Luke 2:1-20 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8  In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see

Safe Harbor

Well, it's been a weird Advent, a now seemingly normal feature of this strange year.  Yet despite the upheavals, the inconveniences, the protocols, the dissension, we have arrived at a safe harbor.  Today is Christmas Eve and for the moment we will celebrate our Lord's birth.  Services might be different, gatherings altered, but still we celebrate that miraculous night in Bethlehem long ago.  This day let us focus on the peace, the joy, and the wonder of this day, of what happened 2,000 years ago and is happening this night.  Let us give thanks that Jesus is born and we are safe in God's loving arms.    

Out of Sync

Everything is out of sync this year.  Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and we'll be doing two services live, but our third one will be recorded and we're doing that today.  And then there's Sunday's service, which we've also been working on today and will record tomorrow.  At moments it feels as if everything is spinning out of control - the schedule, the technology. And then I remember I'm not alone.  I've got colleagues with which to work, a family that's supportive, and a God who is with me at every moment. So even though things may seem like they're out of control and not in sync, I know that ultimately everything is where and when it should be, thanks to the One who comes to us in Jesus.

Light or Dark?

Today is the day after the winter solstice.  That means that every day between now and late June will be longer than its predecessor!  Sure, it seems gray and gloomy this morning and we didn't get to see the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn yesterday and the pandemic is still raging and, and, and ... Time out.  Advent is coming to an end.  During this season of anticipation and repentance, we have hopefully regained our perspective.  We choose whether to focus on the light or the dark.  We know that Jesus will soon be born.  I prefer to focus on light.  I hope you do, too.

Shortest Day

Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.  You've probably heard by now about the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, which should be quite a sight.  Of course, this being 2020, the sky will probably be overcast obscuring this celestial event. But rather than be pessimistic, I will indulge in some optimism, some hope, that we will be able to see what has been dubbed "The Christmas Star" - even though Christmas isn't until the 25th and Jesus was likely born in March.  Still, it's the thought that counts, right?  Advent is all about hopeful anticipation, and we're coming to its glorious conclusion. I choose to welcome Christ with an open heart.  What about you?  Will you join me?  Will you look heavenward, confident that, clouds or no clouds, Our Lord is coming to be with us?

Girl Power

I honestly don't know whether referring to "girl power" is, as they now say, "problematic."  I use it with reference to today's Scripture readings with only the greatest of respect.  The stories of Scripture are as much about women as they are men.  Consider Hannah, mother of Samuel, and Mary, mother of Jesus, who were two strong, empowered women whose faith guided their lives, example and morals shaped their sons, and witness that inspired the faithful for generations.  As we approach Christmas, let us remember these two women who have done so much to shape the faith through their commitment, grit, and love.


  This morning I checked the temperature, and it was -11 degree.  Yes, eleven below 0.  That's cold, very cold. It's days like this that I'm especially grateful for shelter.  We all take a roof over our heads for granted.  But not everyone is so fortunate and as we are reminded at this time of year, the Holy Family, including the Baby Jesus, were homeless. We should give thanks for a place to be on a cold winter's night and work for a world in which all are similarly blessed.