The Night Santa Came to Church

When the parish newsletter announced that Santa Claus would be visiting our church on Christmas Eve, I was not amused. He would not be participating in the actual liturgy. In fact, he would not be in the sanctuary at all but rather in the Great Hall following the early service—a time geared for families with [...]

Christmas Stories: Gospel of Luke

The tone, tenor and plot of Luke’s account of the Jesus birth narrative is very different from that in Matthew’s gospel. It is set on grander scale, Mary is more prominent, and Joseph recedes into the background. Both authors in constructing their fictions have chosen very different ways to tell the story. For those interested in any [...]

Christmas Stories: The Gospel of Matthew

Christians carry around in their heads what I call the mush gospel. We mush together the various stories from all the gospels into a single story/gospel that is idiosyncratic. This mush gospel is built up from reading, from hearing the gospel stories read, and from sermons and hymns. We use that mush gospel to make [...]