Waiting for the Messiah

Advent is a time of waiting. And it is the time leading up to the celebration of Jesus’ birth. This might create the mistaken impression that Advent is time when we sit around waiting for the Messiah to be born. That’s not it. Though we are waiting for the Messiah. Advent is a time when […]

“Joy to the World”

Long time readers of my blogservations about the world will know that Joy to the World is one of the two approved Christmas carols. It is a song that celebrates the arrival of the great king that the earth has needed, and lacked, since almost the very beginning. God creates humanity to rule the world […]

Advent and the End of Exile

Matthew begins his narrative with quite the gripping tale. If it takes well-meaning, would-be readers of the Old Testament several weeks before they get mired in seemingly jumbled laws and endless genealogies, it takes their New Testament counterparts all of ten seconds. Jesus is the son of David, the son of Abraham–and we get 20+ […]

Advent Love

If there’s one thing that everyone seems to agree about, it’s that ethics are rooted in love. At a party this weekend at my parents’ house, I had a chance to talk with a man who is a self-described “seeker.” He loves to study religions, all religions. He loves Eastern and Western. He has seen […]


“When Jesus said, ‘Love your enemy,’ he probably meant don’t kill them.” The bumper sticker puts things starkly. It undermines political pretensions to go to war in the name of Jesus. But the question circles back around: to what extent can a Christian ethic such as, “Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute […]

Advent Reflections

Tomorrow, Advent begins. We all love Advent. The kids, especially. I can get into the candles and their themes, their light shining in our darkness. And, most of all, I can appreciate the way that a period of focused preparation makes the Christmas celebration itself much more rich. It is only on rare occasion that […]