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…]

Advent at The High Calling

Please click through right here to read my Advent article at The High Calling. At that site I ask what a church would look like if it permitted Advent to being the church’s story. I ask, What does an Advent-shaped church look like? What are Advent church-shaped spiritual disciplines? Advent is the beginning of the church [Read More…]

Third Advent Candle

Today we relight the first two candles of the Advent wreath. The candle of HOPE and the candle of PEACE. Now we light the third candle of Advent. This is the candle of JOY. As the coming of Jesus, our Savior, draws nearer, our joy builds with our anticipation of his birth. From the Book [Read More…]

Third Sunday of Advent

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen. [Read more…]

Impossible Odds

The message of Christmas is the message of Impossible Odds. Advent is the time of waiting for Christmas, for the incarnation of God in Christ, for the long-awaited hope of God’s kingdom, and for peace and justice and love and wisdom. But our longing often enough misses the Impossible Odds of what God was doing. [Read More…]

Christmas with Ann Voskamp

Some of you may not know Ann Voskamp, some of you adore her. Years ago I made contact with Ann through my blog and I have watched her blog and then widespread acceptance of her book One Thousand Gifts and I am happy to commend her Christmas book from last year called  The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping [Read More…]

Second Advent Candle

Today we relight the candle of HOPE. Now we light the candle for the second Sunday in Advent. This is the candle of PEACE. As we prepare for the coming of Jesus, we remember that Jesus is our hope and our peace. From the prophet Isaiah: “For a child has been born for us, a [Read More…]

Second Sunday of Advent

Merciful God, Who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now [Read More…]

Advent with Tim Spivey

This post is by Tim Spivey, pastor at New Vintage Church. I wasn’t raised in a tradition known for its robust celebration of Advent. We weren’t entirely anti-Christmas. Christmas itself was great—it just didn’t have a lot to do with Christianity, as we saw it. Over the years, my mind has completely changed on this. [Read More…]