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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.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: resurrection, Christmas, Incarnation
Thursday Dec. 22, 2022
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”?
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: Nativity, Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph
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.
Tags: Elon Musk, Santa Claus. Jesus, Eli Sopow
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.”
Tags: COVID-19, socks, Brain fog, fingers
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.
Tags: darkness, light, Christmas tree, Lorraine
Sunday November 27, 2022
Years ago, I thought I was giving the Sunday School kids a treat – no dull boring lesson today; we’d just sing some familiar Christmas carols.
We tried. One of the mothers bravely played the piano. A teenager hoping to emulate Eric Clapton played a 12=string guitar. The singing, however, was less than enthusiastic:
“Okay,” I said, “you’re not keen on our choices. What would you like to sing?”
Bigmouth at the back called out, “Rudolph!”
Without waiting for either piano or guitar, the whole group of kids launched into Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
They sang lustily. With enthusiasm. They knew all the words. They also knew all the words to Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. And to Silver Bells.
I didn’t have the heart to tell them that those had all been written by Jews.
Tags: Christmas, music, Jewish
Thursday December 1,, 2022
This is the first week of Advent. Advent is the four-week period in which Christian churches traditionally prepare for the birth of Jesus. It’s considered a time of waiting, while we tidy up the dusty corners of our lives to prepare for a special visitor.
I don’t know about you, but I dislike waiting. I feel as if I’ve spent most of my life waiting for something, even if I didn’t clearly know what I was waiting for.
As a child, I waited to be considered an adult.
As a young adult, I waited for my career to find me.
As a father, I waited for my children to grow up. And when they did, I waited for them to come home.
Tags: future, Advent, waiting
Occasionally, The Guardian lets its hair down and writes about itself.
Recently, Sophie Zeldin-O'Neill, The Guardian’s deputy membership editor, wrote in an e-newsletter that Donald Trump's announcement of running for the presidency in 2024 “renewed a debate about how to responsibly cover him without unwittingly providing the coverage he so expertly manipulates.”
She likened it to “walking a tightrope.”
“We will have no hesitation to call a lie a lie, or indeed a liar a liar, even if they are a former US president," said Paul Harris, head of news for The Guardian US.
Tags: Trump, lies, truth, Guardian