Holiday Gathering

The holiday season always takes me back to fond memories of gatherings at my grandparents’ home. All of my cousins and aunts and uncles would come to the farm where their young roots were once nourished. We kids keep busy while the vittles were being prepared by playing softball, card games, mother-may-I, carom and checkers, and listening to the family story tellers recap tales of the old days. As one of the youngest in the group, Grandma would often prescribe God’s cure for a young lad with ADHD, which was to go outside and play! Grandad RufusGrandma usually had to repeat this treatment to calm my high energy level. And when the meal was ready we all gathered for a prayer of thanksgiving and then filled our plates with home cooking. The food was so good it made my tongue slap my brain around trying to get at it!

The holiday season has changed for me and reinvented itself over the years. Some of the pillars of the family are now gone and new folks have been added. New memories are being created and the food is just as good, although I now need to limit how much I eat. Some folks say “blood is thicker than water.” Maybe that is based upon a responsibility we feel for our names sake and the love we have for each other. We are family!

Here at Holy Myrrhbearers, we too participate in a holiday gathering. If you think about it, we spend holidays together at Vigil and Liturgy. We share meals together, prayers of thanksgiving, and stories and happenings that are current in our lives. We weep with each other in times of trials and of triumphs. And we count on each other and remember each other in our prayers. This tends to prove the “blood is thicker than water” declaration, for it is by His blood that we share and care for each other.

Our church family is anchored by a genuine love for us all. We here in the book of Psalms: “For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of goats? Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (Psalm 50: 10-15)

I am thankful for such a loving Father. In the Gospel of John we read: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” [Jn. 1:12,13] My brothers and sisters in the Lord, we are family!

Fr. Gabriel Weller 12/1/13

Published by

Father Gabriel Weller

Father Gabriel Weller was ordained by Bishop George Schaefer with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral. Father Gabriel was born here in the Shenandoah Valley Virginia. He spent many of his early years in Va. Beach but returned to the Valley in 1979. After many failures in life, He gave his life to the Lord and became very active in the protestant church. He had been a church leader in the United Church of Christ and the Methodist Church since his late twenties, serving in many capacities including Deacon, Elder, Church President, Youth Pastor and also served as Certified Lay Speaker, Choir Member and Youth Leader. He attended Seminary at Eastern Mennonite University with the encouragement of his pastor, but before completing his studies became frustrated with a growing perception of liberalism and other issues in the Protestant Churches he had known. He encountered Orthodox Christianity through his wife and her brother, Archpriest John Moses. He came to realize he could not go back to Protestantism because of the lack of True worship. He has served in the Altar continuously since his baptism, and was the Warden of All Saints of North America for two years. He was ordained to the Diaconate by Bishop Gabriel in 2007, and he was ordained to the Priesthood in 2009. He was the first regular pastor of the Holy Myrrhbearers 'Mission' in 2012 and on October 12, 2013, he was appointed Rector of the parish. His wife is Matushka Tatiana.