Christmas comes in the dead of winter. In a season when the earth is cold, dark, and bare, songs on the radio belt out a chorus which names this season, "the most wonderful time of the year." But, is it really the most wonderful time of the year?
It's hard wired into our brain. We can't help ourselves. When we imagine God's character, discuss our beliefs, and chew on the big picture questions about life, the universe, and everything else, we tend to picture God as a radiant, white-bearded Santa Claus who lives at the edge of the Milky Way.
Recently, I've had to confront the idea of death. Not that death is merely an idea, but for me it kind of was. I've been fortunate enough to never have someone I knew unexpectedly pass away until a couple of weeks ago. When I heard the news, I was immediately shocked and heartbroken.
Awhile back, I was at a 3-day practicum in the summer so that I could be trained in to tutor a group of middle schoolers for the coming school year. This was a great event for families, as they had 3 day “camps” for all of my kids to attend while I was at my training during the day.
This Gospel pre-figures Christ coming with grace, and none may receive or accept save he who believes him to be the man, and has the mind, as this Gospel portrays in Christ. Nothing but the mercy, tenderness and kindness of Christ are here shown, and he who so receives and believes on him is saved.
“Whatever you do, don’t share the Gospel with me?” Those were my exact words to my slightly mystified seminary professor. As he set his coffee down, I could tell that he was holding back in an effort to allow me to process what I was thinking. “To be honest,” I said, “I don’t think God loves me.”
I’m a life-long New Yorker, and I have the pleasure of working minutes from the neighborhood I grew up in as a boy. As I pass by it, I still come across a few familiar reminders of that neighborhood I grew up in, including an old friend’s mom, and some buildings that spark fond memories as well.