Advent, Anticipation, Agnostic. Touch me — Let’s Give Birth to Ourselves, conjunto

a dark birth

Knowledge has always fascinated me.  How do we know, what do we know, how are belief patterns established?  What I am primarily interested in is knowledge (and the production of knowledge), not so much belief.  And so, in the spirit of the Christian Liturgical season of Advent (where there is a focus on hope, anticipation, and remembering that God was born of Mary), I say on this early Advent morning:  I just don’t know.  I don’t know that God was born.  I am not in anticipation, nor do I hope.   … [Read more...]

A Highway of Liberation: A #BlackLivesMatter Sermon for Advent

BlackLivesMatter

The past month has made it abundantly clear that black people in this country suffer the fate of the exiled: those who live in an Empire as conquered, imprisoned, displaced, and invisible to the dominant institutions of power. What does Isaiah’s prophecy to the exiles of his day have to say in our moment?Raymond Arsenault tells the following story in his book Freedom Riders: The Supreme Court had ruled against segregation in interstate travel and facilities, and yet no one had tested how t … [Read more...]

This Advent, Think Different. What Is GOD Waiting For?

be the change

It’s Advent again. This is the time, leading up to Christmas, when we reflect upon the thousand storylines of prophecy through the centuries that moved in solemn procession toward that One climactic event; the incarnation, the birth of Jesus. We reflect upon the convergence of those storylines culminating in this one Messianic babe. Every sacrifice, from Abel’s altar to the last Passover lamb before the Passion, paved the Messiah’s path. Often, during Advent we use this time to refle … [Read more...]

Jesus Did NOT Come To Save Your Sins

Baby Jesus

I used to know it all. I used to have it all figured out. I had answers for almost everything – including backup answers in case my first answer was insufficient. My “life-verse” was first Peter 3:15, which served as my motivation to “always be prepared to give an answer.”I used to be obsessed with knowledge. In fact, at times I would fall into despair if I came across a problem I could not figure out. I looked at external sources of knowledge (such as philosophy and science) as ways to bolst … [Read more...]

Christmas Eve, Incarnation, and Knowing Mary

"Church in the Moonlight" - Photo by Lisa DeWeese

The setting was perfection.  Large gothic sanctuary, slate floor, wooden pews with iron candle holders, a hundred soft flames gently illuminating the space. Christmas Eve and Maundy Thursday were the only services conducted by candlelight. The stunning chancel window glowed, Jesus with angels surrounding him, the Ascension. Hundreds of organ pipes framed the rose window in the back.  Timpani, brass, and the choir looked out high above the congregation.I used to wait the entire year for it.  T … [Read more...]

Sacred, Pregnant Waiting

Advent. This time of year has always been somewhat sacred to me.Despite the fact that I live in Minnesota, and I hate winter.Despite the fact that Christmas in the United States is pretty much just a celebration of consumerism.Despite the fact that I haven't identified with Christianity for quite some time.I think it's the mystery of it all. The unknown, the waiting for something that hasn't yet happened but is so palpable you can nearly taste it. This year, it is especially … [Read more...]

May Christmas be Filled with Mouse Poop and Camel Spit By Randy S. Woodley

StainedGlassNativity

In this cynical and snarky world in which we live, we are getting pretty good at diagnosing the problems in the world, sometimes even to the point of paralysis. We blog about them, we read about them, (many Christians today would like to read themselves into Heaven),we discuss what's wrong with the world and we even preach about them. Being informed is not a bad thing but it is often the only thing we do. Our Western worldview has come to equate knowledge with real spirituality. I would like to … [Read more...]

God the Father and Embryo

Pieter de Grebber, Father God c.1645

Advent suggests so many mysteries of God's patience. One rarely commented case is God as Father and embryo. It is extra Biblical so imagination can only begin to tell the bizarre tale. Gabriel's annunciation and appearance to Joseph begins the period of waiting and soul searching, but a remarkable gap exists in the Advent story.  Luke 1:56 makes this cursory remark as though it would suffice:Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home. Presumably the second … [Read more...]

Tragic loss of children, birth of a child…redemptive hope-filled imagination.

N

No matter where I seem to go this Christmas I can't seem to get out of the emotional storm and the long dark shadows that seem to diminish any hope of light. The mass murder of children; fragile life, hope filled life in the midst of a broken world snuffed out in minutes. And now in the wake of the aftershocks that reverberate through the midst of humanity...people point in all directions for why.But reality stares them in the face, profoundly it does not seem to see it. A nation whose … [Read more...]

Optional Advent

adv-con-banner_2

This being the season of Advent; I think it’s worth taking a moment to identify what the word “Advent” means. The word carries the following meanings:  the arrival of, the coming of, the emergence of.  The question is, “of what?”  What needed to arrive? What needed to emerge? What needed to come?  The easy answer is Jesus. But the deeper answer is, and always has been, Emmanuel - God with us!Let’s begin with “God with us”. With us! Who does that include? Does it include only those that unders … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X