Hearing Test

According to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus’ public ministry begins like this. He goes to the Jordan River to be baptized by John, just like everyone else. When he comes out of the river, the Holy Spirit appears as a dove and, Luke says, “descended upon him in bodily form.” Then, Luke says, “Jesus, full […]

All the Parts

Unity and uniformity are not the same thing. And thank goodness! Imagine what the world would be like if we were all the same. Imagine what the world would be like if all the trees and flowers, animals and birds were all the same. Well, you can’t, really, can you?  Such perfect uniformity is beyond our […]

The World in a Stable

Just before I put away our nativity scene (our creche or manger scene, if you like) this year, I paused for a moment to take it all in, one last time. We might put the figures away and box up the stable, but I like to think the characters continue on with us. What adventures […]

The Light Shines

There’s an old celtic story I like that begins with two brothers who don’t get along. They competed with each other most of their lives and when their father died, they fought over who should inherit the family farm. Their bitterness and ill will was fracturing the community in which they lived. Tired of trying […]

A Christmas Wish

I wish for peace this Christmas. My wish is not so grand as to ask that the world will see less conflict, an end to war and violence and a more cooperative approach to all relationships. I would like that and it’s truly important. I forever hope that we will continue to struggle towards that […]

Imagine that

Last week, I wrote about the song “Mary did you know.” I mentioned the controversy around it (yes, Mary did know, why are you asking?) but went in the direction of how valuable it is to ask questions and wonder about the characters in the Christmas Story. How else can we engage them, get to […]

Is it any wonder?

“Mary did you know” has become a popular Christmas song recently. I like it. I like the idea of being able to interact with a character in the Christmas story, asking questions and wondering what they might be thinking or feeling. For me, wonder is a key component of Advent and Christmas, both the wonder […]

More than meets the eye

Christmas is coming. And through this season of Advent that prepares us for it, we hear many voices that are part of the Christmas story: of angels and prophets, of key characters, and of minor characters, too. And then there’s John the Baptist. John, son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, is a cousin of Jesus, born […]

These Days

And just like that, it’s Advent again. On the church calendar, Advent’s the four Sundays before Christmas, the countdown to the big day. No, wait, that’s wrong: it’s the count up to the big day. That’s the great thing about Advent. Whether you begin on the first Sunday and go by the Sundays, like the […]

What Kingdom Will Come?

For many churches, the year begins with the First Sunday in Advent, the season that prepares for Christmas. That’s usually at the very end of November or the beginning of December, so about a month, give or take, before the beginning of the calendar year. The last Sunday of the old year – New Year’s […]