How can you not like Christmas? Okay, there is that… but still… snowflakes, trees and holiday parties? Even Jesus; everyone loves a baby. Trouble is, that baby Jesus doesn’t look like the grown up one. It’s like falling in love with a puppy that grows up to be a dog. What started as silent night and peace on earth turns into ‘be Christian not Muslim’ or ‘believe like this, or else.’ It’s time to hear the stories of God showing up in the Bible and in our lives anew – there’s more to love in the grown up version than you might have thought. Here is what we’ll be talking about…(and here are advent reflections to go along with each week.)
Choosing a Name (November 26): Someone picked out a name for you. If you have a child, you’ve done the same for them. Beside your birth name you have other names given you by yourself or others. They tell you who you are and aren’t, can be and can’t be. They empower and limit you. Christmas is built around a child who was named Jesus. He had other names as well to live up to, or to live down. Today the name Jesus is loaded with meaning and baggage. Let’s get past the talk, listen to his story and see if his name is one we’d choose to be known by.
A Mind of Their Own (December 3): Don’t you hate it when those adorable toddlers, so eager to please, start having ideas, then interests, finally values and lives of their own!? We know it’s good, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Mary and Joseph swooned over their baby in a manger, only to see him turn into a regional activist with a price on his head. Do you still love him? Was it bait and switch? Let’s hear the story again.
A Special Child (December 10): Yes, every child is special, but Jesus was foretold to be really special. “Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace” for starters. That’s not normal. But somehow Jesus took it on, and the world – still full of problems – has never been the same. You are special too. The world needs you. Jesus didn’t come to do all your work, but to open up the world so you could do what you could do, and be who you could be. You are special. Just how special are you willing to let yourself be?
The Universe in Their Eyes (December 17): It has been said that when you are exasperated with your child, go peek at them asleep. You’ll fall in love all over. There are those moments when we look into their guileless, unspoilt eyes and see the stars in which their atoms were formed. The stories of the Bible give us a picture of God feeling the same way about Jesus; the precious center of existence in which life finds meaning. Was he? Are we then too? It’s time to look to the stars and see what the Christmas story tells.
And, join us for one (or all) of our Christmas Gatherings! Learn more here.