Christmas Decorations So how does a pig get taken to the hospital? In a hambulance. Hey, I have a six-year-old, whaddaya want?

We’re wrapping up another week with a series of links — as usual — to some of the places I’ve been online in the last week or two. Of course, given the season I expect by the time most people sift through this stuff, we’ll be talking about the new year ;^) Tomorrow I’ve got a really good post for my weekly hymn series, and Monday will be my last post in the Johannine Advent series. If you’re following the readings, the extreme brevity of week four of Advent sends us rushing right into Christmas, so I’ll be covering all the readings on Monday. This is the post where we come down to the very heart of the prologue to John’s gospel, and we discover what is in this passage the greatest outcome of the incarnation of the eternal Word. I’ve got an idea for a Christmas post, and somewhere over the coming days I hope to post some reflections on Mike Koop’s song, “He Walked.” (It’s the canticle in the compline for Advent week 4 if you’re following in the book. I have Mike’s permission to post the song online, so I’ll put it up in a player and will urge (even beg) you to listen to it.

Well, that’s some of what’s hopefully coming up, so I hope I get some time to write it! On with the linkage—

    Advent & Holiday Themes:

  1. Scot McKnight on “O Come, O Come Immanuel” and Christmas Words: End of “Exile”
  2. Michael Spencer on The Mood of Advent; very good stuff: “It’s the mood of darkness that comes because the world is in darkness. ….[W]e are the poor, the weak, the blind, the lonely, the guilty and the desperate. We light candles because we who are in darkness are in need of a great light. We need a savior.”
  3. “Happy Holidays”? Even Richard Dawkins would rather say “Happy Christmas.” (But he’d still rather celebrate Isaac Newton’s birthday on December 25th.)
  4. Ted Gossard: Advent and prayer
  5. The Adoration of the Magi in the Snow — art and Advent.
  6. Sonja had a good post on Highway to Holiness from Isaiah 35. I had to push AC/DC out of my brain; Isaiah 35 was a major text that we prayed during the second week of Advent.
  7. Ben Witherington: What Christmas Meant to C.S. Lewis
  8. How Britain invented Christmas
  9. The regular Miscellany:

  10. I’m nudging into top spot “Big Bulky Anglican” Tom Allen’s post The primary agency of The Trinity – a missional model deserves consideration and response much beyond my brief mention of it here. “Jesus is the focus for our understanding of the sacraments, for the orders of the Church, and sadly often the divisions within The Church.” Seriously, give it a read.
  11. Top Twenty Signs that you might be taking this emerging thing too far… #14, #12, #8, #5, #4; too funny.
  12. Dan Sheffield summarizes Alan Hirsch’s The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church, a good brief overview.
  13. Bob Carlton: After The Swarm Does Its Damage: Post-boomer Christians
  14. Brad Sargent is “Preparing my own self-study on Willow Creek and Reveal” I look forward to seeing it — his announcement of intent to study is more thorough than many people’s entire consideration of the subject.
  15. Evidently exploring that gulf between “because you can” and “because you should“, Scientists Create Glow-In-The-Dark Cats.
  16. Goodreads — looks interesting.
  17. I know this place… congregants are discouraged from asking questions lest the questioning lead to doubt. Oh, it will — doubt in the one issuing the caution about asking questions and thinking too much.
  18. Dan Fogelberg has died.

  19. Time’s Person of the Year 2007: Vladimir Putin.
  20. I mentioned art above… take a gander at The hospitality of Polycarp (really, take a look/read). What’s with the art? Why bother with this stuff? “…all true art is incarnational…” (Madeleine L’Engle: Walking on Water)
  21. Missional for the Wrong Motive — several good observations in there on missional mechanics and spiritual formation.
  22. Abusive Churches, Abusive Ministries, Abusive Communities — the title lacks the metaphor that the post includes. Worth checking out for those following the subject of spiritual abuse and authoritarian CLBs.
  23. What can be done with the VW Beetle — I’m partial to the roadster, but I actually saw the yellow wire-mesh version filling with gas at a Shell station in BC. There can’t be more than one like that…

I’ve still got a few hundred unread items in my reader, but this is probably enough for now. Y’all come back now, y’hear?
Beverly Hillbillies

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