it? Not yet. The war in Syria has been going on for over two years. It is now extending beyond Syria. Thousands of people have died. Thousands of people have become homeless and are in danger of dying. Read more

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Are Faith and Knowledge Mutually Exclusive?

Generally knowledge is acquired through experience. Often it results from our having perceived a pattern: every day, at predictable times, the sun rises and sets. Therefore, I know that the sun rises and sets on a daily basis. I also know, either from close observation or from the observations of others, that there is a gradual shift of the point on the horizon at which it rises or sets, and that this shift from one extreme to the other and back takes a year to complete. Generally knowledge is related to the past and is founded on past experience.

But even a single event, a single experience, can give us knowledge. The sun rose this morning; I saw it; there is such a thing as sunrise. An angel appeared to me; I saw it; I know that angels exist. Read more

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Christ and the Law of Scarcity

In everyday life, to give means to have less for ourselves. If someone gives you some money or some food, immediately they notice that they have less money or less food. Or, if one gives more time to his work, he has less time for his family. It is a law in this world of ours, that giving to one means taking from another. It is this reality, the reality of scarcity in our world that  brings us fear.

At the end of the day, the fear and anxiety that we carry is born from our awareness of what we can lose and have lost, or that perhaps there will not be enough for us. Fear rules this world.

But there is another world. Read more


Easter and the Tragedy in Boston

The events which have taken place around the Boston marathon have shaken our national consciousness and again raise uncomfortable questions about the world in which we are living. Struggling to come to terms with senseless destruction is necessary and understandable in the face of such occurrences, but equally important and worthy of our attention are the questions about the way that we experience these kinds of tragedies.

Boston makes us aware that our perception of world events is still very much geographical. Explosions in crowded public places are alas, commonplace in other parts of the world. They are not in our country. What does this mean for us? Why are the bombings in Boston so painful? Eastertide offers I think a few keys to answering this question. Read more


How the Gospel Speaks in my Life: Easter

Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. (Mark 16:2-4)

That the women walking to the grave only realize a short distance from their destination that they cannot move the stone away! Yet, they might have bemoaned their lack of foresight and, without ever reaching the tomb, turned around. Or perhaps they could have quickly decided to search for someone who could move the stone, but instead they looked up! It is only then that they became aware: the stone has been moved already, and the passage is open to the place where they received further clues leading them to the resurrected one. Read more


The Mission of Failure

Failure seems like such a negation. I did not….

It points to the fact that we are imperfect, incomplete; that our reach exceeds our grasp. Yet hidden in that very fact is a positive. I did try. I learned something. Thomas Edison famously said: I have not failed; I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Our failures are great teachers, if we are open to the lessons. As it says in our Sunday Service for Children, we learn so that we may understand and work in the world. We are here to find truth, to expand our understanding of reality, to make a difference in the world. The fact that failure is often humbling is perhaps a lesson in itself – we are not yet all that we want to be. But we may have just found the 9,999th way that doesn’t work – one step closer to a way that does.

As Saul, St. Paul believed that Jesus couldn’t have been the Messiah. Jesus’ life ended as a failure – he was tortured and executed as a common criminal. Therefore Saul knew he couldn’t have been God the All Powerful’s Son. But what looked like a failed life became The Life, as Paul came to know at Damascus.

Christ came to the earth for the express purpose of becoming a human being. He came to experience, in the flesh, how human beings fail. How they learn. How they find truth. He explored the depths of human existence. And since he is an eternal being, what he did, he does eternally. He experiences the depths of humanity so that He, eternally present, can be here with us when we fail. When we learn. When we find truth, which is ultimately, Him.