‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Theological Remix!

At our Christmas Eve services this year, we shared the wonderful poem/carol by Cheryl Lavornia. She captures the familiar cadence of a cultural classic but re-forms it into a beautiful re-telling of the Greatest Story Ever Told!  Enjoy! Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the manger, Not a creature was stirring, not even the […]

How do you cultivate JOY?

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Being a joyless Christian is a contradiction in terms! Yet we all go through drought or letting people and things “rob” our joy.  My short definition of joy is Gladness in God!  Jesus offers a joy that no one can take from us! (John 15:7-11) For the third Sunday in […]

Annunciation, some further thoughts in art and poetry

The arts help us slow down, and like Mary, “ponder these things” in our hearts. Above is a famous Western painting, along with an Eastern icon. Below are two poems from two of my favorite poets, Denise Levertov and Scott Cairns.   Annunciation, by Denise Levertov ‘Hail, space for the uncontained God’ (From the Agathistos Hymn, Greece, […]

Mary: Mother of Jesus; Disciple!

In Advent and Christmas this year we are teaching in Luke 1 and 2 around the theme of Hope for Everyone. Week one was Zechariah: Despite All Odds. Week two was a fresh look at the announcement to young Mary: Let it Be! (You can listen here.) Our view of Mary is one of those places where the history of the church is […]

Imagine it Whole! Lament and Advent

You’ll want to listen to Josh Danielson’s  sermon that closed out our Lament series. It’s called Is Restoration Possible? I’ve also been eager to share this poem below. It is by Tania Runyan and captures the tension of the “Already, but Not Yet” of our fallen world – a world that will one day be restored in the […]

Let yourself be moved!

Advent ushers us into a feast for the senses that CAN lead to “spiritual ecstasy,”  (instead of  just sensory overload!) I’ve been working through a wonderful book of poems by Luci Shaw called Scape. I came back today to this one called Ec-stasis. It’s from a Greek word from which we get the word “ecstasy” or literally being “beside oneself.” […]

Advent – A Light in the Darkness!

In him was life, and the life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John’s Gospel 1:5) We do not believe in a God who is absent. We believe in a God who came as the Light so we might not remain in darkness! This Advent and […]