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A Child Is Born

A darkened room
A trembling womb
Her sharp breaths cut the air

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Topics: Fiction and Poetry. 8 Points: Point 8: Compassion and Selfless Love. Seasons & Special Events: Advent and Christmas. Ages: All Ages. Texts: Luke and Matthew. Resource Types: Poetry.

Cosmic Christmas Communion

From grains, bread connects us to soil and a three billion year old process. Photosynthesis, first begun when ocean organisms, earth’s first populations, with neither brains or bibles, learned how to create a chlorophyll molecule. Since then all biological life is able to trap, store, and convert sun’s energy into food that sustains both the plant and that specie’s place in the food chain. Like the elements connect Christians to the nourishing ways of Jesus, food unites us to our ecology and the life-sustaining ways of nature itself. Communion, it is not only a rite of Christianity, it is the evolutionary levan in the Earth story itself.

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Topics: Theology & Religious Education. 8 Points: Point 7: Integrity of the Earth. Seasons & Special Events: Christmas. Ages: Adult. Rituals: Communion. Resource Types: Full Service Liturgies, Interfaith, and Sermons.

The Holy Nativity of a Human Jesus

On the First Sunday of the Advent season this year – for those Christian faith communities that observe a liturgical calendar — the traditional four weeks of waiting on the tiptoe of expectation only lasted until 1:37 PM that afternoon for our family; when my own daughter gave birth to her first-born child.

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God in the Belly

Full of God, full to birthing,
Mary howls: head back, hair tossed,
Hands skyward with joy
That wrongs are about to be righted,
Salvation’s about to be sighted.

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Topics: Fiction and Poetry. 8 Points: Point 6: Peace and Justice. Seasons & Special Events: Christmas. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Texts: Luke. Prayers: Invocation. Resource Types: Meditations and Spiritual Journey Reflections.

A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 35: Experiencing God as Joy, A Christmas Lesson

We know true joy when we experience the reality of God’s presence within. The word joy is used at Christmastime so often that it is almost synonymous with the season. When we have an inner awareness of the presence of God, we experience joy. When we celebrate the birth of Christ, we celebrate that living presence born on earth. Joyful day! God’s presence can be experienced in every moment of our lives when we become aware that the reality of God never changes; it is not dependent on circumstance or season.

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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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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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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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Maybe We Shouldn’t Use Xmas But Not For The Reason You Think

Every December, there is much debate over the “War on Christmas.” And while many barbs are passed back and forth over “happy holidays” and “the reason for the season,” one of the more popular notions is that when Xmas is used in place of Christmas, it is an attempt to remove Christ from the holiday.

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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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Topics: Devotional, Fiction and Poetry, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus. Seasons & Special Events: Advent and Christmas. Resource Types: Poetry and Readings.

Jesus, You Were Born at Christmas

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

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Topics: Arts and Music, Devotional, and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Advent, Christmas, and Easter. Resource Types: Audio MP3 and Hymns.

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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Topics: Devotional and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus, Point 4: Act As We Believe, and Point 6: Peace and Justice. Seasons & Special Events: Advent and Christmas. Resource Types: Poetry and Prayers.

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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Answers for Lukas

My “musing” a few weeks ago focused on a 7-year old boy’s question:  “What ideas do you have about how to stop the mean people?”  Since seeing his question on a poster he made and placed on …

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The Donkey’s Dream

A beautifully illustrated story of the Nativity. He was just an ordinary donkey, but on his back he carried a miracle. He carried the Virgin Mary to Bethlehem on the night she gave birth. Along the way he dreamed he was carrying a city, a ship, a fountain, and a rose. He dreamed he was carrying a lady full of heaven–and he was. Barbara Helen Berger’s glowing artwork and lyrical text perfectly convey the beauty and majesty of the story of the Nativity

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