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

To make Comments write directly to Jim at jimt@quixotic.ca

 

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”? 


Comments (0) Number of views (308)

15

Dec

2019

Decoding nativity scenes

Author: Jim Taylor

 don’t see many Christmas cards these days. Between Facebook and email, religious cards with traditional nativity scenes have become less popular. 

            But the scenes themselves haven’t changed much. A mother and child. Sometimes with a father, sometimes not. Sometimes with animals and a stable, sometimes not. Sometimes with shepherds; sometimes with visiting Magi. 

            And the child is always holy. 

            But how does an artist paint holiness?

            It’s easy to draw a baby. It’s not as easy to show that baby as God embodied. 

            The Christian church has historically claimed that God – also known as Father, Almighty, Creator, all-knowing, immortal, unchanging – became a human infant. Who is none of those things. At least, not yet. 


Comments (0) Number of views (683)

23

Dec

2018

A nativity story updated

Author: Jim Taylor

           In those days a decree went out, from the emperors living in their glass houses with closed circuit surveillance cameras and 24-hour security patrols, that all the world should be embroiled in civil wars, so that their spheres of influence might be extended over unwilling populations. 

            And so the imperial forces used remote-control drones to bomb innocent victims in Yemen, and brought 20 million Yemenis to the brink of starvation. 

            And they burned to the ground 400 Rohingya villages in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, and forced a seemingly endless line of 900,000 people to seek refuge in Bangladesh, where they lived in bamboo shelters on low-lying land prone to flooding.

            And they bombed prosperous cities in Syria and Iraq into rubble, and turned religious factions against each other, and drove the Yazidi minority to retreat into rocky mountains.

            And they maintained armies of occupation in Afghanistan and Crimea, and confined the residents of Gaza into their own private concentration camp, and built walls to restrict the movement of Mexicans and Hondurans and Palestinians. 

            And behold, the number of displaced people around the world, many of them refugees within their own countries, rose to 70 million. 


Comments (0) Number of views (898)

12

Dec

2018

Nativity scenes

Author: Jim Taylor

Every year, my old friend Kenn Ward sets up a Nativity scene in his front yard in Winnipeg.

            Many of us have indoor Nativity scenes, often called a creche. And we never set the figures up exactly the same way each year. Joseph and Mary and the baby Jesus take centre stage, of course. But the shepherds, the visitors from the east, the animals – they get shuffled around, depending on what we feel is the essential theme of the story, this year.

            Kenn has that problem too, with the bigger figures for his outdoor creche. “I never know quite what to expect,” he wrote on Facebook. “Usually one of the figures, or a group of them, insist that they have been neglected and deserve more prominence in the scene. There is often a clash of egos… 


Comments (0) Number of views (1135)
Read more

Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: Bible, Nativity, creche

23

Dec

2017

Nativity narratives contain powerful truth

Author: Jim Taylor

 I don’t recall which shift I had. I do remember that it was pitch black outside. A nightlight in one corner of the room cast a pale yellow glow onto the ceiling. The city slept.

            The darkness outside was so thick, it felt solid. The stars were pin-holes in the sky. No birds sang.

            I cradled little Rediet in my arms. I tried to synchronize my breathing with hers. I crooned nursery rhymes dimly recalled from my own childhood: the Farmer in the Dell, Three Blind Mice, Frere Jacques... The language was nonsense to her; she had never heard anything but Amharic. But the rumble of my voice resonating in my chest seemed to quiet her.

            She looked up at me.

            I looked into those coal-black Ethiopian irises, and I knew, deep in my heart, that I could never do anything that would hurt this child. Never.


Comments (0) Number of views (1245)
RSS
12
«May 2024»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2829301234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930311
2345678

