Monthly Archives: December 2012

  • Christmas 2012

    Today we are still thinking about Christmas.

    Merry Christmas! Sounds funny to read that, doesn’t it? Aren’t I a little late to the party? I’m writing this on 12/26/12 and you will read it on 12/30. Isn’t this a time to say something like, “Happy New Year?” Today (12/26) I had to make a few stops at some retail stores and the bank. You know, deposit some Christmas checks and return some of the gifts I didn’t want, grr, I mean, that didn’t fit. Seriously, though, I bought myself a watch that Andria didn’t like, and after I looked at it a second time, she was right. A diamond Rolex is a little over the top for a pastor. No, no. It was a watch with two pistols on it that said, Montana. TMI, I know. The other was a fluted … Read More »

  • Advent, part 4

    The older I get the more I am amazed at how quickly time passes. Once again I can’t believe that Christmas is so close. But it has not always been like this for me. When I was a kid it seemed like Christmas was never going to come. The waiting and anxiety were almost painful. I remember Christmas Eve being particularly taxing. It was hard to fall asleep. All I wanted was for Christmas to come.

    By celebrating Advent and waiting until Christmas to celebrate Christmas we say to the world that we cannot and we will not be conformed to your liturgy.

    While not exactly a one-to-one correspondence, this is how we should feel during Advent. During Advent we experience the promise and fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan in the person and incarnation of Jesus. During Advent we look forward, too; … Read More »

  • Advent, part 3

    Last week we considered the way that our cultural calendars are often at odds with the church calendar and how this is especially the case during Advent. And it is especially the case when we consider the theme of Advent which is repentance and preparation. Laurence Stookey calls it a, “little lent.” In support of this, the church has historically appealed to the ministry of John the Baptist who came to prepare the way for the birth of Christ. John’s message was fundamentally a message of repentance. Thus last week we prayed with the church,

    Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives … Read More »

  • Advent, part 2

    Living in a post-Christian world means that often our cultural calendars are in conflict with the church calendar. One such example of this happens every year after Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving most Americans begin to celebrate Christmas or the Christmas season as it is often called. You hear familiar carols in the mall, sales and advertising are in full swing, and gatherings of friends and families and co-workers abound. Then December 26 comes and all the decorations and Christmas talk are put away until next year. This is how we generally celebrate Christmas in our culture.

    This is not how the church celebrates Christmas. Christmas on the church calendar begins December 25 and runs for 12 days after that. Think here, “On the first day of Christmas my true-love gave to me…” Now you know where the 12 days of Christmas came … Read More »