Tag Archives: Incarnation

A firm foundation

It may be the most important, revealing, personal question in the gospels. After asking his disciples who people were saying he is, Jesus put them on the spot: “But who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16:13-20). At some point as we grow in faith, every one of us must answer the same question. […]

When night has ended

Jesus erases differences so completely, he leaves me dumbfounded. For example, “Whoever welcomes you,” he says to his disciples, “welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me” (Matt. 10:40-42). For anyone who welcomes you, you are not merely someone who holds certain beliefs or belongs to a specific faith tradition. You […]

Lower your vision

For 2,000 years the ascension of Jesus has been the subject of countless paintings and church murals, so it may be surprising how little is actually said about it in the scriptures. Only Luke tells in his gospel that Jesus “was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:50-53) and, in the Acts of the Apostles, that […]

This call is for you

When our celebration of Christmas ends, theologian and poet Howard Thurman tells us that the work of Christmas begins: “To find the lost, / To heal the broken, / To feed the hungry, / To release the prisoner, / To rebuild the nations, / To bring peace among brothers [and sisters], / To make music […]

Your light has come

Sometimes I think the main problem with Christmas may be the infant Jesus. It’s easy to romanticize the sweet babe of Bethlehem. And it’s easy to forget what Simeon said when Mary presented her child in the temple: “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many,” and “the inner thoughts of […]

Living lightly with Mystery

The thing about a good story is, if you let it, it will tell itself. It doesn’t need embellishment or interpretation. All the storyteller needs to do is stand out of the way and let the story speak. That’s true of the Christmas story. It’s also true of the story of our lives. Wednesday Sheryl […]

On keeping Christmas

Now is not the time to let down your guard. The Grinch who stole into town on Christmas Eve to steal Christmas was not the real threat. He was only a diversion. And he turned out to be a pretty ineffective one. It’s the other Grinch who is the real threat. You’ll remember that the […]

As Christmas approaches

What if the Chinese are the first to have meaningful contact with extraterrestrial life? That’s the question raised in an editorial I read recently. In the editorial, “first” meant “before the U.S.,” and the writer addressed economic and national defense concerns. His article reminded me of the classic spiritual adage – offered, I think, half […]

Time to get real

Do you like surprises? I do. I like to be surprised by the new and different and unexpected, by things that add a little zip to life. I also like those surprises to be safe. I don’t like surprises that threaten things I depend on. I shy away from surprises that destabilize things I count […]

Brief encounter

Today is Pentecost, a day we sometimes celebrate as the birthday of the church, but the church could have been born on any day, and it still might be. It’s a day in Luke’s account of things when a new incarnation of God appeared, and the Spirit of God that was once alive in the […]