A Baby Changes Everything

A guy calls the hospital and says, "You gotta send help! My wife's going into labor!" The nurse says, "Calm down. Is this her first child?" He says, "No! This is her husband!" Let’s face it, a baby changes everything and quickly moves us from peace to panic. But you don’t have to believe me. Check out these four quotes. They'll prove it to you. “A perfect example of minority rule is a baby in the house.” -- Milwaukee Journal “I don’t want to sleep like a baby, I want to sleep like my husband.” – Anonymous “Having a new baby is like suddenly getting the world's worst roommate.” -- Anne Lamott “If your baby is beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time, you’re the grandma.” -- Theresa Bloomingdale Yes, we all agree, a baby changes everything; but

Oh, Tidings of Sorrow and Joy, Sorrow and Joy

Joy. It’s a Christmas thing. Isaiah predicted its coming. Gabriel announced it to Zechariah. John the Baptizer, while still in the womb, leapt for it. The angels proclaimed it in abundance to the shepherds. And we sing about it . . . a lot. Joy can be found in “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” “Good Christian Men Rejoice,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “O Holy Night,” “What Child Is This?” “When Shepherds Watched Their Flocks,” “O, Come, All Ye Faithful” and, of course, “Joy to the World.” With all this joy, one would think that the angel would have said to Joseph, “The virgin will give birth to a son, and they will call him 'Imjoyuel' (which means ‘joy with us’).”  Bottom line, there’s a lot of joy in Christmas. And yet, when we read Isaiah’s description of Jesus and his life, we don’t

The Self-Defrosting Freezer — Bah Humbug!

It was a normal Friday night. The Edge youth group was over, and I was locking up the downstairs of the church after one of our depth groups had met there (a windows-open, physically-distant, masks-required depth group with 2-4 students). I went over to make sure the orange closet door was locked, and that was when I noticed that the freezer door seemed to have been left open. Ugh. I figured before I left for the night, I should first throw out any food that was inside.  So, I went to open the door, but it didn’t budge. And yes, that was odd, thanks for noticing.  If at first, you can’t open the door, try, try again. So, I did. Again and again, I pulled and I pulled, but nothing. In a huff, I went looking for a solution and came back with a sturdy pole which, when rightly applied,

An Awful, Amusing and Artificial Christmas

Word meanings change over time. There is a great story that, nearing the end of the construction of the Cathedral of St Paul, the queen was taken on a tour of the nearly-finished cathedral by the chief architect, Sir Christopher Wren.  When the visit was complete, the queen told Wren in no uncertain terms that the new building was amusing, awful, and artificial. I would have been devastated, but remarkably, Wren was quite pleased.  Why? Because in the 1600’s, “amusing” meant “amazing,” “awful” meant “awe-inspiring,” and “artificial” meant “artistic.” See, word meanings change over time. In fact, until the beginning of the 19th century, weddings were still described as “awful ceremonies” (maybe many should still be described that way today!). I wonder if that is what is going on in Luke 1, that the words we understand to mean “good” and “wonderful” meant something else to Mary. When the angel visits Mary

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