New year, new resolutions. For some reason this year I have heard more talk about resolutions than years past. The conversation has not been about what resolutions folks are making but rather why they don’t work and how you can make them work. I don’t remember that conversation happening last year or the years before. Multiple podcasts and blogs that I read have covered the topic this year. I usually enter a new year with new resolutions for my life. I also usually fail them by the end of January. Should we make new years resolutions?
This week I look at what it means to be a social creature in today’s world by talking about how community strengthens us. We need one another to be stronger by design. What ways does Social Media and today’s technology help us in this endeavor and what pitfalls are there?
Today I start a new series examining the essential human nature as a social creature. We are created to work best in community with others. Technology throughout human history has impacted how we interact but the desire to be social has always been there. What can we learn about our social nature to apply to the tools available to us today?
Have you ever realized how strange the story of the magi from the east visiting Jesus is? Today I contemplate the inspiration of the famous hymn “As With Gladness Men of Old” and how it connects to this strange story in the gospel of Matthew.
The night that Jesus was born was unlikely to be silent, so why does the hymn “Silent Night” resonate so much with the Christmas season? I contemplate the inspiration of this hymn and how it can be an analogy of peace and stillness before God even when our lives are busy and noisy.
Today I reflect with out Church’s kids on the presence of angels at the birth of Jesus. The shepherds share the news with the most unlikely folks in a nearby field watching their sheep.
I reflect on the beautiful contradiction of the Christmas story, God become human in Jesus. God provided a rose in the desert. A blooming rose in the frigid winter.
I have known so many people over the years who were turned off from Christianity or were deeply hurt by Christians and lost their faith over it. Recently I have been thinking about what happens when Christians fail those around them. Part of it is because of high profile cases of Christian leaders failing those they serve very publicly and some of it is because of personal experiences. I wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago aimed at Christians who have been hurt by their brothers or sisters in the faith or by the Church itself. While I was writing that, I realized it did not really address those who do not consider themselves Christian but who have also been hurt. This is my attempt to start a conversation with those folks.
I continue to look at the hymns of advent and Christmas this week by exploring the setting of Jesus’ birth and inspiration for “O’ Little Town of Bethlehem”
Today I begin a new series inspired by the music around the story of Christmas. This week is “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” written by Charles Wesley to remember the waiting of Israel for the messiah fulfilled in Jesus and our waiting today for Jesus to return.