Making Sense of Christmas

I love the old comic strip Calvin and Hobbs. Calvin is in an overstuffed chair, his back to the reader. The TV is bouncing wildly on the stand. Calvin is mesmerized. Calvin’s dad is behind him looking over his shoulder at the Television and Calvin says, “Oh look, Yet another Christmas TV special. How touching…

Where’s the Peace?

In 1984, Wendy’s ran an ad that featured three elderly women looking over a hamburger that was mostly bun. One of the three blurted out, “Where’s the beef?” The catchphrase took on a life of its own. It became a buzzword meaning, “Where’s the substance? Where’s the truth?” Politicians even picked it up to question each…

If Then were Now

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from President Barack Obama that all the nation should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Jindal was governor of Louisiana. So, everyone went to be taxed, each from his own city. And Joseph also went up from Arkansas, out of the…

The Christmas Tree

Last week, I talked about our strange obsession with holiday traditions and about how some of them, like the Christmas tree, don’t really make a whole lot of sense when you stop to think about it. Today I want to talk about a Christmas tree that actually makes a whole lot of sense. Matthew 1…

Good News – Making Sense of Christmas

Bill Watterson, the creator of the strip, makes a really excellent point.  Consumerism, entertainment, and spirituality really are odd companions. In fact, when you back up and look at it with some cold skepticism, the whole thing is… well, it’s sort of strange. For example: why do we drag a dead tree into the house and hang gaudy…

Good News – Paul Harvey and the Reason for the Season

“Jesus is the reason for the season.”  I always heard that, and it’s an easy little aphorism to say.  However, a simple story helps me remember that this isn’t exactly the case.  Maybe you’ve heard Paul Harvey tell it. The Man and the Birds by Paul Harvey [abridged] He was a kind, decent, mostly good man. Generous to…

Good News: God’s Impeccable Timing

Where was Jesus when the wise men arrived? Was he a babe in Bethlehem? Or was he a two-year-old in Nazareth? Believe it or not, this has been the source of much debate. Matthew implies that they saw him in Bethlehem. But there’s a problem: Luke says when they left Bethlehem, they went back Nazareth….

Good News: Mary’s Little Lion

Mary had a little lamb… That expression always summed up the idea of Christmas to me.  That is, until one year when I went to the movies with my sons. We went to see the Chronicles of Narnia, and we got one of those large popcorns and an enormous drink to share.  The place was filling up, and…

Good News: Christmas Cards

I love Christmas cards. They’re little portraits of the beauty of the season. Gift-wrapped snap-shots of friends and family. I was thinking of this as I re-read the story of that first Christmas. God wove so many beautiful images into that story. There is, of course, Mary the virgin. This fulfills the prophecy of… Isaiah 7:14,…