A Pastor’s 12 Days of Christmas

We are in the midst of the 12 days of Christmas, which begin on Christmas day and end with Epiphany (January 6). Here is a new version of the famous song for all of my clergy colleagues trying to get a little rest and then lead God’s people into a new year. (Fortunately, this is…

Mary’s Birth Plan

This post by Caitlin Desjardins was originally published on December 24, 2014. “She gave birth to her firstborn, a son; she put him in a simple cloth wrapped like a receiving blanket, and laid him in a feeding trough for cattle, because there was no room for them at the inn.”  Luke 2:7, The Inclusive…

Snow Falling Down on Bethlehem

The song below was written by Susan Gascho-Cooke, who serves as pastor at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster. You can hear an audio version here.  Snow Falling Down on Bethlehem written in December, 2013 chorus: snow falling down on brown skin snow falling down on Bethlehem snow falling down on a traveling family snow falling…

Carrying the Angel’s Words

My oldest two children came into our family as a foster-to-adopt placement. We were told that their biological dad was not in the picture and mom would not be able to get custody. They were foster children that would be available for adoption soon. James was three and a half. Jasmine had just turned two.…

Hearing Isaiah Amidst the Din

This post by Melanie Zuercher was originally published on December 15, 2014. Melanie lives in Newton, Kansas. She is a member of Shalom Mennonite Church in Newton and works at Bethel College in North Newton. – – – – – – Confession: Christmas is not my favorite time of the year. Was it ever? Maybe…

Christmas Lists

This reflection on I Thessalonians 5:16-24 was written by Samuel Voth Schrag and originally published on December 17, 2014. Samuel lives in Arlington, Texas, with his wife Rachel and children Jonah and Hannah. He served as pastor of the St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship from 2007-2017. Christmas is a season of lists- Santa has a list…

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…