Bonhoeffer on Christmas

Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed for plotting against Hitler, is in vogue today.  Much of what people are so excited about in his writings is simply Lutheran spirituality.  Michael Gerson writes a fine column about Bonhoeffer’s reflections from a Nazi prison on Christmas.  What Bonhoeffer is saying–the inversions, the paradoxes, the repudiation of power (of great interest in a postmodern apologetic)–is an application to Christmas of Luther’s theology of the Cross. [Read more…]

The third generation

For one millisecond somehow caught on camera, everyone was looking into the camera (except for the shepherd).




“Happy Federal Holiday”

A Florida professor is proposing in the name of inclusivity a season’s greeting that will be supremely politically correct and, I would add, a tribute to the new god of our day, from whom many people seek their every good:  “Happy Federal Holiday.” [Read more…]

Christmas and Vocation

One thing you learn from the doctrine of vocation is that the Christian life includes what we might describe as the secular.  The realm of “Christian” does not consist just of overtly devout exercises.  Rather, it also includes our lives in the family, the workplace, and the community.  This point also applies to how we celebrate Christmas.  We are surely right to complain when Jesus is left out of the celebration of His birthday, but those who complain about the secular observances–wanting it to be just a religious holiday celebrated in church, being irked that even non-Christians are celebrating it, and complaining about all of the presents–may be missing something about the scope of Christ’s reign and the nature of vocation. [Read more…]

The last day of Christmas

Today Christmas is finally over.   Traditionally, the holiday lasted 12 days, and this is the twelfth.  So call it twelve drummers drumming day.  Or, to use the historical term, Twelfth Night, which is not only the name of a very good play but was a time of revelry and merry making.  So I wish you a Merry Christmas one more time for the season and a Merry Twelfth Night tonight!

Or are you weary of celebrating, satiated with all of the holiday feasting and eager to get back to normal?  We sort of have extended the Christmas festivities through twelve days, what with New Year’s Day revels, plus throwing in a long weekend, as this year.  But Molly Hemingway proposes that we change the way we celebrate Christmas by spreading it out over all 12 days. [Read more…]

Keeping Christmas

Have a merry and a happy Christmas, everybody.  May you. . .

  • Keep “Christ” in Christmas
  • Keep the “mass” in Christmas (by going to church)
  • Keep the “holy” in holidays
  • Keep St. Nicholas, who battled for the deity of Christ at the Council of Nicea, in Santa Claus.
  • Keep the gift of God in your Christmas gifts.

Thanks to all of you readers and commenters for your support of this blog over the past year.  May God, who was born as a baby and became one of us,  give you the joy of this season and bless you throughout the new year and always.