Monthly Archives: December 2015

How silently, how silently

When New Year’s Eve becomes New Year’s Day and 2015 becoms 2016, while others are uncorking bottles of champaigne or watching fireworks and singing “Auld Lang Syne,” something else will happen that I hope not to miss. In years past I’ve partied a bit at that moment, sometimes at a First Night celebration, or (more likely) I’ve […]

So this is Christmas

“So this is Christmas.” John Lennon’s words have been ringing in my head since I awoke on this Christmas Day in 2015. Today I want to make the phrase a question – So this is Christmas? – like Peggy Lee’s “Is that all there is?” except I don’t feel that cynical. During my morning walk […]

Imagine peace

Who still believes what was spoken to us by the Lord? “The days are surely coming,” God has promised, “when I will fulfill the promise I made” (Jer. 33:14), and on Christmas we will celebrate the arrival, roughly 2015 years ago, of those very days, the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise, in the birth of […]

The second baptism

Most folks of my generation will remember sitting down with the big Sears Roebuck catalogue in the weeks before Christmas, making a list of what we wanted from Santa, toys and games more than we could hope to receive. Then came long days dreaming of what would arrive under the tree, and finally the excitement […]

On keeping Sabbath

Today is the anniversary of Emily Dickinson’s birth in 1830. According to The Writers Almanac, she published fewer than 15 poems during her lifetime. Most of her poems were enclosed in letters or given with gifts. When Dickinson died in 1886, her sister-in-law wrote in an obituary: “Very few in the village, excepting among the older inhabitants, […]

Holy unpredictability

Well, it’s been a quiet week in Lake Woebegone, and a normal week in the rest of America. Conversation at the coffee shop turns on when we’ll get our first snowfall. Retailers are speculating about the shift of shoppers from stores to the Internet. And on a sunny workday morning two young parents walked into […]