At this time in the history of the world, when our calendar is controlled largely by a capitalist machine of our own making (read WalMart, Amazon, etc.), perhaps we Christians should buck the system a little, remind the secular establishment that we’re still here and still seeing things just a little differently than they. That’s one reason we talk about the season of Advent at Trinitas.
When thinking of the past, we often find ourselves in one of two precarious positions: veneration or disdain. Looking back on those “good ole days” can cause us to miss out on the gifts of God before us now. Do we, like Saul, desperately seek to evade the consequences of today by reaching out to the ghosts of the past? Or are we more like Ajax, holding silently onto old grudges, forsaking forever a chance for restoration to a friend and comrade? Surely these are not the only ways to view what has gone before us? Is there a way to recall the past with glorifying it unnecessarily, or treating as an experiment in regret?
St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was a fourth-century Church father known for his powerful and eloquent preaching and public speaking. It was his skill in oratory that earned him the name, “Chrysostomos,” or “Golden-mouthed.” And just as gold is both precious and weighty, Chrysostom’s words were not only beautiful, but always employed in the pastoral service of salvation and social justice.