At the stroke of midnight in the midwinter cold, the new year begins in darkness. When the morning breaks, the world will appear unchanged, grey and still, with long months of short days yet to come. Still, it is new. All around us is a slow resurrection. Not the turn of a calendar page, but … More Twelve Days: The Light Shines
Despite what some members of my own family think, It’s a Wonderful Life is the best Christmas movie ever made. Not the cheeriest, but the best. But as I watched it again this Christmas Eve, it struck me that what makes it “the best” has changed for me over my own life. When I was … More Twelve Days: A Wonderful Life?
A couple of rules I live my life by: Use the lectionary as an opportunity to read scriptures that are easy to skip over. Don’t embarrass myself or anyone else by writing about sex. Normally, these two don’t come into conflict. But I’m writing a daily series of devotions, and today’s readings include some verses … More The With-God Life: Song of Songs
Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest And let these gifts to us be blessed Amen Today I’m happy to continue my new Anxious Bench series — on Christian writings that don’t take the form of books — by reflecting on the table grace that I’ve known all my life and am now teaching my children. Here’s an … More Beyond Books: “Come, Lord Jesus, Be Our Guest”
On the eve of celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace, it’s been a bit dispiriting to read the comments section the last couple of days. But I thought I’d solicit some reader responses to a less controversial set of questions: What’s your favorite Christmas (or Advent) carol or other song? Why do you like it so … More Your Favorite Christmas Carols?
If you offered me fifteen minutes to share what’s at the heart of my belief as a Christian and how that shapes my understanding of education, I think this is the best answer I could give. It’s the text of the convocation address I delivered yesterday in the opening chapel of the 2015-2016 academic year at Bethel University. Thanks to … More The Body of Christ
In addition to this week-in-review, this weekend I’m taking some time to prepare a “That Was The Year That Was” post. I’ll start counting down the year’s top twenty-five posts later today on Twitter, then share the full results in a year-in-review post on New Year’s Eve. Here… • This year, I tried to imagine seeing the first … More That Was The Week That Was
From my very first Christmastide as a blogger… Because it’s about the parents of Jesus, it makes for a decent sequel to my previous post. Not just Boxing Day, Return Unwanted Gifts Day, or Two Turtle Doves Day, the second day of Christmas has enormous theological importance: It reminds us that when the angels returned to the … More Best of The Pietist Schoolman: “What Child Is This?”
It’s hard for me to get too excited about January 1st. I mean, it’s as good an arbitrary point as any to change calendars. So long as we bracket off the fact that — beyond the West — it’s a kind of vestige of colonialism to use that calendar in the first place. So long … More Is New Year’s Day a “Christian Holiday”?
“If I had one wish that I could wish this holiday season,” began comedian Steve Martin in a famous monologue from the Christmas episode of Saturday Night Live in 1991, “it would be for all the children to join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace. If I had two wishes … More Merry Christmas (just enjoy it!)