Archive

Tags

"gate of the year" #MeToo .C. Taylor 12th night 150th birthday 1950s 1954 1972 1984 215 3G 4004 BC 70 years 8 billion 9/11 A A God That Could Be Real abduction aboriginal abortion Abrams abuse achievement Adam Adams River addiction Addis Ababa adoption Adrian Dix Advent advertising affirmative action Afghanistan agendas aging agnostics Ahriman Ahura Mazda airlines airport killings Alabama albinism albinos Alexa algorithms Allegations allies Almighty Almighty God alone ALS alt-right altruism Amanda Gorman Amanda Todd Amazon American empire Amerika Amherst amnesia analysis anarchy Andes Andrea Constant Andrew Copeland Taylor anger animals anniversaries Anniversary Anthropocene antidote Ants aphrodisiac apologetics Apologies apology apoptosis App Store Archives Ardern Aristotle armistice Armstrong army Army and Navy stores Art artifacts artists ashes Asian assisted death astronomy atheists atonement atropine Attawapiscat attitudes attraction audits Aunt Jemima Australia authorities authorities. Bible autism automation autumn B.C. election B.C. Health Ministry B.C. Legislature B-2 Baal Shem Tov baby Bach bad news baggage Bagnell Bahai Baldi Bali Banda banning books Baptism Barabbas Barbados barbed wire barbers barriers Bashar al Assad Batman baton BC BC Conference Beans bears beauty Beaver Beethoven beginnings behaviour bel-2 belief systems beliefs bells belonging benefits Bernardo Berners-Lee berries Bethlehem Bible biblical sex bicycle Biden Bill C-6 billboards billionaire BioScience Bird songs birds birth birthday birthdays Bitcoin Black history Blackmore blessings Blockade blockades blood blood donations blood donors Bloomberg Blue Christmas boar boarding school body Boebert Bohr bolide Bolivia Bolivian women BOMBHEAD bombing bombings bombs books border patrol borrowing both/and bottom up Bountiful Brahms brain development Brain fog brains Brazil breath breathe breathing Brexit broken Bruce McLeod bubbles Buber Bucket list Buddha Buddhism Bulkley bulldozers bullets bullying burials bus driver bush pilots butterflies butterfly Calendar California Cambridge Analytica. Facebook cameras campfire Canada Canada Day Canadian Blood services Canal Flats cancer candidates cannibalism Canute Capitol Capp caregivers Caribbean Caribbean Conference of Churches caring Carnaval. Mardi Gras carousel cars Carter Commission cash castes cats cave caveats CBC CD Cecil the lion. Zanda cell phones Celsius CentrePiece CF chance change Charlie Gard Charlottesville Charter of Compassion Checklists checkups chemical weapons Chesapeake Bay Retriever Chesterton Child Advocacy Centre child trafficking childbirth children Chile Chile. Allende China chivalry chocolates choice choices choirs Christchurch Christiaanity Christian Christianity Christians Christina Rossetti Christine Blasey Ford Christmas Christmas Eve Christmas gathering Christmas lights Christmas tree Christmas trees Christopher Plummer Chrystia Freeland church churches circle of life citizenship Clarissa Pinkola Estés Clearwater Clichés cliffhanger climate change climate crisis clocks close votes clouds Coastal GasLink coastal tribes coffee coincidence cold Coleman collaboration collapse collective work colonial colonial mindset colonialism colonies Colten Boushie Columbia River Columbia River Treaty comfort comic strips commercials communication Communion community compassion competition complexity composers composting computer processes Computers conception conclusions Confederacy Confederate statues confession confessions confidence Confirmation confusion Congo Congress Conrad Black consciousness consensual consensus consent conservative Conservative Party conservative values conspiracies conspiracy constitution construction contraception contrasts Conversations Conversion conversion therapy Convoy cooperation COP26 copyright coral Cornwallis corona virus coronavirus corporate defence corporations corruption Corrymeela Cosby Cougars counter-cultural Countercurrents couple courtesy courts Covenant Coventry Cathedral cover-up COVID-19 Coyotes CPP CPR CRA Craig crashes Crawford Bay creation creche credit credit cards creeds cremation crescent Creston crime criminal crossbills cross-country skiing Crows crucifixion Cruelty crypto-currencies Cuba Missile Crisis Cultural appropriation cuneiform Curie curling cutbacks cute cyberbullying Cystic Fibrosis Dalai Lama Damien Damocles Dan Rather dancing Danforth dark matter darkness Darren Osburne Darwin data mining daughter David David Scott David Suzuki de Bono dead zone deaf deafness death death survival deaths debt decision decisions decorations deficit Definitions Delhi Dementia democracy Democratic denial Denny's departure Depression Derek Chauvin Descartes Desiderata despair determinism Devin Kelley dew dawn grass Diana Butler-Bass Dickie dinners dinosaurs discontinuities discussion Dishwashing dissent distancing diversity division divorce dog dogs dominance Don Cherry Donald Trump donkey Donna Sinclair donor doorways Doug Ford Doug Martindale Dr. Keith Roach Dr. Seuss dreaming dreams Drugs ducks duets Duvalier dying Dylan Thomas earth Earth Day earthquake Earworms Easter Eat Pray Love Eatons Ebola echo chambers e-cigarettes eclipse
Copyright 2024 by Jim Taylor  |  Powered by: Churchweb Canada