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Let 2022 Be Your Ode to JOY!

I wonder what the numerous losses our world has experienced in the past two years may have liberated us from. What joys may we discover in this liberation? In the freedom from the way things were? In the discovery of stars to guide us? In the joy we allow ourselves to take in each new birth.

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Hope – Remembering Christmas Eve 1941

Woven into the fabric of the disturbing news that continually bombards us are those moments of humanity, mostly unreported, that tell us who we really are.

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Lo, Christmas Songs Reworded; SF Opera chorister Amy McKenzie sings

Blessed Christmas-tide even in a particularly bleak mid-winter. One carol includes a metaphorical rose blooming in darkest winter.

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Peace, Health, and Democracy on Earth for a Second Pandemic Christmas

Jesus was best known for healing and exorcising. The crowds that came for medical help got more than they may have expected as they heard him speak about justice for everyone and love for neighbors and enemies. Spreading health and preaching compassion were at the heart of being the Prince of Peace.

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The Omega Tree

With childlike wonder and anticipation, I too will be dreaming this holiday, less of a White Christmas than a multi-colored, trans-religious, trans-disciplinary, trans-“everything” world, one complete with an iconic (conic?) tree, party hat, and in a literary sense, megaphone.

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Luminous Darkness: An Advent Exercise to Embrace Every Part of You

As the days grow shorter and autumn deepens its hues, this past Sunday marked the beginning of the season many Jesus-followers call Advent. Once, Mary began her long journey to Jerusalem to oblige their state’s census while growing the life of Emmanuel (God-with-us) within her. Now, we attend to the ordinary matters of life while carrying the hoped-for life of the Divine kin-dom, culminating in our collective celebration of the Christmas season.

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Seeds of Peace

‘Seeds of Peace’ is set to the carol-tune O little town of Bethlehem. It’s sung by a Children’s choir in London.

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Christmas for Adults: When Jesus Isn’t the Reason for the Season

Jesus is, in fact, no longer the reason for the season. But the reason this is so extends far beyond the cultural and commercial contamination of a quaint old tale.

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Light for the Midnight Darkness of the COVID Winter

 I have found two books to be especially helpful this Christmas. Living under COVID restrictions is like being imprisoned. Sermons written by Martin Luther King, Jr., while in jail speak directly to the concerns of today, although he was thinking of the situation in the 1960s.

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Christmas Magic

It wasn’t until two years ago that I finally understood the magic of Christmas. I tell people with regard to Passover seders that until you’ve been to at least three of them, you don’t really get the genre. I guess I needed a few Christmases of doing it to understand that it’s not about the tree and the gifts.

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Christmas

The Christmas story is one of comfort and sweetness, if you will allow me that word. But we must not become so enamored by the Silent Night that we miss the revolutionary impact of the imagery. God appears in the poor places on earth and not in the councils of the rich and powerful.

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Make Room for LOVE To BE Born Right Here and NOW!

What a strange Advent this has been. In the midst of this pandemic, so many of our rituals and customs have been set aside as we struggle to do our part to slow the numbers down and bend that curve. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have much of an appetite for John the Baptist’s ranting and raving this Advent Season.

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Christmas Music with Amy McKenzie and Alice Wildermuth O’Sullivan

Christmas with Amy McKenzie, soprano and Alice Wildermuth O’Sullivan on piano.

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Music Video: Fantasies on Christmas Carols

This recording features Alice Wildermuth O’Sullivan playing her own arrangements of Christmas Carols on piano, augmented by bell instruments. As an organist and church musician in Lutheran churches for years, Alice developed these arrangements, some dating back to her first Christmas as a church organist when she was five.

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Advent/Christmas

At the end of Christmas Eve worship we light candles and sing the familiar hymn, “Silent Night.” Yet how many of us will find ourselves in the lonely silence of Christmas this year? Oh silent night, we cry out. How long until we can raise our voices once again? So we sing out…

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Have Yourself a Twilight Zone Christmas

For many people, and certainly for the business community, the Christmas season is over by New Years day. But the traditional Christian calendar actually extends Christmas until January 6, which begins the season of Epiphany. Hence, the “Twelve days of Christmas” as enumerated in the popular song.

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Free for Advent: “The First Christmas” with John Dominic Crossan

FaithandReason® is bringing you a 4-part “Advent Podcast Series” with special guest John Dominic Crossan! Once a week for the next four weeks, we will interview Dr. Crossan about “The First Christmas,” the book by Crossan and the late Marcus Borg.

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Christmas Poem

Human child of human mother,
see the Christ has come to birth,
demonstrating now in living
every person’s human worth.

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