Peace: How Do I Get it – Part 1

Yesterday, in preparation for Christmas, we began a conversation about Peace.  If you didn’t read my post, you can do it here, and it will help you put your life in context for today’s discussion.
One critical element of Christmas is supposed to be peace.  Jesus would be called the “Prince of Peace” (see Isaiah 9).  To his followers, Jesus later said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the …

Peace: Why don’t I have it?

I met with someone a couple of weeks ago at a restaurant near her work.  Over coffee, tucked into a booth in the back corner, she shared the tumult in her life.  Her husband of 4 years is a drug addict.  No longer in recovery, he’s now actively using.  Heroin is an epidemic, but it’s also an epic life destroyer.  Especially for this young wife and her 3 little kids.
Though she was taking a break from work and had to …

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 …

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