December Clergy BINGO

  Dec. 22: “Sorry I can’t [do what I’m scheduled to do Christmas Eve] because I have to [do this thing I’ve known about for months].” Fire safety concerns crowd out holy awe as entire congregation holds lit candles while singing Silent Night Dirge tempo for “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”—all seven verses Realization that you… Read More

RCL: Christmas Continues

If we are listening, I’m quite certain we can still hear Rachel weeping for her children. It isn’t exactly what we want to be thinking about with Christmas candles still burning, though, is it? For decades I have avoided preaching on this passage from Matthew. The other texts this week are much more uplifting and… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Last Christmas

So we light the Christ candle and we take that light into the world, hoping it will shine brighter than before, that nuclear winter will be a fear of the past, and that springtime resurrection will appear for us once again. Read More

Friday Festival: Eve Meditations

The eve of Christmas Eve is waning (in the U.S.’s eastern time zone). For many RevGals who pastor churches all around the world, the final preparations & worship services are nearing completion. The light at the end of the Advent/Christmas liturgical tunnel is drawing blessedly near. To encourage your spirit’s meditation amidst the busyness of… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

This weekend we celebrate the birth of Jesus! It’s an honor and blessing to proclaim one of the central stories of our faith to worshippers on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. It is also a continual struggle for preachers – how do we proclaim such a familiar story in a way that is faithful, relevant,… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Born in the Night, Mary’s Child (Luke 2:1-20)

            The story of Jesus’ birth is so well known that even Saturday Night Live can parody it, assuming that their audience will know the story.  Twice-a-year church attenders, college students dragged to church while home on winter break, and our Jewish neighbors all know this story.  Is there anything left to say about it,… Read More

Wednesday Festival: Christmas Past…

This past Sunday night I saw the most interesting approach to the play “A Christmas Carol”! An audience of less than 150 people sat on benches in Ebenezer Scrooge’s office, and watched as live performers combined with puppets (representing all the ghosts and the memories) acted out the wonderful Dickens tale.  My favorite ghost last… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Fleeting Christmas

The Christmas season is so short! Many teachers and students started their winter break during Advent, and will return after the last Sunday in the season of Christmas. This crucial season in the church year, when we celebrate the arrival of our Savior as a newborn child, is as fleeting as the infancy of a real newborn… Read More