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Advent 2013 – Dec 16

Even as I read those words two pieces of music go through my head. One is from the Messiah, a powerful chorus with the different voices coming in and out singing this verse over and over. The other is a simple little tune I learned in IVCF in my University days...

Advent 2013 – Dec 15

And in despair I bowed my head 
“There is no peace on earth,” I said, 
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
 Of peace on earth, good will to men.” Sometimes, amidst the scandal and tragedy we read about in the news, amidst the personal trials we face, and the...

Advent 2013 – Dec 14

One of my favourite hymns is Christus Paradox – in it, UCC minister and hymnwriter Sylvia Dunstan captures the beauty and mystery of how the holy and the human meet in Jesus Christ: “You, Lord, are both lamb and shepherd. You, Lord, are both prince and slave... You,...

Advent 2013 – Dec 13

Christmas is the time of year when most Christians get to put their faith on display-angels dot the boughs of Christmas trees. Tiny figurines of Jesus, his family, and most unexpected visitors grace miniature (and sometimes life-sized) nativity scenes. And even the...

Advent 2013 – Dec 12

In the opening scene of The Lion King, hundreds of animals come to visit baby Simba. Crowds celebrate his birth and bow down to the newborn prince because, one day, Simba will be King of the Pride Lands. Sometimes, we talk about Christmas as the birth of a prince....

Advent 2013 – Dec 11

“We may not be big, but we’re small”.  The motto of the Vinyl Café could be Bethlehem’s motto.  I love Micah 5:2 because it reminds me that I really do belong in God’s Kingdom.  God has a history of using and seeking out that which is small to do great things.  Think...

Advent 2013 – Dec 10

We all know about darkness. How many people have been afraid of the dark? Darkness has shadows and uncertainty and hidden dangers. Sometimes the darkness is actual and tangible, like being stranded in the middle of nowhere on a cloudy December night, with an absence...

Advent 2013 – Dec 9

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “Human beings are dehumanized by fear. . . .” Fear makes us less than what we truly are, what God made us and calls us to be. Those shepherds in the fields outside of Bethlehem that night had a profound fear experience. An angel! And not the...

Advent 2013 – Dec 8

Recently, I heard someone on the CBC Radio program Quirks and Quarks, explaining that our brains are hardwired for bad news.  Apparently, bad news is what we most readily receive and respond to.  It’s an evolved form of self-protection, a way to avoid the perils of...

Advent 2013 – Dec 7

Just after my mother died eleven years ago, my family and I were invited to Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church for a memorial mass in my mother’s memory. We aren’t Catholic, but some of my mom’s friends had sponsored Mass’ for her during her time with breast cancer. The...

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