A Royal Loss

Earlier this year, I took a swim in the tidal creek behind our house. The sun was shining, the water was cool and calm, and all of nature all around seemed a benevolent radiance of peace and tranquility. Meanwhile, a few hundred miles south, hurricane Irma had devastated the Virgin Islands and Haiti and was barreling down on southern Florida. I wondered: was nature friend or foe? Perhaps it simply was what it was – sometimes a blessing and sometimes a curse depending on whether or not we were in the right or wrong place at the critical junctures. But then there was the deeper story. Mankind had been created to be the regent of creation – the steward, the king, the lord under the lordshi

Like a Thief in the Night

Alright, I confess. I have been doing some idle speculation recently, prompted by international unrest, national divides, and domestic violence. But hey—that’s just life, right? In allowing myself to sink down into such speculation, I have not acted wisely. Nor are my reasons and arguments particularly clever or well-thought-out. I have been dabbling with (drum roll please)… eschatology. The end times. Armageddon and all of that. When is Jesus returning? What will life on earth be like? Might it just possibly happen in my lifetime? Like, I said, a bit foolish and certainly highly speculative. So please (really, I mean this quite earnestly) don’t any of you get any weird ideas that

Cleaning Up

It was mom’s party, but whenever she hosted her bridge club my brother and I would get stuck cleaning the house. We then had to take a shower early and get ready for bed and hide ourselves safely out of sight. Thankfully we were allowed to watch a special on TV – something like A Charlie Brown Christmas. But regardless of whether anything was worth watching, we always had to get ready when someone was visiting. Get ready. Someone’s coming. Advent begins by proclaiming that Christ Jesus, the Son of God, is coming again. We don’t know when He will come, so we are called to be on the lookout and to be ready when He does appear. Part of the way we get ready is to clean up the house of our h

Beginning Again: Advent

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. It marks the beginning of a new Church year. We tend to think of this season as a warmup to Christmas, but that is only a partial understanding of Advent. The word "advent" means "coming" or "to come to," and in the life of the Church, Advent celebrates the two comings of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We begin the season by recalling the truth that Christ will come again. He will come in glory and with His angels to judge the living and the dead. He will set all to right, and His Kingdom will have no end. How easy it is to lose sight of this in the midst of our busyness and our worries. Life as we know it now is not the way things will be forever. We m

Up, In, and Out

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…. So croons the voice of Andy Williams over and over again on the radio and in stores everywhere. Most wonderful? In theory, perhaps. Busiest feels closer to the mark. Instead of being something we engage reflectively, Christmas runs us over like a Mack truck more often than not. (What just hit me?) So what might we do differently this year to head off that seemingly inevitable collision? “Up, In, and Out” comes to mind. Really. Try this at home. And out of the home. Up: Worship shifts our focus. In ways we won’t always recognize, worship ushers into the presence of God and connects us to Him in ways that run far deeper in our being than ju

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