You can’t rush Advent…or can you?

I know. It's counter intuitive. One shouldn't rush a season of waiting and anticipation, but it's 2020. Everything is different. I think the liturgical police can take a break this year. Advent officially begins on Sunday, but I've already dropped TWO Advent episodes of the Bible Stories for Big Kids podcast. (BTW: You're a big kid.) The first goes with the Narrative Lectionary scripture for the first Sunday of Advent. ...

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Celebrating at a Distance

Just like everything else in 2020, the holidays are going to be harder this year. Harder because we're not going to be able to celebrate the way we've always done it. Because of health concerns, traveling restrictions and local ordinances about group gatherings, our large, crowded table celebrations will have to be put on hold. This has been the year to realize that the ties that bind us are not ...

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We See You and Celebrate You This Pride Month

We see you and we celebrate youWe see the good you doWe see the love you shareWe see the people you serve We hear the names people call youNames that we do not recognize or publicize, lest we legitimizeFor those names don’t define you We know you by one nameBeloved Child of GodCreated in God’s own image We don’t pretend to know your painBut when you hurt, we hurt, tooWe may not walk in ...

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Talking with Your Kids About Holy Week

Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday with Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Things quickly take a downturn and we move to the tragedy of the cross and then on to the triumph of the empty tomb. Holy Week can get dicey. There's no way around it. The miracle of the empty tomb and the Risen Lord don’t have much meaning unless you travel through Good Friday and witness the crucifixion. ...

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The Misunderstood InnKeeper

I have gotten a bad rap. I’m not even in Luke’s version of the nativity story and yet, in Christmas pageant after Christmas pageant for the last 2000 years, I’m made out to be the bad guy. I mean, I’m no Herod, but still…I don’t come off looking good. Somehow, I became the guy who turned poor Joseph and great-with-child Mary away from the inn so that her baby had to ...

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One Surprised Angel

Even if he were the most devoted and dedicated angel in all of heaven, Gabriel must have been taken by surprise The Almighty, Immortal, Omnipotent God of all Creation Was going to become one of those frail, fallible, fearful humans. Before Gabriel could decide if he had heard correctly, God springs another surprise. Gabriel must go to the backwater town of Nazareth And tell a poor, peasant teenager that she is to ...

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Think You Hate Christmas Music?

Find traditional Christmas music grating, irrelevant or just plain silly? I've never been a fan of separating music in to sacred and secular categories--particularly at Christmas. What better time to be reminded that the holy and the human are inextricably intertwined? I think all (most?) music can be sacred if it touches your heart, reveals to you a universal truth, expands your understanding of God and God's people or just ...

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No Direct Flight to Bethlehem

It's the second Sunday of Advent. The time is drawing nigh. Houses are being decorated. Christmas cards are being addressed. Menus are being planned. Cantatas and children's pageants are being rehearsed. Budgets are starting to strain, and nerves are beginning to frazzle. We swore last year that we wouldn’t do it again. We would not spend our weekends and evenings elbowing through crowds or driving around in the rain searching ...

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10 Things Not To Say at Thanksgiving

Make your holiday a happy one. Based on my experience and extensive research, here are the top 10 questions to avoid this Thanksgiving Day. So, what do you think about the impeachment hearings? When are you two getting married?When are you having kids/another kid/trying for a boy/girl? (basically stay away from all talk of people's sex lives and reproductive choices)Do you have a job yet? Or the related: When are you ...

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