Showing posts from December, 2015

Great Joy! (aka, Do not be afraid!)

Isaiah 9;2,6-7 Luke 2:1-20 Do not be afraid . That is the most often used phrase in the bible. Fear not! It’s what angels say every time they come to tell someone what God is up to. It’s what God tells the prophets, and tells the prophets to tell the people; it’s what Jesus says to his disciples, Don’t be afraid! I suspect it’s the thing most often said when heaven meets earth because here on earth, it’s the thing we most need to hear. From a human vantage point, there is a lot to fear—a lot that feels big, and scary. The world feels shaky and distressing right now.   Globally. Politically. Socially. Economically. Geo-thermally.   And that doesn’t even begin to touch the anxiety about what happens inside our own bodies, minds, hearts or homes.   Everywhere you look, it seems, there is something we could be afraid of. And if we wanted to give in to the fear, it’s easy to do - it’s right here, tapping us on the shoulder, ready to whisper an ominous “boo” in our fac

Witness of Wonder

These videos taken together make up Luke 1:5-25, 57-80.   From Alt Advent, by Jon Birch. Luke 1:1-4 says, "Since many people have already applied themselves to the task of compiling an account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, using what the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed down to us, I too, after having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, have decided to write a carefully ordered account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so that you may have confidence in the soundness of the instruction you have received." In other words,  Here is where the story of God coming to be with us begins, lover of God. There once was this old priest in the hill country… Zechariah.   He doesn’t show up on Christmas eve.   He barely makes an appearance every three years or so in our Advent texts.   You and I would most likely agree that he’s not really central to the story. But Luke begins with him. Luke starts th

Where the light is

Oh, friends.  More death. More violence. And our tender hearts can barely take it.   Anger, sadness, confusion, despair.   It’s all swirly and urgent and raw. But I want to tell you a story. Yesterday was Maisy's Baptism Day.  The anniversary of the moment eight years ago when she grabbed the pastor's lapel mic in both chubby hands and wailed into it with gusto while water was poured over her and the truth about her was declared: Beloved. Child of God.  All day yesterday she wore this awareness like a gossamer garment - regal and peaceful, a secret happiness.   Beloved. Child of God.  S lipping from my car and marching into school, she kept this reality inside, curled around it to warm her throughout the day. When she got home that afternoon, she found a gift dropped off by her godmother sometime during the day.  It was a tiny fairy garden in a clear, glass basket, complete with a smiling gnome, a red, spotted mushroom and a miniature black horse, with a stri