I confess that its December 16th, and our Christmas tree isn’t decorated yet. It’s up, and the rest of our decorations are in place. I even put lights up outside for the first time in recent memory. But the tree still stands there naked as a jaybird. We are hoping to get to it tomorrow. I confess that we’ve been hoping this for awhile.
I confess that I have paused my Breaking Bad binge-watching for several reasons. First, I can’t watch this show at night. I get started and can’t stop… too much going on in my life to watch a tv show until 1:30 in the morning – especially when I’m this late to the party. The other reason is that I’m not interacting with anyone about the show. Most of my friends who like the show were current. It’s sort of an old conversation for them.
I confess that a bunch of folks from our church went Caroling in our church’s neighborhood last night. The idea was to do something nutty and fun that might make the neighborhood a more lively and enjoyable place to live. I confess that out of all of the houses we approached (maybe a dozen or so), about half of the people would peek out the window, hear the singing and then go hide. Seriously they’d just leave 25 of us standing on the lawn singing without opening the door to acknowledge us. Once while we were a couple houses away, we saw a resident peek out of their door. They took one look at the group, turned off their porch light, then all the lights in the house went dark. It was pretty funny. A handful of people knew that social convention in that situation is come out and listen and play along with the goofiness of it all. These folks made it worth while.
I confess that I’m reading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Bully Pulpit right now. The book is a kind of mash-up of biography and history that focuses on Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and key journalists of the era, especially those associated with McClure’s Magazine. Kearns Goodwin is brilliant not only for her writing, but for her ability to chose a time to write about, and people to write about who are eminently relevant our own time. In this case, the reason these characters are so relevant is that they were all highly involved in bringing about economic regulation of corporations. This was the era when laissez-faire capitalism was exposed as a destructive force. The story of this era makes the case for why power and wealth cannot concentrate in the hands of a few: such concentration is a threat to the health of any society. It’s also relevant because it tells the story of a time when journalism was a noble thing. Investigative reporting wasn’t about exposing sexual escapades. It was about explaining difficult issues to the masses in a creative and effective way. These writers were dubbed Muckrakers. They believed that they had a sacred obligation to investigate injustices and explain them carefully to the public. I confess that it seems to me like journalism has been inexorably changed over the years.
I confess that I made good progress toward my writing deadline last week. I completed both an introduction and a conclusion and worked through all of my assigned edits. I confess that I really like the new introduction – I think it works. I confess that I don’t feel nearly as confident about the conclusion. I’m trying to write something that is practical but not pragmatic. It’s not an easy needle to thread.
I confess that I am teaching a seminary class first time this coming January, and I’m a bit nervous about it. I’m co-teaching with my friend Mike King. He’s taught this course quite a few times before, so that helps me to have a little confidence. I confess that my tendency to over-prepare for things like this could weigh on my ability to rest over the holidays.
I confess that I believe there is no way that Jesus was white. St. Nicholas was obviously Greek, which means that he probably looked like Zach Galifianakis. I confess that I think someone really needs to make a Christmas movie with Zach Galifianakis playing Santa.
Speaking of Zach Galifianakis, I confess that I didn’t like The Hangover; not even a little bit.
I confess that I like the movie Fred Claus.
Okay friends… I made my confession. Time for you to make yours!