Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Waiting for the Impossible

Advent. Outside of the church walls (and to be even more specific, liturgical church walls) this word is not used very often.
Contrary to popular belief, we are NOT in the Christmas season. Not yet anyways.We are in the season of Advent. According to Wikipedia.com Advent means:

Arrival or Coming

Advent is the time in the church year that we wait for the coming of Jesus. It starts the Sunday after Thanksgiving and lasts all the way through Christmas Eve. Then starting Christmas Day is the 12 days of Christmas.   So we are waiting right now for our partridge in a pear tree.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Calm Before The Storm

Mary immediately got up and hurried to the hill country, in the province of Judah, where her cousins Zacharias and Elizabeth lives. When Mary entered their home and greeted Elizabeth, who felt her baby leap in her womb, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:39-41 The Voice

It's happening again. John knows something - again. But how?

Elizabeth has always known that her child John was special. She thought she would never have children, then an angel appears to Zacharias telling him that they will have a baby. He didn't believe the angel, and because of this he is mute for the next nine months. (Imagine a pregnant woman and a mute guy in the same house . . . I don't envy them.) Then, her cousin Mary arrives at her door and the baby John jumps in her womb.

Jumps. As a fetus. A child that has not been born yet and is still developing. He was at about six months when Elizabeth saw Mary. To the right is a picture of a baby at 6 months while developing in the womb. At this point in development (according to web sties I Googled) the baby's brain is beginning to recognize touch and even a bit of light. The brain development is beginning to get really intense at this point. But it's just starting . . .

How can an unborn child at this stage leap in his mother's womb knowing that something special is going on? This must be some amazing kid coming into the world . . .

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Questions Without Answers

Part of my job at the church is to teach the 1st year Confirmation class. So on Thursday nights from 6-7:30 I spend time with twelve 6th graders and four parent guides. I have to say, this year's class keeps me on my toes. I never wanted to be a classroom teacher, but once a week for an hour and a half, I can deal with it. It's also nice that I don't necessarily have to stick to "traditional" teaching methods. The picture to the right is an image I see every week. Students excitedly raising their hands. (And yes, sometimes they do try to get out of their seats.) This happens with every class, but I've noticed that this year it has been happening a lot more than usual . . . and it's to ask questions not answer them.

This is by far the most inquisitive group of 11 year olds that I have ever met in my life. It's a lot of fun. They want to know more about the Bible and God and faith. They ask the hard questions too. One of my favorites was "If Jesus is God, then why does he always call on the Father's power for miracles? Doesn't he have powers of his own?"

And my response was . . .

"Uh.... yes?"

In my head I was thinking . . .

"You're 11. You're not supposed to be thinking of hard questions like that which I can't answer."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mary - The Next Cast Member of Glee

As mean as it probably sounds, one of the best parts of my job is embarrassing teenagers. Seriously. I get plenty of opportunities to do so, especially with our picture of the week . . . good times and AWESOME blackmail material. A week or so ago I was able to turn one of my girls so red... it was quite amusing. We've been watching The Nativity Story in Sunday School the last few weeks and we had gotten to the part where Gabriel tells Mary about the baby and Mary's family finding out. We had one girl in the room who was around the age Mary would have been. I asked her, "So what would you do if an angel came to you and told you that you were going to give birth to the Son of God?" Her eyes got SO WIDE and she said that she would freak out. Then I asked her "How would your parents react?" Her eyes got EVEN WIDER and said:

I then responded with:

"He would probably want to kill M too."

(M is the guy she is currently/has been involved with this school year.)

It was hilarious.

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Dad

FINALLY I have been able to find a good YouTube video for a song off of Todd Agnew's Christmas CD Do You See What I See? This week I'll be talking about Joseph. If you want to read my first and second posts for this blog series here are the links:

When I first bought this CD, Joseph's song "This is All I Have to Give" was one of the songs that stood out to me. I listened to it over and over again. Before listening to the album or seeing the movie The Nativity Story (which is what the clips in the video are from) I had never really thought about Joseph. He was just always there. I payed more attention to Marry and the angels and shepherds than anyone else. But in the last few years I've grown to have an amazing appreciation for Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. It must have been strange for him to have to act as a father to the Son of God...

In recent years I've seen more and more of my family members and my friends get married and have children. It's a really exciting time in our lives and I love seeing all of these changes. When I think of new dads, there are two people I think of.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Can You Save Me?

In case you missed my latest blog the other day  (Click Here To Read It) let me get you up to date.

For the seasons of Advent/Christmas I am doing a blog series on Todd Agnew's Christmas CD Do You See What I See? Each song is from the point of view of a different person in the Christmas story. It is one of my all time favorite Christmas CDs and I want to be share it with all of you.

The next song is called No Room and it is sung by the Inn Keeper and his wife. Unfortunately, I was not able to find a whole video or audio clip. But here is a link to a preview and you should be able to download the song from there:

Today, my roommate and I had a hard time believing that it was already December 1st. It's crazy how time flies isn't it? Then December is one of the months of the year that seems to fly by even faster than usual because of how busy everyone is with the holidays. I know that I have already begun to feel like that. Between Thanksgiving, getting sick and seeing the doctor twice now, helping the local Lutheran high school with their play, getting Advent Dinners together with the youth, and everything else that goes along with the season.... I can feel myself being torn in a hundred different directions. I know I am not the only one.