“You have a Message”

by

I don’t know what messages you have gotten over the course of a lifetime. Some have probably been great news; others something you were dreading; and still others such a surprise that you didn’t know what to make of them.
Isaiah received a message, a message from God, a message to share,
with Israel, with a servant, with anyone who would listen.

“Reconsidering the Magi”

by

Karoline Lewis asserts that the magi do more than simply respond.
She says they resist evil:
they witness to a truth that will challenge power;
they defy authority;
they trust YHWH’s angelic message over Herod’s.
It is a rather extraordinary way to look at them!

“The Escape”

by

A modern director would have a get-away car with smoking tires, shots fired, crashing pursuers, maybe even an explosion or two. Mathew has to make do with an angel, a dream, and a get-away donkey!

“Responding to the birth”

by

Luke doesn’t seem interested in elaborating on the bare facts.
He proves much more interested in the response of some local shepherds who are told by an angel that the baby born in Bethlehem is the Messiah.
He says they were curious.
He says they “went with haste” and found Mary and Joseph and the baby.
He says they told the story of what they had been told about the baby … and all who heard it were amazed!
So I’m wondering about how we respond to news of the baby’s birth in Bethlehem.

“A Heavenly Encounter”

by

We could stare at the baby forever.
But then Luke pulls the camera back to show the whole region.
It is rough country, full of hills and valleys, perfect for grazing sheep.
It is clear and cold and the sky is bright with stars.
And out in the darkness there were shepherds keeping a lonely watch.
Luke has pulled us away from the baby because he wants us to witness an encounter.

“What to do about Mary?”

by

Joseph was a carpenter.
He knew how to make a yoke that would not chafe.
He knew how to build a table that would not wobble.
He could calculate how much wood it would take to build a cart or repair a wheel.
He knew how to select the right wood from local cypress, oak, cedar, sycamore, or olive.
What he didn’t know was what to do about Mary.

“Mind the Gap”

by

Since 1968 riders of the London Underground have been cautioned with the phrase, “Mind the gap.” It could just as easily be applied to our passage.

“Mixed Messages”

by

It is an odd time of the year. We are bombarded with mixed messages.
It is a few days before Thanksgiving, but we’ve been hearing ads for Christmas for weeks …
And where in this mix does “Christ the King Sunday” fit, with a story of the cross?
As one scholar puts it, “Everything about this liturgical emphasis on kingship and crucifixion feels off in a world awash in turkeys and tinsel.”

“Faith is … being tested”

by

In our passage from Luke, it is the Temple that is under threat.
It is more than a building …
it is a thin place where God and Israel touch, and dance, and blow each other kisses;
it is a vanity project constructed by Herod to rival pagan temples built by other rulers;
it is awesome, beautiful, mammoth …
and it is the setting for many events in Jesus’ life …
But now he is saying it will be destroyed!