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…

For the Eve of Christ the King

On Good Friday, one man knew Jesus was a king: the condemned thief dying right beside him. Jesus was mocked by Romans, rejected by Jews, and abandoned by his own disciples that day. But for a man at the end of his rope, the only hope was in Jesus being the king he claimed to be.

Entertaining Angels

Several governors and other politicians in the United States, many of whom tout their “Christian values” and this as a “Christian nation,” have said that we should take no Syrian refugees because one such refugee was amongst the many terrorists who recently attacked Paris. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of refugees are fleeing Syria. They are…

Liturgical Leanings

Occasionally, seeing how other brothers and sisters in Christ have celebrated and pointed themselves to the gospel over the centuries can enrich our experience of that same gospel all the more

On Going to Seminary

I graduated from seminary almost four years ago now. I still live in the city where my seminary is, and I even work full-time at the school. Because of this, I’m able to talk with a lot of current students and my fellow alumni. I’ve noticed some common threads that weave through these discussions and…

Ghosts

“There are more things in heaven and on earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in our philosophy.” – Hamlet (William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act 1, scene 5) It’s a phenomenon at least as old as written history. You’re alone in a house, and yet you don’t feel alone. You see a shadow, or perhaps a strange reflection…

The Artist-Pastor Identity Crisis, Part 2

I was talking with a coworker recently. An English major when he was in college who loves writing stories and reading Dostoevsky, he is now studying at the seminary in order to hopefully plant a church overseas someday. We spoke of stories we liked and environments that seemed to inspire us, like gothic buildings and…

The Magic Places

As children, I think we need these places. We need places where dangers lurk, mysteries lie beneath the surface, and doorways to other worlds wait to be discovered.

The People of the Church

Today at church, I sat behind a friend who was part of my first community group at Sojourn, over six years ago now. Beside me sat a friend whose baptism and membership interviews I did two years ago when I was an intern. On my way out of the service, I met a man who is…