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Showing posts from December 24, 2017

God Uses the Ordinary to Reveal the Extraordinary

This is the sermon I preached on Christmas Eve at St.Timothy Lutheran Church and at the combined worship service of St. Paul's Episcopal Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church. The text was Luke 2:1-14. During Advent and Christmas, we are presented with the idea that Christmas is a magical time and anything is possible because after all, it is Christmas. We see this in television shows and the movies, especially the schmaltzy Hallmark movies that many of us love. But our personal reality is often quite different. This is a time when people suffer from depression, from their first Christmas without a loved one, from illness, you name it. For many, it isn’t all magic and happiness.
After all the shopping, cleaning, cooking and preparing and after trying to make ends meet; keeping a distraught family together, struggling to get a job and worrying about a loved one serving overseas—after all the stuff that makes our lives crazy—the short, simple, peaceful word that we are of infinite value…

Christmas Memories

In the 1980s, my family and I lived in Palestine, in Bethlehem. Christmas, obviously, was a very special time. We would have a 3 day Christmas Feast for Muslims, where university students would pour into the Friendship Center that we worked in.

The stories below, especially the one by Carrie, really struck me and brought the memories flooding back from so long ago.