New Year’s Day Reflections—or The Eighth Day of Christmas

New Year’s Day Reflections—or The Eighth Day of Christmas

I woke up today with an odd assortment of things running through my heart and mind. Thankfully, my vow to abstain from alcohol gives me a wondering spirit instead of a hangover on this New Year’s Day. But I must confess that the numbing effect of alcohol might be preferred to full consciousness when it comes to a fresh tragedy.

Yesterday, one of our Trevecca professors lost a grandson. Marvin’s daughter, son-in-law, and twin boys were sitting still at a stop sign on a city street when a vehicle driven by an 82-year-old woman plowed into them from behind going 90. One of the twin boys, age 6, was killed and the other is in serious condition. The surviving twin has autism.

Both parents are in the hospital with serious injuries. Marvin lost his wife to a long cancer battle a couple of years ago. Yesterday he lost a grandson. We talked about his journey through Advent and Christmas in the church parking lot a couple of weeks ago. He said the music was helping him this year. And now this. I know few finer men than Marvin. I ache in ways that can only pray in groans.

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What Child is This?

What Child is This?

I think the church is trying to wrap its arms around the difficult issue of refugees during this Advent. If Christ came into the world via a story about wise men from other nations, a terrorist massacre of babies in Bethlehem, and the undocumented holy family fleeing to Egypt for safety from mean old Herod, then I think we have all the clues we need to know that refugees need shelter, welcome, and hope. Yes, we can do this and still be cautious.

So I did something very strange for me. I wrote a song. Thankfully, the tune was already in existence. Maybe this will help us remember the refugees this season.

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Jesus Is The Hospitality of God

Jesus Is The Hospitality of God

Christmas in Mexico begins with Los Posadas, a nine-day reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem.

The children gather each afternoon for nine consecutive days leading up to Christmas. One child plays the role of the Virgin Maria. Another is San Jose. Others are the angelos. Others are the Santo Reyes (three wise kings). And the rest are pastores (shepherds). They are decked out in colorful handmade costumes and carry faroles (paper lanterns). They form the parade of Santos Peregrinos (Holy Pilgrims). They go from house to house requesting posada (shelter). They sing outside the front door:

En nombre del cielo buenos moradores dad a unos via’jeros posada esta noche.

In the name of God, we ask those who dwell here, give to some travelers lodging this evening.

From inside the house comes back the reply, “This is not an inn, move on. I cannot open lest you be a scoundrel.” The children go on singing, explaining that they have traveled from Nazareth, are tired, and that Mary is expecting a child. All to no avail.

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Merry Christmas Greetings!

Merry Christmas Greetings!

Each year, I’m pleased to share with all of you our Trevecca Nazarene University Christmas card. This year, we focus on Jesus as the Light of the World.

From our family to yours: May you have a blessed Christmas season!

2015 Trevecca Nazarene University Christmas Card

 

Click below to see our Christmas cards from past years:

 

 

All I Want for Christmas

All I Want for Christmas

I’m old enough to remember the cheesy song of a child wishing for two front teeth so he could wish us all a “Merry Christmas.” If you are too young to remember that one, lighten up a Christmas party by asking someone to sing it for you. In the cheesy vein, I suppose I could wish for hair, since I still have my teeth.

For ten years, I rounded the curve at the top of the hill on the way to work. The Trevecca campus was visible just over the horizon, beyond the Volunteer Express trucking company. Often, as I took in the sight, I repeated a prayer: Lord, bless the business of these people so much that they will need more land to operate and will sell us theirs at a reasonable price.

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God Meets Us In The Vulnerable Christ

God Meets Us In The Vulnerable Christ

We are vulnerable and we know it.

We have seen high tech space shuttles disintegrate leaving no trace of human remains; skyscrapers collapse; stock markets plummet, rearranging retirement plans; companies bought, sold, and moved with city-wrecking swiftness; viruses spread, kill, and mutate; radicals believe that their god has told them to behead us; babies snuffed out in the womb because their timing was inconvenient; the earth poisoned, polluted, and warmed to its destruction; health disappear at the reading of a blood test; careers end with the slip of a tongue; hurricanes rearrange life for millions; governments fail to deliver financial responsibility; and nations bring the world to the brink of war.

Any serious person who thinks about the way the world is and the way it seems to be headed, has reason to feel vulnerable.

Why We Love Mary

We love Mary because she is a picture of vulnerability. Look her up in your pictorial dictionary. How tall is she? How old? Where is she standing? What is she wearing? What color is her hair? How is it fixed?

At the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, you can see Mary through the eyes of the artists of the ages. And in the composite, she is a mature adult, wears velvet dresses (usually a deep red), lives in a larger than average home, has a chair by the window through which light cascades softly, and she likes to read. This is the Mary of classic art. And she appears to be fully in charge of her space.

But we know better.

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Christmas Greetings

Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

Merry Christmas From Dr Dan Boone & Denise Boone

Merry Christmas From Dr Dan Boone & Denise Boone

Dear readers,

May you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!

Blessings,

Dr  Dan Boone and Denise Boone


 

small.TNU Christmas card 2014_new

Advent Reflection: Sign Language

Advent Reflection: Sign Language

I find myself sympathetic with Zechariah (Luke 1:5-25). He has heard an awful lot in his brief encounter with Gabriel, the designated angel of Advent.

With our kids, the news unfolds slowly. First, “Honey, I’m pregnant.” Weeks pass and we discover the sex of the baby. Months pass and we begin to discuss a name. Years pass before the child’s life begins to reveal what he will do. Decades pass before the impact of his life is measured.

Zechariah gets it all in one brief six-sentence encounter. Your aging wife, well beyond child-bearing years (like Hannah was in the Old Testament), is pregnant.  It’s a boy. Name him John. The people of God will rejoice at his birth. Like the ancient Nazarites, he will not drink; instead, the Spirit of God will fill him. Repentance will follow in the wake of his words. He will make people ready for the coming of the Lord.

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Black Friday, Blue Laws, and Thanksgiving Blessings

Black Friday, Blue Laws, and Thanksgiving Blessings

The day after Thanksgiving has become the biggest shopping day of the year. And now, some of the big box stores are inching into Thanksgiving Day itself by opening on Thursday afternoon. A national day of giving thanks has become a national day of acquiring more. We call it Black Friday. At least we named it well.

I think football is to blame. When over-fed men won’t converse with their families, but pile into stuffed chairs and watch football into oblivion, women go shopping. It is payback for the scant thanks the women got for all their hard cooking. I know; this sounds very sexist. Men do cook and women do like football. I’m generalizing here.

But I’m still sad that stores are opening on Black Friday and Thankful Thursday. Because we don’t need more practice at buying stuff. We need more practice at conversing, playing, walking, and talking—at being a family who exits the rat race for a respite of gratitude. It’s hard to do that while you’re wrestling a bargain toy from a fellow human or snoozing to another NFL game.

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