Kidnapping Jesus

Progressive Christian Reflections

On several occasions I have persuaded George Lynch to tell his story about fellow students at the conservative evangelical Gordon-Conwell Seminary near Boston kidnapping the baby Jesus from the manger of the Christmas crèche, holding him hostage until the food in the dining hall was improved.

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9 Lessons and Carols of God’s Love

fill us with your spirit that we may come to share in your divinity;
and that in the company of those who knew your birth among us, we may sing glory and know your peace.
This we pray in the name of Jesus of Bethlehem and Egypt, of Nazareth and Jerusalem.

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Blessing for Advent – Celestial Brightness

Follow a star that’s twinkling with courage,
blazing with possibility
to the space, the essence that is God.

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Affirmation of faith for Advent (responsive litany)

By faith, Mary let go of fear, and engendered a mothering God

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Advent Prayer

We crouch with Mary on the straw of our messy lives
letting go of everything but this moment.

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You Who Delight Me – Poems of love & Words of spirit and faith

“you who delight me” is in two parts:
poems of love—secular and spirited writing about people, places and events; and
words of spirit and faith—inclusive language, contemporary liturgies for individual contemplation and progressive faith communities.

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Christmas Poem

The last candle burns
The waiting’s almost over
Soon we’ll hear a baby crying
and we’ll know that God is no mere idea

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Jesus, You Were Born at Christmas

Jesus, you were born at Christmas,
like us, a child of God.

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The Birth of Jesus

Born to a poor uneducated carpenter and his partner
All: Jesus was one with oppressed humankind

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A Baby Cries

Christmas Prayer, December 1992

A baby cries…
and its cry commands our attention.
What does it need, how can we provide?

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Advent Eucharistic Prayer

Presider: O come, Emanuel, into our longing hearts.
People: We lift our hearts to You
Presider: As we gather around this table
People: In expectation and hope.

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Affirmations and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – Mary and Joseph

What does the New Testament tell us about Mary? Mark, the earliest gospel, did not include a birth narrative, so his mentions of Mary are vague and not very flattering. He says Jesus’ family (the family isn’t specified; does he mean Mary and Joseph or Mary and Jesus’ brothers?) attempted to restrain him because people were claiming he was out of his mind (Mark 3:21). If Mary was present, it seems strange that other gospel verses say she was visited by an angel who told her that she would conceive a special child or to whom Luke says shepherds came in wonder to visit her newborn child or to whom Matthew says wise men journeyed to bring gifts to welcome her wondrous child’s birth.

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