Showing posts from December, 2009

What Child Is This?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. He was in the beginning with God. 3. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4. in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 6. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13. who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh o

Christmas Blessings!

May God bless you with God's presence and may you and your family experience God's Peace and Joy this Christmas season. Painting by HeQui

Some thoughts on Advent IV - The Magnificat

What is your favorite Christmas Carol? On the 4th Sunday of Advent we focus on Mary. Mary was a young peasant girl, living in a small village, but yet she is chosen by God to be the mother of God’ son, Jesus. She was taking a great risk, but yet she responds with openness to God: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your will.” Shortly after this event with the angel (in the church we call this the Annunciation) Mary goes to visit her elderly cousin Elizabeth, who is also pregnant with John the Baptist (this is called the Visitation). When Mary arrives Elizabeth is overcome with joy and welcomes Mary with humility. Mary responds to all of these truly extraordinary events by singing a song. My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior…. This song is called, in Latin, the Magnificat and is perhaps the greatest Christmas Carol ever. For in this song is an outline, or (to use a term from Borg and Crossan’s wonderful little bo

John - For Crying Out Loud - Thoughts in preparation for Advent III

Last week we met John the Baptist who emerges in the wilderness preaching repentance and preparing the way for the Messiah – Jesus.  I spoke last week of the fact that repentance is not an attitude but it is action.  The Greet word for repentance is METANOIA and it literally means to go in a different direction. Frederich Buechner defines repentance in his little book “Wishful Thinking” like this: To repent is to come to your senses… True repentance spends less time looking at the past and saying, “I’m sorry,” and more time looking towards the future and saying “WOW!” This week John is still in the wilderness and different groups of people are coming to him asking what they should do to affect repentance.  These groups are primarily those who are at the edges of society – those who their contemporaries, the Pharisees, would consider to be outside the circle of God’s people.  But for Jesus and for God there is no one who is outside.  God reaches out to all; God pursues al

Advent Ponderings.....

The Kingdom has come - now into our midst in Jesus - ALREADY!  But it has NOT YET come into our midst in its fullness.  Advent is a time to reflect on the coming of the Kingdom - ALREADY and NOT YET.  And to that I would like to point you below to two other blogs which have words which are definitely worth reading and considering.  These are both in their way (very different) prophetic words.  Please read the letter from High School senior Katelyn on the Pretty Good Lutheran blog below; and then I invite you to read the "Open Letter from Jesus to Christian America" from Frank Schaffer.  Warning - Dr. Schaffer does not pull any punches, but then - neither did Jesus. 

Check out this story at Pretty Good Lutherans....

Please click on the link and read this story. I think there is a lesson in here for all of us! As one of the comments noted, quoting Isaiah: "And a little child shall lead them." Student Losing Hope to Hypocrisy