Ancient Answers

Guidance for Today from Scripture and Early Christianity

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I apologize I haven’t written much in recent weeks. It’s not because I have nothing to say, but rather I have too much to say. On any given day I can’t quite make up my mind as to what subject to explore, and very often I end up opting out of exploring anything. One thing I am realizing is that I need to go back to the sources and the roots of my own existence as a child of God. This means going back primarily to the Jewish background of Jesus Christ. We Orthodox – with our technical and philosophical doctrines of Trinity and Christology – have practically forgotten about the Jewish roots of Jesus. And yet, it’s there in our worship and prayers. Jews come to wedding services and are deeply impressed by how much our sacrament of marriage refers to the patriarchs and prophets of the Hebrew Bible. This morning I conducted a funeral service and once again I intoned the names of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And the final prayer of our funeral service asks God to give rest to the departed “in the bosom of Abraham.” So with all these references to Abraham and the patriarchs, you would think that we would be more aware of the Jewishness of our tradition. I want to explore the Jewish character of Jesus – and more specifically, the actual social and economic setting of Galilee where he began and did most of his ministry. Look for some of these explorations in the coming weeks and months.

Today I want to thank the many people who do follow or occasionally visit this blog site. I started this blog site in July of 2014. In the thirteen months since, I have had about 11,000 visits from 125 countries! That’s right, 125 countries. It’s remarkable really, and it shows the power of the Internet to communicate and connect. Of course, some of these visits have been one-time hits, perhaps through a Google search or a link, but the majority of visitors to my blog site have made repeat visits, which shows there is an interest in what I write. I’m humbled by that, quite frankly, because when I started this I expected only people who know me would ever bother checking it out, and I thought that I would be writing primarily for my own interest. Clearly that has not been the case. And it shows how someone like me who is a total unknown outside of a small circle of church people can have a readership in 125 countries – all because of this thing called the Internet.

I encourage anyone who enjoys writing and thinking to get onboard and start your own blog. I use WordPress, but there’s also Blogspot and other providers. And it’s free! You’d be surprised what will happen, just as I have been surprised. From the very start last year, my second highest number of readers, after the US, have been in Brazil. Do I know anyone in Brazil? No, and yet, consistently day by day, week by week, I have people in Brazil who visit my blog site. Then come UK, France, Australia, Italy, Canada, Greece, Germany, and on down the list of countries. The only parts of the world from which I’ve had no visitors have been Iran, Afghanistan, much of Central Africa, and some of the countries in Central Asia, Quite amazing. Some of the countries from which I’ve had visitors I didn’t know existed. Actually, I shouldn’t say that; having grown up in Canada and gone through high school in Montréal I learned geography – but I’m still shocked at some of the obscure countries that show up in my stats page.

So I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to anyone and everyone who visits this blog site and takes the time to read what I post. I will try to write more frequently and better!

You may also want to visit the two blog sites of my friend Mike Mair in Scotland. He is not Orthodox – and I don’t always agree with him – but he has a real biblical mind and writes beautifully, even poetically. I admire his gifts for bringing out the many meanings of Scripture. But be prepared to be challenged if you visit his blog sites. He is currently doing a daily commentary through the Book of Revelation. His two blogs are at:

http://emmock.com

http://xtremejesus.co

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