Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanks(giving) Be to God

Called different parishes around Lexington on Tuesday to see if any of them would be celebrating Divine Liturgies, praying Akathists, etc., on Thanksgiving Day morning. It's a tradition at our parish to celebrate a DL in thanksgiving--what better time for a Eucharist, after all?--for everything God's given us. The folks at St. Athanasius' parish in Nicholasville, if the Lord willed, had a "Glory to God for All Things" Akathist, as they do on the eve of Thanksgiving, but as we will only be travelling out that way tomorrow morning late, we couldn't attend. Ironically, St. Michael's in Louisville will have a DL, but we'll have gone the other direction and won't be able to attend that tomorrow morning, either!

Ah, well. 'Twas good to talk to the brethren regardless, wishing them a Happy Feast Day in the midst of in-laws--and don't get me wrong; they're wonderful in-laws--but they wouldn't understand (and are visibly uncomfortable with) the celebration we engage in with the Godbearer as "the prelude of the goodwill of God" was refreshing to wish "Spradznikom" to somebody while here.

An interesting event this evening...a crank call on my cell from someone calling herself "Whitney"--young-sounding, possibly bored on Thanksgiving Break--whose (repeated!) calls within a twenty minute period (nine, count 'em, (9) messages in the fifteen minutes I had turned off my phone after the first two calls) rapidly escalated in--ahem--"inappropriateness" once she found out that the person she had dialed was a guy who was married and who objected both to being called "Baby" and to the idea that he gave her his number in a bar recently. Once the phone came back on, she called again, and I decided to have a little fun. If you can't beat 'em, preach at 'em.

WHITNEY: "Hey, baby, I--"

ME: "Wow, Whitney; nine messages in fifteen minutes; you must be ridiculously bored, huh?"

W: "Well, I love you, baby, an--"

M: [said without letting her get a word in edgewise] "Well, I have to say, it's interesting that your messages took the tone that they did, because you see, some of the things you put in those messages might be taken to bring strife into a marriage, possibly breaking the marriage up. And it's a shame that you'd want to break up a marriage, seeing as how God Himself has ordained and blessed marriages as a way for two people to come into total union with each other."

W: "I--"

M: [still goin' strong] "--and it's a shame that you'd want to do something that would endanger that, seeing as how it disrupts something that goes back to the creation of the first man and woman, who God created to become one flesh, to be fruitful and multiply--which my wife and I have, with a beautiful toddler who's a real spitfire and a blessing from the Lord, by the way--and this is really a representation of the Kingdom of God, whose goal is the reunion of all men and women together, since sin and death has fractured mankind's relationship one to another."

W: "Well, I--"

M: [yep, still goin'] "'--I mean, my wife and I had crowns placed on our heads when we were married, and not only did that represent that we would be rulers over our household, guiding our children to follow and serve and love the Lord, but that they would also serve as martyrs' crowns, since we would be prepared to sacrifice our own desires--even our very lives if need be!--for the sake of each other and for each other's salvation--"

W: [dial tone]

This is the way it went for about two more times after that. Haven't heard from her all this evening. Now, I did think about putting the kerygma, or basic gospel message, out there for her--the fact that there is a God, we were separated from Him by nature, personal sin, and death in our members due to the falling of our ancestors, and that God became one of us in order to deify our nature, forgive our sins, and destroy death (which He did), and that we could participate in this life, this reconnecting with God the Father in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit working in the Church--but I stopped, as I got a "pearls before swine" feeling about all of that. Perhaps I was wrong--Lord, have mercy on me if I did not make the most of the opportunity--but perhaps something mentioned in the "blitzkrieg" of references to the sacrament of Holy Matrimony will stick with her and she won't do that again.

Regardless, it was fun, I have to admit...

Evening prayers tonight with Anza, her little head on my shoulder, her Buddha belly going in and out more and more regularly while Papi chanted prayers. Sleepy kisses given to the icons of Christ and the Theotokos...amazing how she knows which pictures are icons, and which are not, regardless of what or who is on an icon. The gospel from today--"you must enter the Kingdom of Heaven as a little child." Indeed, she shows me how. Tomorrow is the commemoration of the repose of St. Alexander Nevsky (pictured here)--I shall have to call our friends the Wingerds and ask if it is indeed our little godson's first namesday. Regardless, God grant that little man many blessed years!

Thanks be to God for His many indescribable gifts! Y'all have a blessed Turkey Day!


Mimi said...

What a lovely icon of St. Alexander Nevsky - Holy St. Alexander pray to God for us.

Our parish does the akathist the night before Thanksgiving. I didn't make it this year.

Laura said...

As an introduction: Hi. Been reading your blog for several weeks now. I started as an curious inquirer into Orthodoxy looking round the web for some glimpses into such a life, and stuck around as a seeker rather interested in what you have to say. Just wanted to drop a line and thank you for the thoughts you share.

Wish you could've made it to St. Athanasius, where I've begun attending. Great parish, marvelous people. Though I couldn't be around this week anyhow, as I was in the great State of Texas with my family. :)

David Bryan said...


Thanks for posting, and welcome! I read your post about feeling at home at St. Athanasius'; sounds like you're off to a good start with the faith. Lord willing, we'll be back there sometime soon so we can worship with y'all.