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

Is It Time to Rethink Your Definition of Christmas?

The Christmas Cradle by Meadow Rue Merrill

When Christmas seems to have been reduced to a shopping list; When the squares on your December calendar are bulging with enough activity to exhaust Frosty the Snowman, Santa, and all his elves; When you are tired of the knot that has already twisted itself into your stomach by the day after Thanksgiving . .… Continue reading Is It Time to Rethink Your Definition of Christmas?

Musings: December 2017

Chopping up the last of my garden carrots and sweeping them into a snowy-day soup, I marveled at their color and texture, so much brighter and more tender than any store-bought veggie, even though they were yanked out of the ground by my exuberant grandson back in October. It's clear that these orange roots were… Continue reading Musings: December 2017

Toward a Sensitive Observance of Holy Innocents Day 2017

Holy Innocents Day

A few verses in Matthew are all that are granted to the tragedy of slain baby boys following the birth of Jesus. Christian Churches in the west have memorialized Herod’s paranoid panic as Holy Innocents’ Day, celebrated historically on December 28th, the fourth day of Christmas. In Medieval England, children were awakened to the solemnity… Continue reading Toward a Sensitive Observance of Holy Innocents Day 2017

A Day Like No Other Day

It was a day like any other day in the life-long ministry of Zacharias the priest.  With Elisabeth’s goodbye kiss still warm on his cheek, he went about his business, reporting for duty in his scheduled commitment to serve in the Temple. It was a day like no other day when the honor of entering… Continue reading A Day Like No Other Day

Wait for the Spirit of Christmas

Wait for the Spirit of Christmas

“Wait,” He said, and locked His gaze with eleven pairs of eyes brimming with question marks. “Wait. I have been your constant companion for three years, walking long deserted roads, sharing our meager meals, sleeping under the stars. I have answered your questions and rebuked your faithlessness, and now it is time for me to… Continue reading Wait for the Spirit of Christmas

Loving My Mid-Life Christmas

For the past several years, change has been the only constant in our Christmas celebration. Grown up sons marry, pack up their collection of treasured ornaments, and hang them on their own trees. College guys come home when they can and join in the fun on an intermittent schedule. Teens branching into individualized creativity grab… Continue reading Loving My Mid-Life Christmas

A Season of Listening

Season of Listening

Christmas is the season of listening. We gather around the story of Luke 2, as it's read aloud. We hang sleigh bells on our Christmas trees and on our door knobs and enjoy the nostalgia for days when holiday traffic was all "over the river and through the woods." Carols ring out in the most unlikely… Continue reading A Season of Listening

Word Made Flesh — A Celebration of Reading for Advent

Word Made Flesh

In the month of December, the Christmas story often stands alone, lifted with huge parentheses out of the New Testament — maybe delivered in Linus’s hushed boy soprano, and then tucked away with the durable resin nativity set and the white twinkly lights until next year. It’s a great story, so it’s easy to see why… Continue reading Word Made Flesh — A Celebration of Reading for Advent