Catching a Glimpse

The first Christmas comes and goes, and most people don’t notice. Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and a few others catch a glimpse of what is happening, but they’re just a handful.

Crossroads: The Candle of Bethlehem/Peace

Welcome to the second week of Advent! This week, our focus lies on Mary and Joseph, a couple who were waiting for the changes that come with a big transition: a new baby.

A Place at the Table

Sometimes it’s easier to be a man. Your last name is not an issue. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Mechanics tell you the truth. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is “just too icky.” Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. The same hairstyle lasts for years.

Help During Times of Darkness

A few years ago, I was driving home from church on a Wednesday night when the greatest number of emergency vehicles that I had ever seen whizzed past me on the other side of the highway, their bright lights flickering and sirens blaring. I soon discovered that a fertilizer plant in the neighboring town of West, Texas had exploded.

Connections 12.11.2016: The Upside Down

I came—and that I come—to Mary’s song as a person of privilege. My late parents would have scoffed at that statement. They worked in textile mills. They bought very used cars. We lived in a small, two-bedroom, one-bath house. But still—we never missed a meal, we always had decent clothes, and the house was warm and dry.

Connections 12.04.2016: Imagining the Details

This account about Mary unsettles me because it seems to leave out a few things. I remember, very early in my marriage, worrying about getting pregnant too soon. John and I were still adjusting to living in the same apartment.

Crossroads: All Saints’ Day

For me, it is fitting that November 1st is All Saints’ Day. All Saints’ Day is a time of remembering those who have been part of our Christian journey who are no longer with us. It’s a day to remember the people throughout the history of the church who came before us.

Formations 06.26.2016: Mary Magdalene and the Gardener

Halfway through drafting this post, I realized I was guilty of oversimplification in order to find a moral in this story. I hadn’t determined if I would praise Mary for recognizing Jesus’ resurrection or chide her for missing it at first.

Connections 01.31.2016: When Death Comes

Death came into my life during the night when I was around ten years old, taking with it a beautiful white dog named Princess. A few more dogs followed over the years, one of which I raised from a tiny puppy.

Crossroads: The Bethlehem Candle or Candle of Love

Mary and Joseph waited for a miracle to happen for nine months. They knew that Jesus, the Son of God, would change their whole lives. And so they waited with anticipation for Jesus’ birth.

Formations 12.06.2015: The Cost of Poverty

About forty workshop participants recently learned valuable lessons about the realities of poverty by taking part in a simulation called The Cost of Poverty (or COPE). In the simulation, participants are matched together at random and given roles based on real-life poverty scenarios.

Crossroads: All Saints’ Day

Tell your family about someone who has influenced you, but who has also died. It can be someone from your family who influenced your faith or identity, or someone from church who was a big influence.

That Dark Thursday Night: A Maundy Thursday Reading

“Go into the city,” he said. “A friend of mine will show you a large, upper room, furnished and ready.” Strange. Peter and I rounded a corner and there, coming out of a narrow alley was a man we didn’t know, but he looked at us as if we were expected.

Crossroads: The Candle of Preparation – Mary and Joseph

This week we light the second candle on the Advent wreath. This candle is often referred to as the Candle of Preparation, or the Bethlehem Candle. As we light the second candle, our focus centers on Mary and Joseph, the earthly parents of Jesus, the Christ child.

Crossroads: The Candle of Prophecy – Elizabeth and Zechariah

Welcome to the first week of Advent, a time of waiting and preparation as we prepare for the birth of Christ. This week you will light the first purple candle, the candle of prophecy and hope.

Crossroads: Experiences of Grief – Mary, Martha

One of the saddest experiences in life is when someone or something we love dies. I remember the first time one of my pets died. Blackey was our family cat.