Reading Colossians for Christmas

For the last few months I’ve been studying Ephesians, Philemon, and Colossians, wending my way back and forth between the books in several different settings.  I got mired in Colossians in the weeks leading up to and beginning the Advent season, which turns out to have been a fantastic thing! I’ve been enthusiastic about Colossians…

Advent Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday is over, but there’s still a lot to be thankful for: a light dusting of snow Christmas lights Christmas music Advent hope, for now and for the future flannel sheets laughter fair trade coffee at Aldi people’s generosity laundry (even if I may complain about having to wash it or fold it…

Advent Hope

Christian hope, the spirit that dominates the Advent/Christmas season, is not reserved merely for some splendid future yet to come.  It is much more than an otherworldly matter, a promise of heavenly reward after death.  Jesus does not ask us to wait until later, until the end for help and healing.  Hope is the good…

Christmas gifts

I just finished my Christmas shopping yesterday and am working on my last handmade gift.  Hooray! If you’re still working on getting the right presents for all the people on your list, here are a few suggestions (updated slightly from last year’s version of this post). Fairly-traded items For unique gifts with an international flair,…

Advent thanksgiving

In addition to the little booklet from the Misioneros Salesianos that I’ve been reading through this Advent season, I’ve also got a small leaflet from World Vision with four reflections written by their staff around the world. Here’s the third one: Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. …

Light in the darkness

It’s already the third week of Advent, and time continues to fly… I’d like to take a moment today and go back to a reading for the first Sunday of Advent.  It had a message that I needed to hear that day, and considering the events of this week, it bears re-reading. Preparation: Let’s not…

Advent: Re-focusing…

…be still and know that I am God… It seems like I was just here, but how quickly my focus wanders and I forget that this season is not.about.what.I’m.doing. Not about cookies that get burned (or don’t get baked), not about finding the perfect present or singing the right songs or cards that aren’t mailed……

Advent: Getting ready to give!

If you’re still working on getting the right presents for all the people on your list, here are a few suggestions. Fairly-traded items For unique gifts with an international flair, you might try something from one of these online fair trade retailers or from a local store in your community that offers fair trade products….

Thoughts on a Friday

Annunciation by John Donne Salvation to all that is nigh; That All, which always is All every where, Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear, Lo, faithful Virgin, yields himself to lie In prison, in thy womb; and though he there Can take no sin, nor thou give, yet he will wear Taken…

Advent: Keeping Christmas

Recently, a friend of mine who comes from a different faith tradition, asked if I do anything special during Advent.  I didn’t really know what to say, but later I realized that much of what I take for granted about this season, might not be so obvious to everyone.  So, here’s my answer to the…

Thoughts on a Friday

If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we would cast the gift of a lovely thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels must give. –George MacDonald

Advent: Staying focused in a season of distractions

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility… From the Collect for the First Sunday of Advent in the Book of Common Prayer