November 22, 2017

Sermon Christmas II: Returning to Our Work

Christmas II (New Year’s Day) Returning to Our Work 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and […]

Christmas II: Pic and Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture to see larger image) • • • CHRISTMAS II Bach Cantata 28, “Praise God! Now the Year Comes to an End” Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende, Das neue rücket schon heran. Gedenke, meine Seele, dran, Wieviel dir deines Gottes Hände Im alten Jahre Guts getan! Stimm ihm ein frohes Danklied an; […]

Christmas Eve Homily 2016

Christmas Eve Homily 2016 Christ and Caesar: The True King is Born! In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went […]

Merry Christmas from Internet Monk

Madonna Adoring the Infant, Francesco Botticini • • • Jauchzet, frohlocket! auf, preiset die Tage, Rühmet, was heute der Höchste getan! Lasset das Zagen, verbannet die Klage, Stimmet voll Jauchzen und Fröhlichkeit an! Dienet dem Höchsten mit herrlichen Chören, Laßt uns den Namen des Herrschers verehren! Shout for joy, exult, rise up, glorify the day, […]

Christmas Eve: Undermining Empire

Well, all right, let’s talk about the baby Jesus. Why was he born in Bethlehem? Luke tells us: because the then global superpower wanted to raise taxes, so told everyone to sign up and pay up. That’s how the Middle East worked then, and, with minor adjustments, that’s how it works today. This was Caesar’s […]

Fridays with Michael Spencer: On Christmas Eve Eve

A Classic Michael Spencer Post From Christmas 2008 My favorite piece of liturgy in the world is a sentence in the opening section of the Traditional Service of Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast round the world on the BBC. Why is it so moving? Because it is beautiful and true. Each year, as more and […]

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 Gift Guide 2016 — Part One: Books

IM Gift Guide 2016 — Part One: Books If you haven’t made up your Christmas wish list yet, here are a few items we recommend for gift-receiving and giving this year. The links in today’s post and in most posts throughout the year will take you to Amazon, where Internet Monk is an Associate. That means if you […]

Christmastide II: He makes it possible not to give up

Christmastide II He makes it possible not to give up I consider it a providential blessing that our New Year’s Day falls within the bounds of Christmastide. Both speak of new beginnings and hope, and both seem to refresh our spirits, energizing them to start again when we have tired. Here is a brief excerpt from a […]

Please…confront me with the strangeness of Christmas

The story of Jesus has no bite. A tame “baby Jesus” makes his annual, heart-warming appearance, and leaves us largely un-bothered and un-changed. Yet when I read the two Gospel accounts, I am struck by how strange these narratives are, unsettling and fantastical at every corner. • W. David O. Taylor • • • Thank […]