Redemption Draws Near

(The Year is a series of occasional reflections on the Sundays and Holy Days of the church calendar, featuring scripture readings from the Revised Common Lectionary.) Readings: Jeremiah 33:14-16| Psalm 25:1-10 | 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 | Luke 21:25-36  “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by…

The Good King

(The Year is a series of occasional reflections on the Sundays and Holy Days of the church calendar, featuring scripture readings from the Revised Common Lectionary.) Readings: Daniel 7:9-14 | Psalm 93 | Revelation 1:4b-8 | John 18:33-37 To him was given dominion and glory and kingship,that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him.His dominion is an…

The Lent Trap

Lent. Otherwise known quite often in my mind as six weeks without soda–or something like that. Oh, it starts off well enough. The first few days I’m really into it. I go to my church’s early morning Ash Wednesday service. I’m reading the scriptures, prayers, and devotions of the season. I’m challenged by fasting from…

Advent is Not Christmas

The season of Advent is directly related to the season of Christmas, but it is not Christmas. Christmas itself begins Christmas Day and lasts for twelve days, followed by the also-related season of Epiphany. Often, we confuse Advent for Christmas itself. It’s easy to do with manger scenes, Christmas trees, festivities, and such things. There’s certainly…

How Advent Saved Christmas

I hate Christmas. The stress, the materialism, the consumerism, the deception, and the overall empty, kitschy, humanist messages unsettle me. Then came Advent.

Why Christmas is for Tragedy

When we forget that the child born in a lowly manger is our triumphant king who undoes this present darkness, we can easily be overwhelmed by the darkness.

The Darkness and Light of Advent

The sun doesn’t shine as bright this time of year, but the malls absolutely glisten. We are entering what is known in our contemporary culture as the “Christmas season”… However, in the ancient traditions of the Church, this time of year has a completely different vibe.

Holy Monday

On Monday, Jesus, after cursing a fig tree for not producing fruit, re-enters Jerusalem and raises quite the ruckus in the temple.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday beings Passion Week (or Holy Week). The primary event the day commemorates is Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem on the Sunday before he was crucified.

Passion Week

Tomorrow, Palm Sunday, beings Passion Week (or Holy Week) in the Western Christian calendar. I will be blogging through the week, reflecting on the significance of the days, the ways broader Christianity commemorates this week, and particularly how it has been expressed in artwork.