How To Be A Wild-Haired Prophet

Imagine, if you will, yourself on the shores of the river Jordan. Down by the river is a man—long-haired, dressed in camel skin—yelling at the top of his lungs.

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…

Advent 4: The Reconciler

In the story of redemption, the grievance is from one direction and the reconciliation from the other.

Advent 3: Joy?

It’s easy to get depressed when circumstances don’t go as we plan. Happiness in wavering, though. What we must rest on is joy.

Advent 2: Peace

Year A Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10 | Psalm 72:1-19 | Romans 15:1-13 | Matthew 3:1-12 So, this post is a day late. That’s somehow fitting for an Advent post. I mean, the prophets and Jesus himself spoke of his second coming as a seemingly close event, but we’ve been waiting almost two thousand years. And while time beats…

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.

The Shadows of Advent

I have never been entirely comfortable with the bright colors and bouncy music that pervades the stores, radio stations, and even churches this time of year. Maybe it’s my own somewhat darker disposition, or maybe there is something about this season that is supposed to have a hint of darkness.