This weekend I graduate from Northern Seminary as a Doctor of the Church specializing the historical context of the New Testament. This moment has been a long time in the making. Like 18 years! Here’s the story.
Ebenezer Scrooge had a hard time grasping and embracing the spirit and message of Christmas. The rich and self-sufficient always do. Their own personal kingdoms loom so large that they have a hard time making room for God’s Kingdom—and all the poor and lowly riff-raff to whom it belongs.
Thirty years have passed since I sat on the garage roof staring up at the night sky. The worries and cares of a middle schooler have been upgraded to the burdens of a father, husband and pastor living in this current moment of darkness and fear. Perhaps, this Advent, you also feel like we’re sitting collectively on a cold and icy roof, staring up at the Heavens and badly need to hear these words this Advent: “The people sitting in a pandemic have seen a great light, and to those sitting in the land and shadow of covid, a light has dawned on them” (Matt 4:16).
Why are so many Christians caught up in the goings-on at Caesar’s palace on the week our hearts and minds should be making their way to Bethlehem’s manger?
Do you struggle to pray? Does your mind drift and wander off? Let’s turn one of the most familiar Scriptures of the Christmas season into a prayer.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” Andy Williams sings in the background while we scrap and scramble about, trying to hold ourselves together and not lose our minds in all the wonderful-ness. While many are weighed down by the external busyness of the season, I want […]
The Work of Christmas by Rev Dr Howard Thurman (1899-1981) When the song of the angels is stilled, When the star in the sky is gone, When the kings and princes are home, When the shepherds are back with their flock, The work of Christmas begins: To find […]
Here’s the hauntingly beautiful ancient hymn we featured at our Christmas Eve service. Listen below after reading the words. O SAVIOR OF OUR FALLEN RACE Ancient Christmas Hymn, circa 6th Century O Savior of our fallen race, O Brightness of the Father’s face, O Son who shared the […]
“Who among us will celebrate Christmas correctly? Whoever finally lays down all power, honor, all reputation, all vanity, all arrogance, all individualism beside the manger; whoever remains lowly and lets God alone be high; whoever looks at the child in the manger and sees the glory fo God […]
Many of us are in danger of simply taking in these sights and sounds, and like the magi 2,000 years ago we must decide if we’re going to seek and discover for ourselves the greater reality to which all these shiny things ultimately point. Will we settle for the sparkle and shine that surrounds this season, or will we choose to look beyond them and follow their glow to the real thing?
This was passed along to me – a very powerful image to ponder in this season of waiting, expecting, longing and hoping for the Christ who steps into the Darkness of our fractured world. -JB From Ben Sternke: The painting below was created by Sister Grace Remington of Our Sister […]