Sing a Song of Hope

Everybody knows the story of Ebenezer Scrooge  —  the “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner” of Charles Dickens’ immortal novel, A Christmas Carol. The very mention of the name “Scrooge” conjures up the image of a stingy, spiteful old man, and his most famous catchword, “Bah, humbug,” has become a staple...

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What Is Your Happy Place?

  “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart!” Remember that camp song from way back when? It perfectly summarizes the third Sunday of Advent, called “Gaudete Sunday” in Roman Catholic and Anglican circles. “Gaudete” (pronounced “Gow-DAY-tay”) is a Latin word meaning “rejoice,” marking a shift from the...

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Advent: A Time to Purge, Not Perform

  We hear a lot about preparations during the season of Advent. Many people prepare for Christmas Day by trimming the tree, shopping, wrapping presents and throwing parties. I knew a pastor who dreaded the holidays as a kid because his mother would make him scrub the baseboards before family arrived. I’m...

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Five Fun Facts About Advent

  Many years ago, I remember reading a sermon with the title, “Hallowthankmas.” The preacher was making the point that the commercial world has merged Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas into one, big, fat three-month shopping come-on. The Urban Dictionary defines Hallowthankmas as a holiday “celebrating the most wonderful time of the year,...

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