Do you remember your baptism? It is an invitation and a claim on your identity. Recall Jesus’ baptism, and remember your own.
Who were the Magi? And what’s their importance in the Biblical story? Perhaps with a Hallmark picture in mind, we place too much importance on the details, and don’t focus enough on the child they came to see.
The Grinch, like the shepherds, is considered an outcast – a dark soul. Yet, it is into such darkness that God sends the great light of the child, Jesus. When such a great light shines in the dark of each of our lives, and the darkness of our shared lives, humanity is offered the healing of shalom, in which we all unite as one great body praising the love of God in Christ.
It’s not Christmas yet, but it seems everyone is already saying, “Merry Christmas!” Don’t skip the hard work of Advent while jumping to the merriment of Christmas without doing the hard work of preparation, so that come Christmas, you’ll be ready to join in the singing.
“Mary Did you Know” is a horrible song, which assumes that this pre-teen unwed pregnant female couldn’t have possible been intelligent enough to know about the child she carried. But in her own words, Mary makes clear, she knows the goodness of God that will come from the baby boy, who will one day save the nations.
Max (the dog) and Joseph have a similar reaction to the invitation to be involved, a strong and resounding “no.” But when Immanuel, God with us, invades the messiness of our lives, our response quickly becomes one of faithfulness, not fear.
The Grinch saw the Whos down in Who-Ville decorating, singing, and cooking, but thought their merriment was a sham. Perhaps we should question our own nonsensical over-indulgence in the season.
Jesus could have destroyed the tempter, but instead of take actionable steps to refute the tempter’s sin-filled invitation, Jesus DOES nothing. He simply speaks truth. This is the faithful response of one who is King.
If you’re hoping that through a “better” balance of power in the US Senate and House, we’ll be a more peaceful nation, you’re putting your hope in the wrong place. Even Jesus found you can’t “make” peace, so he gifted it instead.
Mary McLeod Bethune had a dream of getting rid of the differences that divide us, a vision that was centered in God’s authority for the beloved creation. Stewardship is about responding to such a vision with the gifts and resources God has placed in our lives, to ensure every person knows the great love of God in Jesus Christ.