Driving up the highway to return a few backup Christmas gifts, I began to meditate on the Christmas season, baby Jesus, and scripture I heard […]
As I stared at the crowds amassed around our holy family, it occurred to me that with our first child, other than the occasional comment on our parenting and her stranger glare reserved demeanor, we were pretty much left alone as parents to sink or float.
Advent is my favorite season. The waiting, the candles, the music, the smells of cookies and gingerbread baking, the early darkness; I revel in all of it. As a child with infinite imagination, every year I embraced the anticipation of the Christ child with all my heart. And yes, Santa and gifts were fine with me too. But it is the expectation of wonder that thrills my heart. These days, as a parent, a Christian educator, and a reluctant adult, it’s all a little more complicated.
While “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is an animated cartoon about characters who look funny, who make silly noises and often pratfall, Linus’s recitation of Saint Luke’s verses is its solemn core. For a few moments, the story’s busyness is suspended to make room for a larger and more eternal story.
The Friday before the first weekend in Advent, I had only just arrived home when my nearly four year-old son asked if we could begin decorating right now! My wife and I agreed (after dinner). We said that, with our nine month-old beginning to sit up and crawl, we could decorate only at a height out of her reach. We’d set up our little Christmas tree: one that fits on a table top.
Reading some beautiful picture books of the Christmas stories is easily one of the most delightful and simple ways to focus our preparations on the birth of Christ. So head to your library, bookstore, or the Amazon marketplace and while you are at it, pick up some hot chocolate and marshmallows then prepare to snuggle up in front of twinkly lights.
When is it okay to start listening to Christmas music? This is not a trick question—I am not the worship police, but I am very aware that we Christians can be particularly judgy about music. For years, I, too, did not want to acknowledge Christmas music in Advent, not least because I love Advent and its hymns (“Comfort, Comfort Ye My People!”).
I know that it is the season of Advent, but Christmas is on my heart and mind. It’s hard to avoid, since, in the words of fictional rock-n-roll legend Billy Mack, “Christmas is all around.” Christmas is on tv, in stores, in our email boxes, and of course, we’re inundated with holiday musical classics.
I once knew an Episcopal priest who was also a dad of young children. One of his daughters disliked their diocesan bishop greatly, and the […]
The way the Magi leave is just as important as the way they came; the world they encountered in Jesus changes everything.