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.

[Read more…]

The Difference a Border Makes

The Difference a Border Makes

I was in Canada this past Saturday speaking at a conference. As I listened to their news and conversed with Canadians, I detected a very different tone regarding the Syrian refugees.

A local Nazarene church was preparing to receive refugees. A denominational organization, The Christian Missionary Alliance, was working to help Nazarenes receive refugees. The commentators on news programs were suggesting to American political leaders that caution and compassion are not enemies. Both can be done simultaneously.

Then I preached to a wonderful congregation on Sunday morning. We sang about our God: “You’re the defender of the weak, You comfort those in need.”

Then I flew home Sunday night, turned on the news, and heard Trump’s rant and governors’ statements and a senator suggesting that we use the National Guard to round up Muslims.

Monday morning we started pulling out all our Christmas stuff for decorating. It’s time to celebrate the story of the infant Christ visited by wise men from across the border, which becomes the story of the massacre of babies by violent powers, and ends up with Jesus being a refugee in Egypt.

I wonder what kind of Advent we are in for on our side of the border.

Wishing Big

Wishing Big

How old were you when you learned to wish big?

I was a child growing up in Mississippi. My dad worked at Sears & Roebuck. Each September he would bring home the new catalog. It pictured everything Sears sold. I was instructed to circle everything I wanted for Christmas. So I did.

Sears Silvertone Guitar, Lionel Train Set, Ted Williams Baseball Glove, Remington 12 Gauge Shotgun. I sat on my bed for hours wishing—imagining what might appear beneath our Christmas tree. That’s when I learned to wish big.

[Read more…]