COVID in Our Stockings

With Christmas happening this week, I found myself thinking about Jesus’s birth.  Caesar Augustus required that everyone travel to their home town for a census.  Rome would update taxation based on this census (and taxes rarely go down).  I imagine the average citizen thought, “You want me to make a long, expensive, dangerous journey so…

Lord of the Dance

“Lord of the Dance” is a hymn written by Sydney Carter in the 1960s and set to the Shaker tune, “Simple Gifts.” I have been unable to get it out of my head. For over a week, this song greets me when I get up and pops in my head throughout the day. Even when…

Babe of Bethlehem

About 20 years ago, my wife and I became acquainted with the music group, Nowell Sing We Clear. We were immediately struck with the way their lively music focused Christmas on Christ. Truly, they sing nowell clear. “Babe of Bethlehem” is one of their songs I’ve come to love because of its presentation of who…

Christmas Presence

The following appeared in our local paper this past weekend. It is a revision of a post previously published under the title, “Those Jell-o Loving Antichrists. *** Scripture tells us “God is love,” and that God’s love was most profoundly shown through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross (1 John 3:16, 4:16).  At one point in my…

Giving up Infinity

The story of my conversion appeared in our local paper this past weekend. It was adapted from a previous post. Merry Christmas! *** At Christmastime we celebrate the incarnation, when God became human in the person of Jesus. I cannot think of the incarnation without remembering the day I met Jesus. My freshman year at…

Riu Riu Chiu

Riu Riu Chiu is a 16th century Spanish Christmas carol I have enjoyed over the years. Its syncopated, dance-feel gets hands and feet tapping! Recently, I was reading the lyrics, and was struck afresh by their power. Protestant readers will have to overlook the Marian theology in the first two verses, but I think any…

The Nativity Within

I had the following article published in the religion column of our local paper last weekend. My original title was “The Nativity Within” but the paper re-titled it for whatever reason. The important thing is that I got to share Jesus! *** Happy New Year! I hope everyone is enjoying the shiny, new gifts they…

God with the Smelly and Beastly

With Christmas just past, I’ve been thinking about one of the names by which Jesus was announced: Immanuel, “God with us.” “God with us” was a prophetic name first uttered by Isaiah in a prophecy (Isaiah 7:14).  Matthew tells us Jesus fulfilled this prophetic appellation when he was born (Matt. 1:23). Jesus’s birth as a…

An Unexpected Christmas Greeting

The other day, as I was just waking up, I said, “Merry Christmas, Lord!”  It was a quirky thing to do.  I had never wished Jesus a merry Christmas.  The things one does when half-awake! Quite unexpectedly, the Lord replied!  He said, “I Am Christmas.”  True enough, right?  So a merry Christmas to all of…