Advent

Come Again?

Advent rolls round once more, and the Christmas season (which marketers think started sometime around Halloween) takes center stage.  Carols and decorations, candy and cookies, presents and get togethers all take on the festive holiday cheer.  And, if we’re lucky, glimpses of Jesus might still emerge from time to time.  […]

Whose Christmas?

I had an interesting encounter at my favorite coffee shop (Beans ‘n’ Cream, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin — greatest people in the world…) last week.  One of the regulars made the following observation, which led to a spirited conversation — “Christmas would be so much more enjoyable if all the religious […]

Manipunativity

I can quite honestly say I am having a “cognitive dissonance Advent”.  Late in November I received a monograph from two graduate students for review and comments.  One of the most intriguing aspects of the monograph is that its authors are young females — one Israeli and one Palestinian.  Their […]

Christmas C.S.I.

My posts of the past two weeks have generated some fun and interesting discussions around Christmas.  While I am not a fan of the “war on Christmas” rhetoric adopted by evangelicals operating from a victim mentality, I do agree that Christmas as a religious observance is in trouble.  My contention, […]

An Unlikely Proposal

I have been commenting on the commercialization and cultural co-opting of Christmas, and a number of people ask, “So, what do you suggest?”  Well, here is a suggestion — though I know full well and good it won’t fly.  Solutions are only solutions if they work, and this doesn’t stand […]

Occupy Christmas

I need to confess.  I missed four opportunities to witness to my Christian faith this week, where I had clear occasions to challenge, confront or correct opinions about Advent and Christmas.  I didn’t say anything then, but I’m going to say something now. #1 Advent is NOT Christmas (or Epiphany) […]

The Reason For the Season: Evil

I have been laid up with a bad sinus infection pretty much since Thanksgiving, so I spent an inordinate amount of time surfing daytime TV.  What an amazing amount of noise passing for entertainment…  However, two tidbits caught my attention while navigating the vast wasteland of morning programming.  First, I […]

Once More, With Feeling

It’s Advent time again; the beginning of the “church year.”  We change the paraments to purple (or blue, in some cases), hang the greens, set up the advent wreath with candles, and we engage in the ceremonies of the season leading to the birth of Christ.  How do we keep […]

Snow

Okay, this falls into the “so insignificant you probably shouldn’t waste time reading it” category, but an amazing thing has happened this year: it feels like Christmas!  And the only thing that has changed (other than my job, the state in which I live, the house in which I live, […]