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Christmas: Home

“Are you going home for Christmas?” What question has been more commonplace in recent weeks? A little over a week ago while I was at the supermarket, I was already pondering this sermon, including that opening line, “Are you going home for Christmas?” Startlingly, as I walked through the store, I heard some version […]

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Advent 1: At That Time

[…] why apocalyptic passages like this one serve as good beginnings for Advent. As we have noted together in also past years, there most certainly is nothing very “Christmasy” in a text such as Luke 21. About the only time such imagery is associated with the holiday season is when someone is trying to be […]

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Galatians 4:4-7

Christmas 1B

Simeon, Luke tells us, “was waiting for the consolation of Israel.” However, most of us don’t like to wait. In fact, nearly every year at Christmastime my wife and I have a quiet debate about waiting. It’s not about how long to wait to buy Christmas presents or put up our Christmas tree. Our […]

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Advent 4A: God With You

[…] will later memorably write in Romans 8, if God is for us, then who could ever be against us!? This is what we need to know at Christmas and at all times. We need to know that God is with us and God is for us; that God is with us and for us […]

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Zephaniah 3:14-20

Advent 3C

[…] prepare a place for you.”  He goes to prepare a home for us.  A home! It is a tired truth but a real truth nonetheless that the Christmas season has become clogged and clotted with saccharine sentimentality, with more vapid forced coziness than you could shake a stick at.  All true.  And some of […]

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Zephaniah 3:14-20

Advent 3C

[…] prepare a place for you.”  He goes to prepare a home for us.  A home! It is a tired truth but a real truth nonetheless that the Christmas season has become clogged and clotted with saccharine sentimentality, with more vapid forced coziness than you could shake a stick at.  All true.  And some of […]

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Advent 2: The Shrill One

[…] a litany of then-current political leaders. But at least with Luke 2 we have the advantage of having heard “Quirinius” pronounced at any number of Sunday School Christmas programs over the years. Luke 3 is far less familiar, throwing in names like “Traconitis” and “Lysanius” among others. All in all, it’s a pretty elaborate […]

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Advent 1: God’s Hopeful Story

This is a season of the year in which many of us find ourselves teetering between nostalgia and cynicism. We feel the tug of Christmas past. At the grocery store the other day I was encouraged by the muzak to “have myself merry little Christmas”, but the only way to do that, the song […]

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Jeremiah 31:7-14

Christmas 2B

It takes so long for Christmas to get here.  We wait and wait through the long season of Advent for the coming of the Lord.  Then in one day we celebrated his coming, and we’re done.  No wonder many non-liturgical Christians simply ignore Advent and spend a month celebrating Christmas.  Such a miraculous event […]

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Christmas B: The Shepherds Returned

[…] startle you with their freshness. But I mention this novel because of another motif or theme that weaves through the book–a theme that may well fit our Christmas reflections today. Not surprisingly, Rev. Ames’s impending death has turned his mind toward thoughts about heaven. Yet the more he thinks about heaven, the more fond […]

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