I just did a quick online search for Advent calendars and discovered that you can buy Advent calendars at Target, Walmart, and on the Etsy site. They’re everywhere. I also noticed that almost all of them are incorrect. All of the Advent calendars I looked at start on December 1, and five out of every … Continue reading Pastor Note #115: Advent Reflections #1
Winter in Flagstaff, AZ; photo by GAC What a strange Christmas season this is for us all, unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. I don’t suppose I really need to point that out to anyone, but I mention it just the same. I don’t know whether this Christmas this year has been busier for you than … Continue reading Pastor Note #106: The Right Kind of Christmas Busyness
He was an old man, and his back ached with the day’s work. Some of the younger priests did the heavy lifting required by the work. But still, the old priest had spent most of the day on his feet. And so, there was a sharp, grinding ache in the small of his back, stabbing … Continue reading Bible Note #40: Conversation with the Angel–Luke 1:5-25
Christmas as a holiday in America is in many ways sacrosanct. I’m not referring to the Christian holiday. Most American, including Christian Americans, don’t really celebrate Christmas as a biblical holiday. We love the warm, cozy sweetness of the “traditional” Christmas holiday. In order to preserve that warm, cozy sweetness, we have to gloss over … Continue reading Pastor Note #87: Christmas — A Peasant King and the Foolishness of God
Families are paradoxes. On the one hand, family relationships can be the source of the greatest comfort, strength, and stability in our lives. On the other hand, -- who doesn’t know what’s coming next – family relationships can be the source of the greatest heartbreak, sadness, and anxiety of anything in our lives. No other … Continue reading Pastor Note #79: Families in the Holiday Crucible
"The People of the Presence of God: a Christmas Sermon" Human beings are made for God. That isn't a widely acknowledged truth. It certainly isn't the mainstream view in Western culture, but it's the truth just the same. We're designed for relationship with God, and that truth is nowhere more clearly expressed than in … Continue reading Sermon #52–The People of the Presence of God
ARE YOU READY? Rev. Gary Chorpenning It isn’t really supposed to be a happy season – Advent isn’t. But we have tended to make it that way. Well, who can blame us? Our world has been feeling rather grim lately. Who could blame us for grabbing hold of any little occasion for happiness we can … Continue reading Pastor Note #27 — Are You Ready?