Christmas Values: On Epiphany, a belated DAY TWELVE

Friends, after faithfully keeping alive the twelve days of Christmas, I failed on the actual day 12 (January 5). Today is Epiphany, the celebration of the day the wise men, magi, kings, magicians arrived from Persia to honor the Messiah born in Bethlehem. The most poignant, profound poem ever written about Epiphany is T. S.Continue reading “Christmas Values: On Epiphany, a belated DAY TWELVE”

Christmas values – Day 11: Overcoming fear

A friend of mine has vowed to recognize every action as an act of love or reaching out for love. She vowed that in the midst of the Ferguson and New York protests and possibly even after the police shootings that was followed by some truly alarming statements by Fraternal Orders of Police and policeContinue reading “Christmas values – Day 11: Overcoming fear”

Christmas values – Day 10: Generosity

We cast a whole bunch of shade at a particular character from the Christmas story, and I have a theory as to why; it’s the same reason conservative Christians love to focus on homosexuality as a sin. It’s a situation far enough removed from our own that we can see it as wrong. (I haveContinue reading “Christmas values – Day 10: Generosity”

Christmas values – Day 9: Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

“Why do you think churches led by people of color are thriving while a lot of White liberal churches are dying?” asked a student at a class where I was on a panel of people of color representing the racial/ethnic ministries of our denomination. The person who asked is a friend of mine whom IContinue reading “Christmas values – Day 9: Gloria in Excelsis Deo!”

Christmas values – Day 8: Community

Do you see it? Do you see who shows up for the very first Christmas? We’re so used to the image that we don’t even notice what’s crazy subersive about the melange of folks kicking it at the manger, but this is as close to Burning Man as 1st century Judea would have gotten (exceptContinue reading “Christmas values – Day 8: Community”

Christmas values – Day 6: Charity

“Scrooge was better than his word.  He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father.  He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, orContinue reading “Christmas values – Day 6: Charity”

Christmas values – day 5: Love

This is part of the twelve-day series on the values of Christmas I am writing in an attempt to stay in the season of Christmas through January 6. “I got my mom a STERLING SILVER NECKLACE!” my ten-year-old friend said proudly to my grown-up friend and me just before Christmas, so proud of himself for having pulledContinue reading “Christmas values – day 5: Love”

Christmas Values – Day 4: Hope

There is a certain gallows humor among hospital chaplains, I’ve been told — it’s a way to blow off steam in the midst of carrying so much grief for so many people. But it’s something that doesn’t generally leak out beyond those who live the experience, because there’s still some reverence for what is sacredContinue reading “Christmas Values – Day 4: Hope”