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God Emptied? Why the Manger Matters

I think it’s perhaps the cuteness of Jesus that people walk away from. This is understandable, particularly at Christmas. The baby Jesus in the manger with all the animals–it’s all so adorable, and gets lumped in with the rest of the cuteness of the season. What, though, is the substance of the birth of Jesus? […]

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Christmas by the Graves

Strangely, one of my favorite moments of the Christmas season occurs in a cemetery. My wife’s name is Heather, and her family gathers every year to cover two graves with blankets of pine boughs adorned with Christmas decorations. Prior to going to the graveside, there is a decorating party where the blankets are prepared. The role […]

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Christmas in One Word: Behold

One of the greatest stage performances ever is, of course, Linus’ reading of Luke 2.8-14 in the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Linus seems to have not just memorized the words but internalized them; his tone matches the wonder and majesty of Luke’s prose, and his delivery somehow exults the text while simultaneously positing that his own existence, […]

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Three #thoughtsandprayers Needed for San Bernardino

The Twitter rage against “thoughts and prayers” offered by politicians following yesterday’s shooting in San Bernardino, originating with @igorvolsky (and fueled by the New York Daily New’s Headline, “God Isn’t Fixing This”) and his shaming of politicians who tweeted out “thoughts and prayers” and yet have received contributions from the NRA is, admittedly, mostly about apparent […]

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Christmas with Bonhoeffer

Christmas some years seems precarious. Not retail Christmas, of course–that’s certain and fixed, in that same hallowed category as death and taxes. The Christmas behind that one, though, the Christ-mass, the coming of God into the world, God’s inhabiting of disordered reality, the babe in the manger–that one can appear a bit thin. Its warmth and joy […]

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Places, People!

I guess it’s not surprising that I should love a place like Pagosa Springs, CO, where I am this week. I married into this place, for my wife always vacationed here when she was little, and our family now does the same, staying with my parents-in-law who now live here. So of course my soul […]

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Paris: A Theological Response

I’ve mostly been responding to Paris as a human. Within my spirit, that is, there has been a mixture of outrage, sadness, eye-rolling resignation, and (frankly) a half-willed ignoring–getting on with my life with a Friday dinner party and a weekend flag football tournament with my nine year old. But I am a follower of […]

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The Link

“Today is your day.” These were the words I heard from the congenial old man as he road away from me on his mountain bike. He’d caught up to me as I paced myself up the moderate trail in Boulder Canyon. I was trying to conserve energy, knowing that in a mile I would be […]

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Batman and Jesus

On the way out of the gym one day I walked by Batman. He was walking in; I was walking out. I knew it was him because of his mask and cape. He was with his mom. This particular batman was about 3. He had chubby cheeks, and seemed really excited about life that day, […]

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Pastors, Forget About Paychecks

I got punched in the gut once at a pastors prayer meeting. Not my real gut, but the gut of my soul, if you know what I mean. I reguarly go to these things, monthly prayer meetings for pastors and ministry leaders, not because I always love it, but because I think it’s important. Almost two […]

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