In Bethlehem’s Babe God Moves In

Five years ago, Lavone and I moved from Greenville, Illinois to Indianapolis, Indiana.  It was the smoothest and most care-free move we’ve ever had.  We are grateful beyond words, and more comfortable than we deserve in our home (which because of travel still seems quite new).  All the more so, when we acknowledge this Christmas time that more than 68 million people in today’s world are displaced from their home, among them in excess of 25 million refugees.  Make no mistake: The vast majority of the displaced would give anything to be home.  Similarly, the vast majority of refugees are the victims of injustice perpetrated against them and their loved ones.   Christmas is about Another who moved into places …

BABY AS IMMANUEL!

In a world desperately in need of good news and forlornly weary of platitudes we celebrate the coming of Immanuel—God with us—in the gift of Jesus   Glory to God in the highest!  Well, yes, but what about us in the lowest? If it doesn’t work for the whole world and all of reality, does it truly work?  That’s a question I have been asking in recent years.  I was forced to ask it seriously and urgently when I began going to other places, addressing other cultures, and found that some of my most “creative” stuff just didn’t work there and in those circumstances.  So, does it work for the whole world—for the highest and the lowest places and those who …

GOD AS BABY!

When you held your first-born baby, or grandchild, or any infant, you probably did not think, “This is how God was!” C.S. Lewis famously noted that the greatest miracle of Christianity is not the resurrection but the incarnation. If you can accept that God became a baby, the resurrection should not be a problem. The biblical story tells us about a baby’s birth.  During these weeks of Advent, we will read and sing from two famous passages found in the Prophesy of Isaiah.  At a time when the people of Judah cowered in fear over an alliance of Israel and Syria against them, the Lord gave a sign: The virgin will conceive and bear a son, whose name will be …

Jesus Comes for Us and for All

The Lord our God loves, chooses, and works with/through a people to right the wrong of their lives and world, whatever, however, whenever But, the Lord does so, not just for them, but for all, as many as will … The Lord loves his own, so that he may love all. The Lord comes to his own, so that he may come to all. The Lord touches, forgives, heals, transforms—saves—his own, so that he may for all. The Lord’s people receive these amazing and abundant graces from their Lord, as part of their Lord’s plan for all. Ponder the good news of Christmas in this light—for and through one, for all.  Imagine these words for one or for some, yet …

TERROR, REFUGEES, AND THE MESSIAH WE WELCOME 👣

In December of 2012, Lavone and I were in Bethlehem on what is called Manger Square as the town prepared for its annual lighting of the Christmas tree that marks the official beginning of the Christmas season.  The irony of this did not escape us: at or near “ground zero” for the first Advent, are all the elements for the world’s destruction. Sadly neither that part of the world nor the world as a whole have moved closer to the way of the One whose birth we celebrate, the Messiah we welcome.  If anything, tensions run tighter and deeper, conflicts rage, and current events suggest anything but peace and goodwill. Just prior to Advent 2015 and since, a major world …