August 10, 2020

As in the Beginning, so the End

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7) This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, […]

Another Look: My Christmas Poet

First posted November 2010.  For years now, a favorite book in my library has been an old worn copy of The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, published in 1904. A brief note in fountain pen ink inside the cover says that it was given as a Christmas gift in 1908, and a sticker in the back […]

Return to Sister Winter

Tinsel and Lights by Tracey Thorn Merge Records (2012) You loved it as a kid And now you need it more than you ever did It’s because of the dark You see the beauty in the spark That’s why, that’s why The carols make you cry Joy, joy… Sentimentalism, in my view, is the enemy […]

Frederick Buechner: “Christmas Itself Is by Grace”

Some writers take my breath away. Whenever I read Frederick Buechner, I can’t stop gasping for air. Buechner is simply one of our best American authors. You can see his biography HERE, at the Buechner Institute’s website. Born in 1926, young Frederick experienced a tragic and profoundly formative event when his father committed suicide. After […]

David Lose on “The Absurdity of Christmas”

David Lose holds The Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary, where he also serves as the Director of the Center for Biblical Preaching. David led the creative team that developed Working Preacher, one of my favorite resources on the Internet. There he writes a weekly column on the upcoming lectionary texts. He […]

Missing Church

I confess: we missed going to church yesterday on Christmas. Despite my strong opinions that churches should have services on Christmas whether it falls on Sunday or not, and that when it is on a Sunday churches should not cancel services, we didn’t make it yesterday. We had the best intentions and planned to go […]

Christmas Day

Nativity of Our Lord — Christmas Day December 25, 2011 Isaiah 62:6-12 Psalm 97 Titus 3:4-7 Luke 2:1-20 Prayer of the Day All-powerful and unseen God, the coming of your light into our world has brightened weary hearts with peace. Call us out of darkness, and empower us to proclaim the birth of your Son, […]


Nativity of Our Lord — Christmas Eve December 24, 2011 Isaiah 9:2-7 Psalm 96 (11) Titus 2:11-14 Luke 2:1-14 [15-20] Prayer of the Day Almighty God, you made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true Light. Grant that here on earth we may walk in the light of Jesus’ presence and in […]

Joseph and the Way of Kindness

By Chaplain Mike “What is desired in a man is kindness” (Prov 19:22). If there is one major lesson I’ve learned in my six years of being a hospice chaplain, it is the importance and power of kindness. Basically, it’s my job to show kindness. I visit with patients and their families and offer to […]

Mary and the Contemplative Life

By Chaplain Mike “But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). The American evangelical church is renowned for its activism. We are a “can do” people, and in the Christian context that often means we see ourselves as “saved to serve.” We commend “being about the Lord’s business,” and value […]