The story of Christmas as told by the children of St Paul’s Church, Auckland, New Zealand.
|Be Kind, Rewind: 10 Best Spiritual TV Series to Gift This Christmas
This Christmas, for the spirituality-and-pop-culture enthusiasts on your gifting list, consider the following: Be kind and rewind. Give them the gift that keeps on giving … long after the series has been cancelled. Read more here.
Happy New Year! For this last Sunday, December 2nd, brought the first day of the Christian year.
Four Sundays mark the opening liturgical “season” of the Christian year, which culminates on Christmas Eve. Advent means the coming or arrival or appearing of an extremely important event. For Christians, this is a time of expectant waiting, of prayer, and of preparing oneself spiritually for the sacred moment which is to come.
What a contrast from what people think of as the Christmas season! Actually, the Christmas season is just the 12 days from December 25th to the holiday of Epiphany (January 6th), which celebrates the visit of the three wise men to the Christ Child. In an irony of history, the time of spiritual preparation and silent waiting has become the busiest, most frenetic season of the year.
In all religions, liturgies and sacred holidays reenact sacred events of the past. The holy days lift believers out of mundane reality and into sacred time; they call us into the divine life itself. For Christians, the Creator of all things silently draws near to the Creation on the Holy Night that dawns with Christmas morning, bridging the gap that has arisen between God and God’s creation. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” St. John writes, “full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (John 1:14). Hence Jesus, the Christ Child, is called Emmanuel, God with us.
As the Christian year begins on the first Sunday of Advent…read more here.
From Homebrewed Christianity: If you are wondering about the history behind Jesus’ birth story go find Dom Crossan or another historical Jesus scholar. BUT if you wanted to know about the real hero of the Christmas season you need a historical St. Nick scholar. Well you are welcome! Get ready to hear about the man behind the belly. Yes he likes giving… but also social & structural justice… and has a pretty high Christology.
We are once again joined by Adam English, professor of theology and philosophy at Campbell University, to discuss his new book, The Saint Who Would Become Santa Claus. It was a fun and informative conversation that gives you the perfect nuggets of knowledge to drop at your office Christmas party.
Jesus is here, now. Jesus will come again. Advent is living in the hopeful anticipation and creative space between times. Christians don’t observe Advent as much as they longingly live it.