On The Very First Christmas My True Love Gave To Me...

Well, it wasn’t a partridge in a pear tree or any of those other quasi-useless demonstrations of love, most of which seem incredibly pointless to this pragmatist – although I should check the market, maybe I could sell them and pay off some of my mortgage… If you send me Ten Lords-a-Leaping etc and so forth, I’ll put on a show, sell tickets and maybe get my nice front picket fence done! I wonder what Mary and Joseph thought about the wise mens gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh when they got them. They were certainly out of the ordinary gifts for a perfectly ordinary family. Particularly since one of them was a funerary spice. (Matthew 2 NIV) That brings it back for me right around to Eas

Preparation: Fruit For Toil

Still Advent, but I wonder if you’ve ever considered Esther. Twelve months of beauty treatments before being presented before King Xerxes for consideration to replace the former queen. Esthers’ Hebrew name was Hadassah which means “Myrtle” and implies “sweet fragrance”, but the name we know her by, has more interesting implications. Esther has been linked to Persian origins, and those of us who have sat under sermons about her, in pews for many years might have heard that she was wise to change her name to something less Hebraic in order to fit into palace life. Esther may be a play on one of the names of a female goddess in the local region, and now has come to mean star. However, as I was

The Ground Is Level At The Foot Of The Cross

This might be a little more Easter than Advent, but I find that this season actually forces me to consider the full ramifications of the decision God made to live among us here on earth. So this week I have one thing for reflection. No matter who we are, where we come from, our experiences, our lifestyles, our gifts, talents, likes, dislikes, height, age, ethnicity, religious heritage. When we are at the foot of the Cross, we all stand on the same platform. No one person is better or worse off than any other person. No one is more or less talented than anyone else. No one is any more holy than anyone else. What gift or gifts He has given someone does not make them more important than you or

Able To Choose

Advent has begun. Many different denominations follow liturgical calendars, on Sunday I was in a service that used readings from one of those calendars, for the first time in a long time. I love pomp and circumstance, and on one hand, the pomp-ier and circumstance-ier, the better! I like things that twinkle and sparkle, I like things that smell and make tinkley little noises, I like gonging, chants, well trained choirs, good organists, lone pipe-men, bugles, responsive readings, ancient architecture, Latin and Greek and people having services in their mother tongue. All kinds of things that go along with High Church Ceremony. There’s an ease that seems to come with feeling like if everything

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