I do not watch Hallmark or Netflix Christmas movies on principle. If that is your thing, go ahead; […]
Anxiety is really starting to piss me off. My anxiety always makes me mad, but I’ve begun to train myself with the question, “What does it matter?” Since the answer is usually, “It doesn’t matter at all, so jog on…” But it’s other people’s anxiety that has begun to piss me off too. Now, I don’t yell at those dealing with it, like “GET OVER IT ALREADY!” No, that is neither Christ like, and usually the anxious person’s anxiety is usually increased, and does nobody any good. It’s counter productive.
Along with long lines in the mall, peppermint mocha frappe white-claws, and increasingly hyper kids at school, tis the season for Christians griping about everything from Starbuck cups to Hallmark movie channels and of course the annual, “It’s Merry Christmas, you heathen!”
Several months ago, while assisting on Sunday morning at a Divine Service, I committed a sin.
Sinning at church isn’t a new thing. I’m certain all of us have done so, maybe more often than we’d like or care to admit. But the particulars of my sin on this day troubled me greatly.
There are moments when the things my children say take me totally off guard. Listening to the sweet little voices coming from their young mouths yet hearing something totally unexpected and shocking. Most of these times it gives me opportunity to reflect on my parenting and try to discover where they learned such a thing. Sometimes we all need a little gut-check upon realizing how our children are piecing together the world. For me, today was that very occasion.
Last Sunday we talked about the arrival of John the Baptist. This is the great forerunner of Jesus, the famous voice crying out in the wilderness. He shows up baptizing the people of God as they repent of their sins and renew their longing for the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah. And as we find out in our text today, John is the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning Elijah the prophet.
There was a time when the darkness and loneliness of divorce seemed to me tragically romantic. Probably, I was reading too much Andre Dubus and John Updike at the same time. Raymond Carver probably did not help either. There was a resigned dark humor to the characters, an alcoholic loneliness, and (for Dubus’ characters) a tangible and inescapable divine presence.