I watched the full moon cover mundane scenes with its glow. Isn't this what Advent is about?
Christmas is a great time to resist the lure of the western Christian tradition that domesticates the story of Jesus so much so that it is no longer an unsettling force and reality in our society.
I was raised in an ecumenical church community affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. When I later joined a Mennonite church, where many members were not raised with the church calendar, I became a bit of an Advent purist. Maybe a lot of one.
I went to church full of dread after the recent terrorist attacks. Worship included dedicating a new pipe organ. Was it appropriate to be celebrating in the midst of the hatred and fear?
In the 12th century, a Benedictine nun had a vision of Jesus’ humanity. It couldn’t have happened on a better night.
Thanksgiving is over in post-Ferguson America, and it can’t come too soon. A national celebration of country, family and freedom from want follows on the heels of protests, frenzied media, and the deployment of the National Guard over the failure of a grand jury to indict a police officer over the shooting of 18-year old Michael Brown. In an America deeply divided over race and debate over individual character vs. systems, bad apples vs. rigged games, the long dawn of Advent has begun. Thank God.
My family celebrates Christmas with a mix of Jesus and Santa Claus. But there is one story we don't tell.
It’s an odd year for my family. My parents, 88 and 89, have lived rich and full lives, and my husband, children and I have shared holidays large and small with them. But this year they are confined to rooms in a nursing home.
Several years ago I received from a parishioner a "Jesus Is the Reason for the Season" cookie tin. Every time I reached for a piece of Doris's divinity, I had to read that cheery-angry motto of Christian moralism.