The Reason Why We Can Sing “Joy to the World”

Christmas is a sure sign that God came for the whole world.

Sunday Scripture When my sons were all small, they loved playing Hide and Seek. Sometimes it was a big, summer-time game with the whole family hiding outside in the bushes, sometimes just a simple one-on-one at bedtime, but one son in particular would get so overcome with excitement he couldn't contain the secret. "I'm 'hind… Continue reading The Reason Why We Can Sing “Joy to the World”

Say Yes to the Gift of Christmas

Joy is a gift that comes as we make room for it in our lives.

“You can say ‘no,’” he said softly, in a whisper, so our son would not hear.Immediately, my guard went up. It was Christmas time, so my planner was bulging its squares with lists of things to buy and to wrap and to bake.  What was my husband going to propose that required this ominous-sounding, front-loaded… Continue reading Say Yes to the Gift of Christmas

The More You See: God’s Advent Surprise

The whole earth is full of His glory!

Scripture Sunday On this second Sunday of Advent, I'm already noticing my tendency to process life based solely on what I can see. If there are three pairs of shoes and a half bushel of dog fur on the dining room floor, I must be a terrible housekeeper. If no one in the house has… Continue reading The More You See: God’s Advent Surprise

In Praise of the God Who Has Done It All

I marvel at the way my daughters-in-love give to their families, particularly to my grandchildren. Both young women have the privilege of staying home with their littles, so they are up to their fetlocks every single day in feeding and clothing and cleaning up after the most adorable children on the planet (ahem). Naturally, being… Continue reading In Praise of the God Who Has Done It All

Full of Grace and Truth

Sunday Scripture By now, the Christmas season has landed in your home with all it's busy and delightful frenzy. Plans drafted and resolutions made back in the first week of Advent may be starting to wear thin as deadlines loom and energy wanes. Let's pause for a moment here to remind ourselves of the purpose… Continue reading Full of Grace and Truth

To the Woman Who Feels Crowded by Christmas

Christ’s willingness to hunker down, wizen up, and enter the darkness opens the door to his light and his life being formed in you and me.

We are covered to the elbows in red and green paint, but the festive wrapping paper stretched out to dry on the table before us more than justifies the mess. The toddler points to his distinctively tiny handprints and smiles his satisfaction, as his older brothers start wondering aloud about cocoa with candy cane stirrers.… Continue reading To the Woman Who Feels Crowded by Christmas

Growing Up with the True Christmas Light

Live alongside me with awe and delight. I'll follow you to the True Christmas Light.

Read me the stories Of Jesus and Santa, Of stockings and shepherds and toys. Tell me the wonders Of snowflakes and wisemen, Of cookies and mystery and joy. Read "Night Before Christmas," Recite from Luke 2 and The wild words from prophets of old. Sing a Blue Christmas Then open your throat wide And shout… Continue reading Growing Up with the True Christmas Light

Celebrating God in the Neighborhood

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us...

Sunday Scripture Using the lens of what C.S. Lewis called "the baptized imagination," I try to picture what it must have been like for Jesus's brothers to sit around the breakfast table or to do weekend chores with a sinless sibling. After John, the Gospel writer, had opened his own lens wide enough to take… Continue reading Celebrating God in the Neighborhood

Life Out of Death: The Incarnation Comes in the Context of Genocide

Life Out of Death: The Incarnation Comes in the Context of Genocide

In December, Christians delight in lifting from the gospels the most iconic moments of the Christmas story: the angelic visits, shepherds flooded in glory-light, Mary and Joseph silhouetted beside a manger. By contrast, we often glide over one particularly dark part of the narrative: the tragedy of slain baby boys in Bethlehem that followed the… Continue reading Life Out of Death: The Incarnation Comes in the Context of Genocide

Celebrating Christmas in a Season of Loss

The Most Difficult Time of the Year--Celebrating Christmas in a Season of Loss

In a year that has seen at least 23 school shootings, parental grief lies very near the surface of our society. At the same distressing time, a stunning 1 in 4 women has had an abortion by age 45, creating a quieter, but even greater undercurrent of grief — one mostly unshared and unacknowledged. Then there are… Continue reading Celebrating Christmas in a Season of Loss