Archives For Christmas

How Not to Mess Up Christmas

Chris —  December 22, 2014

Here’s an excerpt from today’s post I wrote over at Fresh Expressions:

Christmas remains one of the few times when people show an openness to hearing the story of Jesus, even if they aren’t open to church. If handled correctly, this can be one of the best opportunities of the year for directing conversation toward Jesus. However, a lack of forethought could make things worse.

A fresh expression is a church community that grows organically out of an established people group. Every people group and the individuals within it bring their own “baggage.” The baggage becomes almost tangible during the holidays.

Christmas could be one of your best opportunities to share about Jesus all year long. Handled poorly, it can reinforce negative stereotypes about “church.”

Read the whole post, and let me know what you’re up to for Christmas.

Mary Christmas

Chris —  December 24, 2013

I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what he promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now.

Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

The authentically hopeful Christmas spirit has not looked away from the darkness, but straight into it. The true and victorious Christmas spirit does not look away from death, but directly at it. Otherwise, the message is cheap and false. Instead of pointing to someone else’s sin, we confess our own. ‘In our sins we have been a long time’ (Isaiah 64). Advent begins in the dark.

Fleming Rutledge from The Bible and the “New York Times”

Advent begins in the dark

“The incarnation is “a kind of vast joke whereby the Creator of the ends of the earth comes among us in diapers… Until we too have taken the idea of the God-man seriously enough to be scandalized by it, we have not taken it as seriously as it demands to be taken.”

Frederick Buechner

Christmas is Somebody’s Idea of a Joke.

Advent 2011

Chris —  November 29, 2011

This past Sunday was the first of Advent.  As I have in past years, I’m planning on continuing a tradition of blogging through the season.  To give you some background, here’s a description I wrote a few years back:

An Guide to Advent For Us Ahistorical Evangelical Types

Advent is about waiting.  Waiting isn’t fun.  But it’s important.  Enjoy.