First Candle of Advent

With Christians around the world, we use this light to help us prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of God’s Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we receive God’s light as we hear the words of the prophet Isaiah: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived [Read More...]

Christmas Morn

On the eve of our Christmas celebration, Jesus’ birthday, we light all of the candles of the Advent wreath. First we light the candle for HOPE because Jesus is our hope. Second, we light the candle for PEACE because Jesus is our hope and peace. Third, we light the candle for JOY because Jesus brings [Read More...]

Christmas Readings

Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born [this day] of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom [Read More...]

Good News – God Cannot Be Contained (RJS)

Many today try to put religion in its place, controlled and contained, tolerated as long as it doesn’t impinge on fact or science. (Image source) Stephen Jay Gould gave as the first commandment of NOMA “Thou shalt not mix magisteria by claiming that God directly ordains important events in the history of nature by special [Read More...]

Fourth Advent Candle

Today we relight the first three candles of the Advent Wreath — the candles of HOPE, PEACE and JOY. Now we light the fourth candle of Advent. This is the candle of LOVE. Jesus demonstrated self-giving love in his ministry as the Good Shepherd. Advent is a time for kindness, thinking of others, and sharing [Read More...]

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, That your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; Who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. BCP [Read more...]

Little Town, Tiny King: An Advent Reflection

Little Town, Tiny King (by John Frye) Imperial power, unwitting accomplice Of ancient promises tucked in Jewish scrolls, Arranged the birth of the tiny King and Edict sealed its own imperial doom. Israel’s hope, tempered by shameful exile, Fragmented by competing causes to escort God’s curious kingdom home, Got lost in causes and missed the [Read More...]

The Honey of Hope (Josh Graves)

I’m in my eighth year of leading a local church through the Advent Season. It has become–both communally and personally–the most meaningful part of the spiritual calendar. There’s something piercing about the cold, the candles, and repetition of The Magnificat. My new-found love for the Advent season is also the result of being the father [Read More...]

Christmas as Propaganda

In a series I am doing with others at Patheos, I thought I’d share the insight of Billy Kangas on the Christmas narrative in Luke 2 as “political propaganda.” Don’t let the word “propaganda” distract you. Here’s his set of ideas: 3. The Story of Jesus Birth was Propaganda (and that’s awesome) Luke opens his [Read More...]

Luke’s Counter-Cultural Christmas Story (Paul Penley)

Luke’s Counter-Cultural Christmas Story: Jesus’ path to peace and joy By Paul T. Penley Was Jesus born to save us from this world or bring peace to the earth? Luke’s counter-cultural Christmas story answers this question. What a Birth Means to a Mom For many of us the story of our birth doesn’t answer questions about [Read More...]