Holding Butterflies

Not too tight, not too loose

Nativity of the Lord, December 25, 2017

Today’s readings Christmas! This is actually the reading at our church’s Christmas Eve service, but either way it works. Christmas marks the end of Advent and the beginning of the twelve days of Christmas. (The paraments should be white when we get to church tonight.) This is a time of feasting! All the preparation work you were doing in Advent? Relax and enjoy it. Here in the South it seems the tradition is to take your tree down before New Year’s, and I’ve always done that. This year, though, I think I’m going to leave a lot of decorations up until Epiphany, and I’m going to be intentional about celebrating Christmas for the whole twelve days. We have made plans to do fun Christmas-y things as a family next week. I’m looking forward to enjoying this time together. We do have a couple of special days during this season. Today is the Nativity (birth) of Jesus, and then January 1 is Holy Name of Jesus day, celebrating Jesus’ presentation in.. Read More

Fourth Sunday in Advent, December 24, 2017

Today’s Readings Merry Christmas Eve! I will HOPEFULLY have two lessons up for today, this Advent lesson and then the lesson for the Nativity of Our Lord. It’s a busy church day. On to the lesson… Gospel: ┬áLuke 1:26-38 We are in Luke for today’s lesson. Remember that Mark really begins with Jesus’ ministry as an adult. The story of Jesus’ birth is told in Matthew and Luke. To take a quick look at Luke, remember that this is the third of the Synoptic Gospels. Luke was apparently an assistant or student of Paul’s. Luke also wrote the book of Acts, which is where he makes his appearance in the action. Luke has a more distinctly Greek approach to language and action; for example, where he references Hebrew scripture, he does so quoting the Greek Septuagint. Of the three Synoptics, Luke is plainly writing for the more Gentile-oriented. As a matter of fact, he is also writing for the marginalized. I tend to think of Matthew as the Gospel most.. Read More