God Chooses the unexpected

She turned out not to be one of the bookies favourites, indeed no-one had heard of her. She wasn’t someone glamourous or famous from the capital city who was chosen, but a very ordinary woman from an obscure northern town. Well I’m talking about Mary the mother of Jesus who turned out to be the mother of the long awaited Messiah, but I could have also been talking about the Revd Libby Lane, the person who is about to become the first female Bishop in the Church of Eng … [Read more...]

Jesus Did NOT Come To Save Your Sins

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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...]

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

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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

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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...]

The 11th Day of Christmas…A Prophetic Vision of Peace

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. -- Isaiah 11:6Maybe I should have known, but it occurred to me a few years ago that the Christmas decoration Pete Peterson made with a lion and a lamb and the word PEACE might be obscure for some folks. Many people, Christians and otherwise, recognize the guy with the red suit. Folk know to expect greenery, garlands and bows. … [Read more...]

It Was A Night Around Christmas

Since the first Christmas was likely in April it won’t be too inappropriate for this to be a few days late. After all, it is called a night “around” Christmas. (Spoken to the cadence of "T'was The Night Before Christmas" duh!)It was a night around Christmas, in a crowded old caveWith camels and horses and cattle she laidKnocked up by the Spirit, baby daddy besidePsycho girl in some trouble, or maybe she lied No time for a cleaning, no time for midwifeThe stable wa … [Read more...]

The Magi Myth

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I have no real problem with believing that actual Magi saw a funky astrological phenomenon and found a Jewish baby a few years later. I don’t deny that supernatural things like that can happen.I also don’t have a problem with the story in Matthew 2 being midrashic.I spent most of my life wanting the story to be historical. For some reason this year I want it to be mythic. We are hungry for myth. History is great for telling us who we were and why we are the way we are. Myth is better for … [Read more...]

Christmas…a revolution birthed in pain

" Silent night, Holy night...all is calm, all is bright ", every christmas we sing this carol. Usually candles in hand, flickering flames dancing on the walls like some angelic visitation. And we reflect on the birth of the God-child. Having two daughters and being present for both of their entrances into this world, I recall vividly it was anything but silent. Despite the pre-natal and birthing classes when the moment came, calmness and a plan were abandoned...for what ever works. Me standing … [Read more...]

Mary’s Song

The community I am part of in Minneapolis, Solomon's Porch, is fortunate to have musicians who create the soundtrack of our community.I wanted to share one of our Christmas songs as an encouragement and an offering for any communities to use as they see fit.The people pictured in the video are the creators and performers.The text is from the first chapter of Luke when Mary receives the message from the angels about her pregnancy. … [Read more...]

Incarnational or Missional?

During this season of Advent, I've been reflecting a lot on the idea of incarnation — specifically, these words from author and activist Parker Palmer: "The Christmas story is ... about God taking the risk of showing up in the flesh, and all that comes with it. I think that's a risk that we're all called to — the risk of incarnation, the risk of embodying our values and beliefs, the risk of manifesting our identity and integrity in the world, the risk of being fully human. And it's … [Read more...]


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