Archives for Dec 2015

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The Feasts of Christmas

Advent is usually more my style than Christmas, but I've been finding myself struck this Christmas season with a deep sense of joy contemplating the wonderful and awesome mystery of the Nativity of our Lord. At the same time I’ve been paying closer attention to the liturgical calendar this year than I have in years past, and I’ve been struck by how the season of Christmas plays out....Read More

"In the Beginning..."

At the end of the year we remember that the gospel of John proclaims, “in the beginning” (John 1:1). Every moment offers us a new beginning. His presence changes the meaning of time. In Ken Dean’s sermon last week he drew parallels between Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1. Every moment is an opportunity for a new beginning, the start of a new time...Read More

A Christmas Eve to Remember...

I'll never forget my first Christmas Eve service in an Anglican church. Amy, the kids, and I had just moved to Jacksonville, Florida, and we were away from extended family for the holidays for the first time. My folks were able to come out and celebrate with us, but everything felt so foreign...Read More

Words about the Word

No doubt, over the past several weeks you have heard and probably some all kinds of hymns and Christmas carols. I believe they are divided into three different types. One is that it’s cold outside and we need to be warm and jolly. Think "Jingle Bells" or "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas". Secondly, there are hymns and carols about the sweet baby. Then there is a third kind that highlight the mystery of the Incarnation...Read More

Advent Inversions

In the fourth and final week of Advent we focus on God’s love revealed to us in the coming of Jesus Christ. Last Sunday we read the Magnificat, or Mary’s Song. This poem has been a central text for how the Church has understood God’s nature and the shape that redemption takes in the world. How wonderful and strange, then, that it comes from the mouth of a teenage single mother...Read More

Home But Not Quite Home

Last week we lit the Joy candle. A reminder that in the midst of our waiting God meets us with His everlasting Joy. If there is one thing I have grown into in my understanding of life lived under the Gospel reality of the cross, it is that here and now can be a pretty mixed up state of affairs. As something of an underscore to this thought I recently a Christmas card from some dear friends...Read More

Six Hours of Free Coffee?

Obedience to the Holy Spirit releases His presence into our world. I recently heard a story that illustrations how this works out. One person comes through the drive-in lane of coffee shop to order coffee. He says to the salesperson that he wants to pay for the car behind him. That car behind pulls up and the driver realizes her coffee has been paid for and wants to do the same...Read More

Your Lowly Servant…

This Sunday is the last one before Christmas! I’m so excited because in our Advent waiting we’re getting closer to the birth of Christ. And of all the sentiments, themes, and characters of Advent, Mary is one of the most important. We’ll be talking about her this Sunday...Read More

Every Mountain Made Low

Mt. Holy Cross is the tallest peak in Eagle County, Colorado, and in all of the Northern Sawatch Range. Its peak is 14,011 feet above sea level; and, for a climber of modest experience, it can be summited in a single day’s hike with no specialized gear. But even after successfully summiting a mountain one still hasn’t conquered it, not really. The best we can ever do is survive, because there will always be those times when the enormity of mountains and meteorology overwhelm us...Read More

Hard Questions and Advent Waiting

I have had some pretty embarrassing moments in my life. Raising seven children will bring about lots of opportunities for that. One time, when all seven children were in tow, we had eaten at a restaurant and came home. We had taken two cars and upon arriving home got a phone call from the restaurant. “Mr. Jones, I think you left one of your children"...Read More

Lord, Open Our Lips

Each Wednesday in the season of Advent All Saints East is gathering for Morning Prayer. Admittedly the name sounds a bit innocuous, but this corporate moment of prayer serves a few important functions in the life of the Church. First and foremost as prayer it places us, God’s people, in an act of self-giving at His feet, in His service, and at His mercy...Read More

The Christmas Crazies

The Christmas Crazies is an epidemic that infects entire populations around the globe from November 29 through January 2. Symptoms include: compulsion to dress entire families in matching colors; multiple visions of nutcrackers and sugar plums in households; fantasies regarding snowmen, snowflakes and white Christmases no matter what climate you live in...Read More

Mirroring God's Generosity

Well, it is the day after our first All Saints Christmas party at the Arboretum, and I am still on an emotional and spiritual high! The party was amazing; there were at least 400 to 500 people there. Church was breaking out all over the place, with people full of joy and praying for one another. Someone came up to me last night and while we were looking at all the people and joy in the room they asked me, “This really started a few years ago with only 15 people?”...Read More

The Call to Hope

The first week of Advent is traditionally taken to meditate on Christian Hope by looking back towards God’s fulfillment of the Messianic hope of Israel in the Incarnation of Jesus. A constant refrain of the Old Testament is for the people of Israel to hope in the Lord, and to wait for his salvation to come...Read More

The Waiting Is Over...

Well, not exactly. Advent is upon us, yet we find ourselves in a season of waiting. Waiting to celebrate Christmas. Waiting for Christ’s second coming. And perhaps waiting for any number of other things in life. No matter what it is we’re longing for, this is an ideal moment to re-direct our desires and re-order our loves...Read More