December 17, 2017

Archives for December 2016

Another Look: The Pastoral Nativity

“Luke is interested in the symbolism of the manger, and the lack of room in the lodgings may be no more than a vague surmise in order to explain the mention of a manger. This manger is not a sign of poverty but is probably meant to evoke God’s complaint against Israel in Isaiah 1:3: […]

IM Film Review: Manchester by the Sea

IM Film Review: Manchester by the Sea Writer-director [Kenneth] Lonergan, best known for 2000’s Oscar-nominated “You Can Count on Me” and the more recent “Margaret,” has a phenomenal ear for intimate, authentic dialogue, for how people really talk, not how movies think they do. • Kenneth Turan, LA Times • • • I have heard several film […]

Sermon Advent IV: “God with Us” – A Challenging Blessing

Sermon: Advent IV: “God with Us” – A Challenging Blessing (Matt. 1:18-25) Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous […]

Advent Pic and Cantata of the Week IV

ADVENT III Bach Cantata 132, “Prepare the Way! Prepare the Path!” • • • BWV 132 was first performed on December 22, 1715. The nature of this cantata is described in program notes at Emmanuel Music: The brilliant and extroverted aria that opens Bereite die Wege, Bereite die Bahn [Prepare the paths, prepare the road], belies the profound […]

Saturday Ramblings: December 17, 2016

RAMBLER OF THE WEEK Today, a week before Christmas Day, we celebrate Saint Nicholas of Myra as our Rambler of the Week. This fourth century saint has been venerated for centuries throughout the world for his giving spirit. His care for children and penchant for secret gift giving has brought him great renown. Somehow, the power […]

Fridays with Michael Spencer: December 16, 2016

He became the reconciling place where opposites met. He was the meeting place of God and man. Man the aspiring and God the inspiring meet in Him. Heaven and earth came together and are forever reconciled. The material and the spiritual after their long divorce have in Him found their reconciliation. The natural and the […]

Mike the Geologist: On the Grand Canyon and the Flood (7)

Previous posts in the series: On the Grand Canyon and the Flood (1) On the Grand Canyon and the Flood (2) On the Grand Canyon and the Flood (3) On the Grand Canyon and the Flood (4) On the Grand Canyon and the Flood (5) On the Grand Canyon and the Flood (6) • • […]

Another Look: It’s a Wonderful Gospel

What do you need when you have spent your whole life giving to others, sacrificing your dreams to do the responsible thing, being the person others count on when the chips are down; when you are tired of being “that guy” that everyone looks to but no one appreciates? What do you need when you […]

Another Look: The Imagination of Faith

What part does imagination play in faith? Can “truth” be communicated through legend, folk tales, poetry, and music? Many Christmas songs have little to do with describing detailed historical facts. Instead, they evoke images from nature, the Biblical narratives, and the cultures from which they arise to help us not only understand but also feel the meaning and significance […]

Sermon: Advent III – A season for doubters

Sermon: Advent III A season for doubters When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples 3and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” 4Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5the […]