Christmas Presence Dec25

Christmas Presence

We just finished watching Home Alone, a Christmas tradition. If you haven’t seen it in a while, please allow me to refresh your memory. Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin, is a pint-sized troublemaker, the youngest of five children in a house teeming with relatives all preparing to...

Carol Singing as ‘Weapon’ Dec23

Carol Singing as ...

I landed in Hong Kong last week — just hours after the clearing of the last remaining pro-democracy protest camp. I think I’d have joined in the protest sites for a bit had the timing worked out — but I am not sure I approve of the latest mutation of the pro-democracy movement in Hong...

Anxiously Advent-ly Waiting Dec22

Anxiously Advent-ly ...

I appreciate the season of Advent – not just for the joy of Christmas parties, decorations, carols, eggnog, gift-giving and receiving, and celebrating the holiday with family and friends, but also for the longing and anticipation that comes with the Advent season. I’m grateful being...

Don’t Kill the Baby Jesus Dec12

Don’t Kill the...

My uncle is a pastor. A few years ago, on Christmas day after sharing an enormous meal and opening all our presents, I asked him what he had thought of our Christmas service.  His reply stuck with me.  “It was good, other than the fact that they crucified the baby Jesus. You...

A Dinosaur and Baby Jesus Dec27

A Dinosaur and Baby ...

This year, my wife and I had the pleasure of participating in the Christmas Eve services for the first time at our new church in Berkeley.  We were originally planning on attending just one service, until one the pastors asked me if I was willing to be crowd control for the Family Service. I...

Ten Reasons Why I HATE Santa and You Should Too Dec25

Ten Reasons Why I HA...

About the author: Lindsey has a BA in Sociology from Cedarville University and a MA in Education (math) from the University of Colorado.  After having taught 5th grade for four years, she currently stays at home and spends her days wrangling three toddlers while anxiously waiting for the...

Christmas Eve Beyond Christmas Dec24

Christmas Eve Beyond...

I think it has somewhat become a habit if not a tradition for me around this time of year to check on the Internet to make sure I remember correctly that ‘the Twelve Days of Christmas’ refer to the 12 days starting from the actual Christmas day until Epiphany — normally after getting...

The Word Became Baby Dec14

The Word Became Baby

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” (Luke 2:6-7 NIV) “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We...

Christmas in Sandy Hook Dec13

Christmas in Sandy H...

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the devastating Sandy Hook shooting, when Adam Lanza opened fire on Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 children and 7 adults before taking his own life. A year ago, the news was filled with memorials and tributes, tears and laments, as our nation...

Timely Truth Dec12

Timely Truth

The seminary where I spent a formative two years had a big, customizable sign out in front, the kind you see outside of a lot of churches. These signs are usually changed periodically, usually to announce a sermon topic or share a groan-worthy humorous aphorism. Our sign never changed; it...

Experiments in Advent Dec11

Experiments in Adven...

On Sunday we lit the second Advent candle in church, which means I’ve been observing Advent for the first time as an adult for about a week and a half. I’m pretty sure you need to practice this tradition for years to be able to really sink down into the season and begin to glimpse the...