To close our reflections of Jesus’ family tree in preparation for Christmas, we looked at the last man in the family tree, Joseph. Somehow Joseph managed to get little to no publicity in spite of the fact that he was Jesus’ dad. Mary, the mother of Jesus, has received a lot of attention and rightfully […]Read more "The Family Tree 4: Joseph"
Have you ever met a person or group of people who inspired you to change your course in life? If you have, you know that choosing the different road can be exhilarating…and deeply unsettling. After the magi encountered Jesus, they chose a different road. In fact, encountering, believing and following Jesus means that we will walk a […]Read more "The Greatest Gift 4: By a Different Road"
I can’t help but wonder if Mary and Joseph and Jesus didn’t have much use for the gifts the magi brought–not that they were ungrateful, but they just weren’t used to such extravagance. That begs the question: What does Jesus want? A couple of Christmas song/poem writers pondered that question. I have not gift to […]Read more "The Greatest Gift: Jesus’ Wish (Christmas Eve)"
When you doing something wrong, what do you imagine about God (if you do at all)? Do you think God is mad? Wrathful? Disappointed? Hosea, a prophet we don’t usually look to around Christmas, gives us a glimpse of what God “feels.” (His context was the 8th century BC, so a little different time, but…) When God’s people […]Read more "The Greatest Gift 3: Love"
The world has a way of situating us underneath dark skies, telling us it’s meant to be that way, telling us it always will be. Standing underneath those clouds, we begin to see things in terms of impossible, impossible, impossible, impossible…We become stagnant, immobilized. Then, the Christmas story unsettles us. Because you have a person–Mary–who had dark, dark clouds […]Read more "The Greatest Gift 2: Under Cloudy Skies (Giving Up on Perfect)"
I was with my nephew as he experienced Home Alone for the first time recently. I was struck by how purely excited he seemed to be. I thought to my self, Man, I’d love to feel that again. But then I also thought, But we can’t stay there forever. In other words, we have to grow up. I mean, we […]Read more "The Greatest Gift 1: Expecting & Accepting"