Voices from Russia

Friday, 22 April 2016

22 April 2016. It’s Past Sundown… The Jewish Passover is On!

00 Passover 04.2012

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The sun is down, so the Jewish Passover has begun, running until sundown 30 April. This is, perhaps, the defining festival for all Jews in all climes and all times. The Seder is the Table of Freedom for all Jews… it symbolises their liberation from slavery in Egypt. Many Jews take this theme of liberation and extend it to the general society. Look at Saul Solomon, a politician in 19th century Cape Colony, who stated, “[I] give my decided opposition to all legislation tending to introduce distinctions either of class, colour, or creed”. We also see this thirst for justice in Bernie Sanders, who despite being non-observant, is still a proud Jew. Friends have told me that Passover for them is the Festival of Freedom, not just for Jews, but for all people. Remember this… as a lowly Greek country pappas said during World War II during the fascist occupation of Greece, “Our Lord Christ lived and died a believing Jew”. Antisemitism amongst Christians is self-hatred and oxymoronic… do ponder that…

BMD

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

19 April 2016. This Sunday is Orthodox Palm Sunday…

00 pussy willows orthodox palm sunday 190416

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This Sunday is Orthodox Palm Sunday… that means that Holy Week and Easter are upon us, the most solemn and joyous time of the Christian Year. Every year, one hears the same bleat from the over-pious “religious”… “We only see these people once a year… the Church shouldn’t give them communion”. Nothing is further from the truth and nothing is more demonic and un-Christlike. Such people are keeping up some sort of tie with the Church… you may not like it, but they’re keeping up some sort of tie with the Church. I don’t think that we should be subjecting people to an inquisition… they’re coming of their own free will and they’re showing by this participation that they haven’t totally given up on Christ and His Church. I say, “Let them be. They’re not heathens. They’re not atheists. They’re just not living up to your fancies. STFU”. God smiles when such people come to the services, and so do I. If you don’t like that, so be it… I refuse to argue with the “pure and perfect”… they’re always right and you’re always wrong, so, why waste your time.

I say, “Happy Easter and a Joyous Holiday to all of us”. ALL OF US. Christ didn’t just rise from the dead for a limited coterie and set, after all.

BMD

Thursday, 14 April 2016

14 April 2016. Join the Mother Church to “Give the Gift of Joy This Easter”

00 give the gift of joy this easter! 140416

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You must learn to love… then, in response to your love, other people will echo it.

Bishop Panteleimon Shatov

head of the MP Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Service (OTsBSS)

The Mother Church is holding a campaign, “Give the Gift of Joy this Easter… they’re raising money to buy Easter gifts for the needy… the homeless, the housebound, the disabled, the elderly, orphans, the poor… of course, this is the doing of the inimitable and indefatigable Bishop Panteleimon Shatov. Is your parish doing likewise? You have a little over two weeks to do something… that’s not chopped liver. You can help create some joy this Easter… we’re Christians; that’s what we do!

BMD 

Addendum:

What I mean is that we have time to do things locally to help those about us… that’s what Bishop Panteleimon is doing.. it’s what we should be doing. We have two weeks to identify those in need, collect money, buy items, and give gifts on Easter. It’s our Christian duty… we can’t sit down and feast bounteously until we go forth and aid those who need it. Our Lord did ask, “Who went away justified?” Yes… who?

BMD

Sunday, 27 March 2016

27 March 2016. Happy Easter to All My Friends Keeping Western Easter

Khristos Voskrese Easter Bunny

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This is a turn-of-the-20th-century Russian Easter greeting card. My, my, my… it’s got an Easter Bunny… with eggs! Of course, there were many RCs and Lutherans in the old empire (along with a generous sprinkling of Mennonites and native Russian Baptists)… so, some of their imagery influenced the larger Russian Orthodox culture (it worked the other way ’round, too!). People were tolerant of one another… they wished each other well on their respective holidays. We should do likewise… we’re Christians; that’s what we do…

Have a happy and most blessed holiday. I bow before you in respect…

BMD

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