Jesus' return visit to his hometown of Nazareth begins well enough: he's invited to teach in the village synagogue, and at first, all is well. Then strains in his relationship to his fellow Nazarenes goes south fast. Why?
The onward march of science has taken some of the wonder out of our stars. We now know that they do not travel, they do not accompany, they do not hold within them our destinies. So what of the story of the Three Magi from the East and their famous star guiding them to Bethlehem? Can their story be retold for our times? Let's try!
Sometimes the radio stations just don't quite get it when it comes to separating Advent music from Christmas music! O Come, O Come Emmanuel is decidedly NOT a Christmas hymn and should NOT be aired after mid-day, December 24th! Yet maybe that error in judgement tells us something important about Christmas itself: once we were a people who longed for God to Come to us...now we are a people who are called by God to come to him.
The story of creation, and particularly the creation of humanity, in the second chapter of Genesis is a weird one. Paramount among its weird aspects is the image of the rib taken from the Man's chest and used to create a suitable partner. What we are really talking about here is God's placement in all of us of the need to love even as God loves. This is also at the root of Jesus' words about marriage and divorce in the Gospel of Mark.
Jesus comes to the nadir of his public life so far. The "Bread of Life" chapter (John 6) ends with not just the "crowds" leaving Jesus, but even his own disciples. Why?
And Peter with his eleven compadres? "Will you also go?" Jesus asks them.
Peter finally gets it right: "To whom shall we go...you have the words of eternal life!"