Listening to the Magi

  Last week, I read in the Christian Century about: Christians being imprisoned and beaten in the Mosul region of Iraq. Muslim sheikhs, imams and preachers disappearing at the Kenya-Somalia border. Protestant pastors who had lived in Turkey for years forced out of the country. Members of the B’hai faith being imprisoned and threatened in…

Herod and the Magi

  The magi, with their fine robes and sparkling gifts, are favorite characters in our Christmas stories and songs and decorations (even if they did show up long after the shepherds). But a careful reading of the text (Matthew 2:1-12) reveals that the magi aren’t necessarily the stars of this beloved story. Based upon stage…

In Those Days . . .

I’m memorizing Luke 2:1-16 for our Christmas Eve service. Maybe that sounds impressive, but the truth is I know most of it already: “In those days, a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. . . .” It’s a familiar story. Comfortable language. A rhythm and a cadence that’s…

Star Gazers

There is so, so much in this Epiphany story. Good stuff. And hard stuff. Deep theological insights. Profound truths about the human condition. But this year it is the star that is pulling me in. And on one hand it feels like I should pay attention to some of the more earthly, serious aspects of…

Reflection on John 1:1-14

How is the Divine related to the human? How does the omnipotent deal with the vulnerable? What is the relationship of the Creator with the the created? How does the infinite interact with the finite? The Gospel birth narratives—all three of them–give a startling answer. Here’s how John puts it: “The Word became flesh and…