Bishop John Chrysostom of Constantinople (398-404) lamented that so many of his congregants were skipping church to walk across the street to attend the horse races at the Hippodrome – which he referred to as the “satanodrome.” I wonder what Bishop John would think of Super Bowl Sunday? This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores (Luke 16:19-21; cf. 19-31).
In much of the world the poor are beyond the gates, or live in walled camps. In the developed world, zoning ordinances keep the poor in their place. We’ve made it possible to live in comfort and easily ignore the suffering of the poor.
The revised edition of Pentecostal Sacraments: Encountering God at the Altar is now available!
No, this blog is not about a soap opera. But, I am writing about the drama of life. We all measure and celebrate time. There are moments in time that are significant in our lives – the day of our birth, the day we graduated from high school, the day we were married, the days our children were born. These are significant days in our lives worthy of celebration. We also have many days that we remember with solemnity – the day my father died; or 9-11, the day that terrorist attacked the United States. My grandson was born on December 2, the same day of the terrorist attack in San Bernardino. A day of rejoicing for our family is a day of mourning for others. These are the days of our lives.
Each Christmas we celebrate with lights, songs, and feasts. And, each Christmas our songs of praise are interrupted by the cries of those who suffer from violence, sickness, and death. This brings us to the story of the slaughter of the innocent boys in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16-18). It’s part the Christmas story that we don’t often tell, or sing about. The words of the prophet are haunting and familiar.