Tag Archives: Christmas

Look again

It’s an old question, as old as the human story. When will God visit this world, this middle ground between heaven and hell, to grant our ancient yearning and set things right? How long will the earth yield thorns and thistles for all our hard work; how long will we have to till the ground […]

Are you the one?

The promise of Christmas is that the desert shall bloom and rejoice, and a highway shall be there, a road that leads all nations to God (Isa. 35:1, 8; 2:2). But what happens when the desert doesn’t bloom? What happens when instead of rejoicing we hear the din of destruction, the weeping of despair and […]

Hope rising

Every year I complain about the season’s rush toward Christmas with its apparently irresistible and irreversible consumerism. Every year I hold out hope that the true meaning of Advent might dominate the headlines and our calendars, or at least dominate my attention. And every year hectic preparation bullies aside the opportunity to appreciate “how silently, […]

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 […]

Your light has come

The main problem with Christmas, I sometimes think, is the infant Jesus. The sweet babe of Bethlehem is such a winsome figure, it’s easy to romanticize him and forget Simeon’s words when Mary presented her newborn son in the temple: “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and […]

God is here for us

Dale Carnegie, the great self-improvement author of more than a half-century ago, claimed you can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. That’s good advice for the church, too. I think it even works with […]

God is faithful

Singing for joy is so much of what this season is about, it’s difficult for most of us not to sing, in our heads if not with our voices. Even nature seems to pick up the chorus. “Joy to the world, the Savior reigns! / Let all their songs employ; / while fields and floods, […]

God is dangerous

Nick and Carmen Perry last week welcomed the birth of their second child, Nadia Grace. Both mother and child are doing well, but considering the challenges Nick and Carmen had to overcome to have any children at all, and after some difficulty in Nadia’s birth, “Nadia” and “Grace” seem especially appropriate names for this new […]

God Is Expectant

Christmas always begins with anticipation. As a child, what I anticipated first was not Christmas but the big annual Sears-Roebuck catalog. When it arrived, my sister and I would turn straight to the toy section and start circling all the things we wished Santa would bring us. During the weeks leading up to the Big […]

Coming and going

Now another Christmas has come and gone, and what was the good of it? Aside from the seasonal heart-warmth it provided, what lasting difference did it make? That’s the kind of question you might expect from Ebenezer Scrooge, but it wasn’t Scrooge who asked it. It was Meister Eckhart, the German theologian, philosopher, and mystic […]