A ‘Buy Nothing Christmas’

Dec 5, 2017 by

A few years ago some Canadian Mennonites came up with the idea of “Buy Nothing Christmas.” Check out their website at buynothingchristmas.org. With humor they direct you to a “Buy Nothing Catalogue”...

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Bible: The baby who threatened a king

Dec 4, 2017 by

Acts 14 showcases the people’s impulse to make gods of human leaders. Listening to Paul and Barnabas speak, seeing them manifest God’s power, the people mistake these men for something they’re not,...

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Kraybill: Tyrant loses moral authority

Dec 4, 2017 by

Matthew reports that wise men from the East, presumably Gentiles, came to Jerusalem asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we have come to pay him homage.” When Herod heard...

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The missional nature of the Incarnation

Dec 4, 2017 by

As I enter this Christmas season, I am reminded again and again of the ways in which we have co-opted the story of the birth of Jesus as another ploy to get people saved (lead people to jesus, get people to...

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Grow joy this Christmas

Nov 28, 2017 by

The Eternal God planted a garden in the east in Eden—a place of utter delight—and placed the man whom He had sculpted there. In this garden, He made the ground pregnant with life—bursting forth with...

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All up to you?

Nov 3, 2017 by

I’m sitting in Starbucks shivering over a latte while I get a new set of tires put on my car. Here in southern Alberta, we have been treated to a blast of winter worthy of mid-January. The scene is a pretty...

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Jesus was born to die, but there’s more to the story

Dec 27, 2016 by

While some lament that Christmas has become increasingly secularized and materialistic, others have posted blogs and Facebook statuses reminding us of the real meaning of Christmas. Recently, Benjamin L....

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Hanukkah lights at Christmastime

Dec 21, 2016 by

First there was Jehovah — the creator and grand designer of the universe as we know it. Emanating from God was Judaism, the systems of traditions God wanted his people to embrace. Finally, Jesus came as the...

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Embrace the darkness

Dec 19, 2016 by

Hens lose their egg-laying gusto as the days get shorter. Rather than offer a winter respite to her flock, my wife chose brainwashing over relief. Already in October she festooned the chicken run with...

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MCC Christmas message: Pray with us for peace

Dec 15, 2016 by , and

Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace. Exactly 200 years ago, in the...

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San Antonio church finds room for refugee influx

Dec 12, 2016 by and

One week into Advent, San Antonio Mennonite Church tore down its Christmas decorations to make room for the real thing. Hundreds of women and children unexpectedly discharged from immigrant detention...

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Waiting for liberation

Dec 5, 2016 by

Jesus was born into a community of second-class citizens waiting for a liberator. Those who experienced the first Advent endured the weight of oppression — the Roman Empire’s occupation of Judea. Those of...

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Bible: Saviors and forerunners

Dec 5, 2016 by

The story announcing the birth of John the Baptist begins in Luke 1:5. Both Zechariah the priest and his wife, Elizabeth, lived “blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord.”...

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Kehrberg: Strategies for Scrooge

Dec 5, 2016 by

Santa knows that we’re God’s children, that makes everything right. — Gene Autry, “Here Comes Santa Claus” I considered writing some kind of reflection on the political climate here in the United...

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MCC Christmas statement: 5 reasons to give

Nov 28, 2016 by and

WINNIPEG, Man. — What better gifts can you give this Christmas than goats, peacebuilding knowledge, seeds, school supplies or a well of clean drinking water? Through Mennonite Central Committee’s...

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5 steps toward drama-free holidays

Nov 22, 2016 by

So, it’s finally here. The holidays are upon us, and there’s no turning back, and no avoiding them. I don’t know about you, but while I’m looking forward to the holidays, and while I want to be able to...

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It’s time for Christmas

Jul 18, 2016 by

At Christmas time we give gifts to people we love and to people we do not know. At Christmas time we stop trying to get even with people who have hurt us and instead we focus on showing kindness, even to...

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Christmas without incarnation

Jan 13, 2016 by

This past Christmas I noticed something: a lot of Christians talk about Christmas without talking about the incarnation, at least not in any meaningful way. This can be from conservatives or liberals (usually...

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Will you follow Epiphany’s star?

Jan 5, 2016 by

The evening of Jan. 5, we will celebrate the Eve of Epiphany, the last feast of Christmas. This celebration commemorates the arrival of the magi, the wise men from the East who brought gifts to the infant...

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Creation care and incarnation

Dec 30, 2015 by

Emmanuel. God with us. Really. In the flesh. The incarnation means that in the most real and concrete way, God is connected to the physical reality of this planet. God has inhabited a human body with skin,...

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It’s still Christmas

Dec 29, 2015 by

Now that Christmas Day is over, many of us feel let down because the day we have been anticipating for so long is over. The malls strip their elaborate decorations and junk their remaining Christmas stocks...

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Frightening light

Dec 24, 2015 by

The “rising sun” came unexpectedly and unobtrusively upon those living in darkness. It was a very small light in a very ordinary place. A baby. Of all things. A baby boy. Which didn’t seem very...

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Bethlehem: beauty and brutality

Dec 23, 2015 by

The Sunday before Advent, I was preaching in Bethlehem. While there, a Palestinian friend I’ve known for nearly 20 years and who shares my appreciation for Orthodox icons gave me the wonderful gifts of a...

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Jesus’ earliest journeys

Dec 18, 2015 by

Many of us who are parents have at one time or another had the desire to see our children do just what we wanted them to. It happens occasionally, but more often, not. The best example of a son...

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Christmas celebration as protest

Dec 17, 2015 by

“In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.” (Luke 2:1) The words are so familiar that we don’t give them a second thought. But this is how...

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