It is a very different landscape we inhabit than our parents or grandparents. I am probably closer to my parents, generationally, than I am to my children. Though we share some songs of rock’n’roll, most of their music is lost on me. It’s not as foreign to me as mine was to my parents, but foreign enough. I find myself saying things that sound like my dad talking (it’s scary).
Our religious landscape has changed as well. I posted an article over the weekend in which I made some comments on pagans. Of course, they’re out there and they offered comments. Not unkind, but corrective. I’ve not left the comments on the blog, by choice, it’s not a conversation I choose to have – or at least not here. And I have to make choices about here because that’s my job (here).
But I will say to all of my pagan readers out there – if I offended you unfairly, I am sorry (I don’t know if pagans practice forgiveness). But everyone is due serious conversation and not something else.
As an Orthodox Christian I am in a time of preparation, looking forward to the celebration of Christ’s birth. For us it’s a time of moderate fasting (all celebrations are prepared for in that manner). But like Great Lent, it should be a time for forgiving your enemies (and your friends), not a time for giving offense.
My pagan ancestors inhabited the British Isles (none seem to have come from elsewhere). They embraced the Christian faith in what would have been an Orthodox form (there was no other form in those years 400-600 a.d.). They doubtless were later Roman Catholics when that became the Island’s Creed. Those who made it to America got here as dissident Baptists, Free Churchers of one sort or another. According to one account there were over 50 of them that became ordained ministers in the years 1730-1917 (when that count was made).
So that gives me a context that I will not deny. We’ve come full circle. Back to an Orthodoxy (now with Russian, Greek and Arab flavors, that might have been lacking in early Britain).
But the search, daily, is the same, to be at one with the True and Living God. I seek to bear no ill will to any (and fail). But I won’t quit seeking while I have breath.
May God give us a good Nativity celebration this year, by renewing our faith in His love and our surrender to His grace.