Advent Gifts Unwrapped – foreboding joy

Well, there they are – Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love!Perhaps the most challenging has been Joy, associated yesterday with the Gospel of Matthew’s focus on troubled Joseph’s angelic visitation commanding him to proceed with his betrothal to the strangely pregnant Mary. Thus the introduction of Brené Brown’s phrase “foreboding joy” – the sense that yes,Continue reading “Advent Gifts Unwrapped – foreboding joy”

Advent Voices – the subversive Magnificat

What a strong, evocative, celebratory song is Mary’s Magnificat! And it is highly political, even seditious. If an agent of either Caesar or Herod the Great had been eavesdropping on Mary as she visited her cousin Elizabeth, neither of these women would have survived to tell the story. Mary’s song, however, has become a trans-seasonalContinue reading “Advent Voices – the subversive Magnificat”

Joy in the midst of tragedy?

Church had a challenge wrestling with the Advent theme of Joy today. Already keenly attuned to this world’s dark places, many were processing the still-fresh news of the Connecticut school shooting tragedy. Today’s worship leader, Linda, was thoroughly tuned in.  As we focused on the Lord’s Supper, itself a connection between the sad sorrow ofContinue reading “Joy in the midst of tragedy?”

Advent Reflection: Joy, anticipated and celebrated

Ever have some odd quirky thing from years ago that sticks in your mind that you can’t get rid of, no matter how hard you try? One of mine is a segment from a Rem and Stimpy cartoon – inevitably triggered when I hear the word “joy”. Perhaps because I have been in so manyContinue reading “Advent Reflection: Joy, anticipated and celebrated”