When I ran into Brock and Ruth Ann last week as they were setting up the crèche in the lower gathering space, I was thrilled to learn about this tradition here at Fox Valley Presbyterian Church. I have a collection of nativity scenes that some might say borders on an obsession. In fact, I’m pretty sure the movers who will load their many boxes onto a moving truck in about 10 days will confirm that obsession. I was excited in particular that the crèche tradition here in this church includes encouraging the children to touch the pieces and interact with them instead of constantly ushering them away lest the treasures get broken. This is a lovely tradition, and I even brought my own kids in to see it midweek while they were visiting since they won’t be here until Christmas Eve. Continue reading
Yep. I did just read the story of Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
Nope. I didn’t mix up the calendar. Yes I did just read the story about Palm Sunday. No, next week is not Easter.
Bear with me here for a little.
In our worship for a few years we have followed the Narrative Lectionary, a schedule of readings that brings us through the Bible chronologically even if that doesn’t always line up with the traditional celebrations of the church year. Continue reading
The Song of Zechariah found in Luke 1:68-79, are some of the first words the priest uttered upon the birth of his son, John, the cousin of Jesus, the one we know as John the Baptist. Zechariah had been made mute by the angel Gabriel at the start of his wife’s pregnancy because of his fear and disbelief, but when the child was born and Zechariah and Elizabeth named him John as Gabriel had instructed them, his tongue was freed and filled with Holy Spirit John’s father, Zechariah, spoke this prophecy. Listen now for the words he proclaimed.
Zechariah had been silent for the entire duration of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Silent. He spoke not one word. He didn’t ask how she was feeling. He didn’t wonder aloud with her when the child would come. He also didn’t stick his foot in his mouth asking inappropriately about just how big her stomach would get, so maybe there were some advantages. But Zechariah had been silent the entire pregnancy, unable to speak at home or in the temple. Continue reading