Christmas Preparation: What is the good news of great joy?

Santa Claus goes by different names and titles.  Saint Nick or Nicholas.  Kris Kringle.  Father Christmas.  Titles like “saint” and “father” have connotations that give slightly different understandings of who Santa is.
Titles.
I have several titles.  My e-mail signature and the nameplate beside my office door say, “Angie Frame.  Midlothian Campus Pastor, Guide Pastor, Student Director.”  That’s a lot of titles for one small woman, a lot of responsibility balancing on narrow shoulders.
For me, those titles offer clarity of what I …

Christmas Preparation: The Best Christmas Line

There are lots of great Christmas one-liners.  What’s your favorite?  Is it…
“You’ll shoot your eye out”?
“Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings”?
“His heart grew three sizes that day”?
“Smiling’s my favorite”?
 
Some favorite lines from the classic Charlie Brown Christmas are actually from the Bible.  (We looked at this passage yesterday, but there’s plenty of food for thought for several days.)  In this speech in Charlie Brown Christmas, an angel appears to shepherds “…and the glory of the Lord …

Christmas Preparation: Joy and Fear

Christmas is a time of strong and varied feelings, isn’t it?  Joy and sadness.  Hope and nostalgia.  Peace and discord.  Love and loss.  I suspect Christmas has always been that way.
Just last night, my kids and I were having a conversation about whether or not angels still show up and talk to people like they did in the Christmas story. My daughter’s kindergarten friend claims to have seen an angel; my daughter says that’s impossible. The truth is, if an …

Christmas Preparation: Share Joy

Yesterday we read that John the Baptist (or Baptizer) was a little lord a leaping in utero. Today, we read of his grand entrance into the world:
 
When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. (Luke 1:57-58, NIV)
 
Little John was born, and the neighbors and relatives celebrated! I imagine they celebrated that the baby was …

Christmas Preparation: Leap for Joy!

When I was pregnant, it was fascinating and weird to watch my belly move. Of course I felt the kicks. But it wasn’t just a feeling, and it wasn’t just me. You could actually see my belly move. A little baby tush would stick out on one side. The skin stretched, swelled, and surged as the baby flipped and flopped. It kind of looked like the 12 Days of Christmas—a little leaping lord and a tiny lady dancing—inside my belly.
The …

Christmas Preparation: The Week of Joy

Two more weeks ‘til Christmas! Does that fill you with panic or joy or a little bit of both?!
This week of Advent, we reflect on the idea of joy. There are two books in the Bible that tell the Christmas story of baby Jesus—Matthew and Luke. The word “joy” only appears a few times in the whole book of Matthew, but it appears about a dozen times in Luke. Several of those instances come in the stories surrounding Jesus’ birth.
The …

Christmas Preparation: Prioritize Love

Angie Frame here. I’m one of the teaching pastors at PCC, serving primarily as the Midlothian Campus Pastor, and I’m helping out with the blog for a bit.
My head is swimming; my calendar is crowded; my hours are full with Christmas lists to fulfill, goodies to bake, and events to attend. I love it! I love the hustle and bustle, the fullness of the season, the excitement and anticipation. I even love the lists, especially crossing them off.
But it’s a …

Christmas Preparation: The Greatest Love

At this time of year, we seem to measure love by the size of the gift.  I remember one Christmas I really wanted to buy something special for Susan to show her how much I loved her.  I spent way too much money (more than I had) to buy her a gift that she liked, but didn’t love.  We say we love things:  “I love my car!” “I love my ring!” “I love my house!”  But the truth is that …

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