Ever since our first parents left the Garden of Eden, we have carried with us a sad and quiet longing for home. The distance was too great for us to find our way back to God; being home, really Home for Christmas, was possible only in our dreams.
Who knows how long it took for Zechariah’s name to be drawn in the Priest on Duty lottery? I’ve seen some research that suggests this might have been the only time Zechariah ever got to personally go into the Holy Place and perform the sacred rituals to lead God’s people in prayer. And then an angel shows up. His prayers have been heard? Now, after all this time?
I kind of like all the preparations this season of the year brings: planning party menus, shopping for presents, making travel plans, deciding not to send out Christmas cards again this year because we started too late.… You know, all the normal hustle and bustle that go to make the season right… read more
Martin Luther once said, “Where the Church is, there is hospitality.” To be the people of God is to extend God’s acceptance and welcome not only to the people we know and like, but to the stranger and the exile. We have acceptance; we have eternal welcome; we, who were once foreigners and enemies, have been made part of the family.
And now the God of Christmas and Incarnation sends us out to incarnate Christmas, to be a word of divine acceptance and welcome to a strange and foreign world…. read more
I remember, like I was there, the wind coming off the Red Sea, the smell of dust and fear in the air, the sound of Egypt’s infamous chariots getting louder, the grumbling of recent slaves, and the clear voice of Moses: “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14, NIV)… read more
As part of their training for geriatric care, local nursing students have to put on special shoes that throw off their sense of balance and make walking across a mock apartment slow and dangerous work.
I’ve been in that lab! While wearing those crazy shoes you have to carefully navigate rugs, clothes, pillows, or anything on the floor—and steps, doors, or furniture suddenly become death traps!
Maybe you live with that reality every day, but for most of the nurses in training, wearing shoes that turn an ordinary apartment into an obstacle course gives them a whole new way of seeing the world… read more