Tread Boldly, Give Generously

I don't think I've ever sung or heard the song "Good King Wenceslas" in an Advent or Christmas worship service. After all, the song doesn't mention Advent or Christmas. It doesn't tell the story of Mary and Joseph, and there are no shepherds, angels, wise men, or star. There is no baby Jesus crying or … Continue reading Tread Boldly, Give Generously

Holidays for the Hurting: A Devotion to Help You Heal

In our household, the first Sunday of Advent marks the official start of our count-down to Christmas. So yesterday we lit the first of the four Advent candles at church and put up the first of our decorations at home. Today I usher in this Advent and Christmas season with an excerpt from Holidays for … Continue reading Holidays for the Hurting: A Devotion to Help You Heal

The Radical Love of Christmas for Every Day

One of the gifts I received this season has been a series of Advent devotionals sent to me by Frank Klassen, a good friend and now pastor of Trinity Pacific Church. Written in collaboration with Jenn Baerg and Arlene Wu, the series began as a project for a Missional Leadership class at Regent College, where … Continue reading The Radical Love of Christmas for Every Day

Praying for Peace on the Fourth Day of Christmas

For Christmas eve, the children of my congregation shared prayers of peace that they had written for children in the Philippines and Nepal. I hope to share their beautiful words on the Emmanuel church website [See Celebrating Jesus by Praying for Peace], and in the meantime, here is the intergenerational litany of peace that I … Continue reading Praying for Peace on the Fourth Day of Christmas

Wishing You a “Mary” Christmas

In view of Mary's special role as the mother of Jesus, she received a special name in the early church. Theotokos combines two Greek words: Theo which means God, and tokos which means one who bears or who gives birth. So Theotokos means “God bearer,” for Mary quite literally brought God into the world by giving birth … Continue reading Wishing You a “Mary” Christmas

Celebrate Christmas with a Free Download on the Birth of Jesus

In a previous article, I wrote about Green Egg Media and its ten-volume Power Bible, which re-tells the biblical story from creation to the minor prophets, from the birth of Jesus to the vision of God’s eternal kingdom. Each volume looks and feels substantial, with vibrant colours, detailed drawings, and quality production. Now the Power Bible Birth of … Continue reading Celebrate Christmas with a Free Download on the Birth of Jesus

A Blue, Imperfect, Blessed Christmas

If you're still scrambling to get ready for Christmas, why not take a step back, take a deep breath, and give yourself permission to have a merry imperfect Christmas: You have permission to be tired sometimes, and not up for visiting with every relative and friend on the face of the planet. You have permission to hide … Continue reading A Blue, Imperfect, Blessed Christmas

Sacred Pauses and the Ultimate Christmas Countdown Checklist

Real Simple magazine has what they call the Ultimate Christmas Countdown Checklist. It actually starts three to six months before Christmas with “Make a family plan. Are you heading to your in-laws’ house? Hosting everyone at yours? Sit down with family members and decide where you’ll be spending the holidays.” At two months before Christmas, … Continue reading Sacred Pauses and the Ultimate Christmas Countdown Checklist