Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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24

Dec

2022

The way God does things

Author: Jim Taylor

Christmas Eve, 2022

 


Christmas and Easter sometimes remind me of the Bobbsey twins. They’re inextricably bound together, Can’t get along without each other. And yet they’re constantly competing with each other. 

           Briefly put, the Incarnation argues that God – whoever or whatever God is – became a human being in Jesus, the baby born in Bethlehem. The Resurrection claims that that same baby, some 30 years later, triumphed over death and will never die again. 

            Both focus on the uniqueness of the event. This only happened once, we declare. The rule –we commonly assume – is that God is “out there” somewhere. Or perhaps “up there”. But certainly different from us. Not mortal flesh-and-blood. 


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24

Dec

2022

Homeless, lonely, and hungry

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday Dec. 22, 2022

 

Occasionally, around this time of year, a TV station will send its cameras into an encampment of homeless people for the obligatory human-interest story. But I notice that the cameras stay outside the tents and makeshift shelters. Perhaps to respect their subjects’ privacy. Or perhaps those subjects won’t let the cameras any closer.

            And I wonder how today’s news media would treat the most famous homeless couple of all -- Mary and Joseph. 

            We’ve all heard the story told in the gospel attributed to someone called Luke. About how Mary and Joseph travelled from their home village of Nazareth. To Bethlehem. To be formally registered in the city of their legendary ancestor, King David. 

            But have you really listened to that story?

            When you read that “there was no room for them in the inn,” do you hear those two little words “for them”? 


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24

Dec

2022

Manger and manager -- a study in contrasts

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday December 18, 2022

 

There’s something about a season of peace and goodwill, a season marked by glad tidings of comfort and joy, that throws into stark contrast the operating systems we take for granted all the rest of the year.

            I imagine that’s what prompted Eli Sopow of University Canada West to write an article for The Conversation Canada on Elon Musk.

            I don’t know what you think of Musk most of the year. Envy of his wealth -- even if he’s no longer the world’s richest person? Admiration for his achievements, such as Tesla and SpaceX? Loathing? Disgust?

            Whatever your feeling, I’m sure it didn’t involve comparisons with Santa Claus.


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24

Dec

2022

When illness disrupts mental pathways

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday December 15, 2022

 

I was sick a week ago. Medically, I just had a cold. A bad cold. Perhaps the worst cold I have had in ten years. I feared it might be Covid-19, despite a full house of vaccinations. A Rapid Test proved negative. 

            I thought of Covid because I had read that Covid can scramble one’s brain, randomly disrupting neural synapses that have formed a reliable communications channel for decades. 

            So that one suddenly can’t remember how to do the simplest things. 

            They call it “brain fog.”

 

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24

Dec

2022

Let your light shine…

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday December 8, 2022

 

The first Christmas after Joan died, I decided not to put away all the Christmas decorations. They spoke to me of warmth in winter, of caring and compassion, of togetherness – themes I desperately needed that first year of Covid-19 isolation.

            So, for the last three years, a small ceramic Christmas tree has been sitting on a table in my front hall. It’s not much of a tree – about 12 inches high, dark green, with whitish snowflakes on the ends of its branches. A light bulb inside shines out through coloured plastic plugs stuck into holes in the branches.

            If I’m going out at night, I turn it on before I leave. When I come home again, it welcomes me back, glowing softly in the darkened entry.


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