Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.
I can count on one hand the number of times I have spent Christmas in my own home as an adult. We have shared that day with grandparents and other family. In a pre-Amazon era, we hid presents among the luggage and spent those days on the road just like Joseph and Mary. But of course I knew that my bed was there to welcome me when it was all over.
A barn with cattle and horses is the place to begin Christmas. After all, that’s where the original event happened, and that same smell was the first air that the Christ Child breathed.—Paul Engle
It is probably fair to say that those candle shops that do a big business at Christmas don’t have candles that smell like barns. Before anyone goes on the offensive, I have been around enough barns to know that a farmer worth his or her salt keeps a clean barn. Engle does make the point that the rarified air of our elaborate nativity ...
It’s a complicated time, a time of deep mystery as all of life is gathered in and prepares to live in the cold reality that we’re not there yet, pilgrims. So we continue to watch and pray.
Unlike the treacle of a consumer culture's idea of Christmas, we preach the truth of a rustic story where God shows up as a little light in the messy darkness.
Advent is here – the days of preparation for the birth of the Christ child. The root word in Latin for Advent is advenire, which means to arrive. Interestingly, it is the same root word for adventure – to venture.
Where is the sense of adventure in this liturgical season?
“If I showed up at a church, the walls would probably fall in.” That is, unfortunately, how many unchurched people feel about intersecting with the church. It is their way of saying: My life is too messed up for me to have a place in the church. In Luke 5, the disciples were eating and drinking with tax collectors and those whom the religious community regarded as sinners. The Pharisees thought the disciples should stay with “their own kind,” but Jesus responded: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32) In other words, it’s the very ones who think their lives are too messed up for Jesus who are the ones Jesus invites to share a meal with him.