Last week, Christians around the world celebrated the birth of Jesus. Born in a humble place, to a young maiden and a carpenter, the promised Messiah became flesh to live among us. Over 2,000 years later, the world continues to rejoice every year as the Church recalls what happened that day in the town of Bethlehem. A glorious occasion, Christmas Day is surpassed only by the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

By Paul Koch

At its core, the Christian faith is offensive. That’s not to say it’s crass or rude, though I suppose it could be. Rather, it is decidedly at odds with the ebb and flow of the ways of the world. Though we may like to play nice, to try and act just like everyone else, the truth is, to repent and believe the good news of Jesus Christ is to offend much that is held sacred by our world. We can’t just get along with everyone else, to confess that we believe one particular thing is to say the we reject those things that are in opposition to such a confession. And the things that you confess have plenty of opposition. To confess that there is no other name under heaven by which men are saved is to say that those who look to other gods for comfort and security and salvation are on a fool’s errand, it also means that those who would have you find security in your own wisdom or strength or good works are to be rejected. To confess salvation in Christ alone is a narrow and offensive thing.

By Graham Glover

Today is the 10th day of Christmas, and like many of you, I have spent much of the past month meditating on the Nativity and Second Advent of Christ. The Church’s lectionary readings, hymnody, and propers are rich with references to the life of our Lord during this season, all preparing one to celebrate this glorious Feast. This focused meditation will continue for the next several days, culminating on Epiphany, which sets the stage for the celebrations of the Baptism and Transfiguration of Our Lord.