Christmas

Hazel

Well, picking up where we left off with Faye — Faye may have heightened my knowledge and acceptance of the supernormal and the unexplained, but Hazel keeps me believing in Santa Claus for the simple fact that she IS Mrs. Claus.  Singer/songwriter Richard Shindell has a song called, Hazel’s House, […]

Manger Perspective

Nativity scenes crack me up.  No, there’s nothing inherently funny about them, and I recognize and honor the symbolic appeal and power they have, but having visited farm and village sites in Israel that are still essentially pre-modern, and knowing what stables look, feel, and smell like in general, I […]

Faye

I often hear a rumor, unsubstantiated (though with impressive evidence), that many adults no longer believe in Santa Claus.  Oh, many profess to believe in the “spirit” or “essence” of Saint Nicholas, but to believe in the real, physical, meat-and-potatoes jolly old fat man is no longer acceptable among the […]

Enduring Christmas

We frequent and traditional church-goers can sometimes forget that Christmas is not a joyous and wonderful time for all concerned.  In my own ministry, I dealt with two Christmas suicides, and numerous individuals for whom Christmas brought sorrow and deep loss.  In one of the New Jersey churches I served, […]

The Values of Christmas

Television, especially the commercials, makes me sick this time of year.  And not just now, but from Halloween on, when marketers nationwide begin the barrage of unrelenting crass consumeristic addiction-baiting, all in the name of Christmas.  The cultural values of image, power, prestige, greed, consumption, acquisition, ownership, luxury, glamor, gluttony […]

Accidental Witness

As Epiphany closes the Christmastide once more, a few incidents stand out in my mind as symbolic of the current state of the church and our faith in the present day: At a hotel where I stayed this week, a manager was giving instruction to her maintenance crew — at […]