When is Christmas Over?

Many years ago, there were societies which celebrated twelve days of Christmas. Prior to Christmas, Advent was observed in solemn ways similar to the austerities of Lent and was a time for repentance and preparing oneself spiritually for the coming of the Christ Child. But on Christmas Day, all that… Continue reading

A Franciscan Advent/Christmas Meditation

St. Francis was responsible for the first living creche. He wanted the peasants of his day to know the love of God in a very intimate and profound way. Francis reasoned that they could approach God more easily in a tiny baby than in the regal and overpowering images found… Continue reading

John 3:16; 1:43-46; 1:14 “Are You Ready for Christmas?”

Are you ready for all the feelings of worthlessness to melt away in the glory of God’s love poured out for you? Are you ready to realize from the inside out and in the deepest recesses of your heart and soul that rather than being “nobody’s nothing,” you are a precious, unique child of God whose worth has been sealed forever by sacrificial love? Are you prepared to embrace the identity you already possess in the eyes and heart of God? And are you willing to recognize that such an identity is the birthright of each and every person in this world? If you are ready to know who you really are, then you are ready for Christmas. Continue reading

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 “The Hand of God on the Shoulder of a Troubled World”

The third Sunday of Advent often focuses on joy. Laughter motivated by unadulterated joy can indeed be the hand of God on the shoulder of a troubled world. Such laughter is a gift from God, a gift that we need in a world of terrorism and violence, estrangement and bigotry, greed and lies. Continue reading

Proclamation for Advent

Our term “gospel” comes from the Anglo-Saxon words for “glad tidings.” The Greek term in the New Testament for gospel literally means the “good news” which comes to people announcing a significant and most happy event. Roman emperors used the term in their imperial propaganda to announce all the good… Continue reading

Jeremiah 6:13-14 “On the Tiptoe of Expectation”

This standing on tiptoe reminds us that Advent is about expectation, not passive waiting. Advent is related to our word “adventure,” and there is nothing passive about an adventure. Adventurous expectation, as Presbyterian minister Marc Mullinax reminds us, posts a vigilant watch and prepares for that which is promised. God’s reign can break in at any time, and it is our sacred duty to prepare for a God-shaped destiny.  Continue reading