Hi friends, family, and … foes? I hope I don’t have any foes reading my blog. Maybe a few fans (of my books, not of me). But mostly friends and family.
Almost every December, this season brings on some reflection, some deep thoughts about the meaning of Christmas, the culture wars at this time of year, or just what it means to be living in a family, raising kids, being a person at this time of year. Some years there’s no new brilliant thoughts so I just recycle the old ones. I’ve been blogging for ten years now, so here are some of the things I’ve reflected on in past Christmases, for your reading (or re-reading) pleasure:
From 2004, before I even started this blog, a piece I wrote (reprinted here in 2011), called “Flesh.” Something I’ve been thinking about for many, many years, about how Christmas is about Incarnation, and how God-in-Jesus meets us in the frailty of human flesh.
In 2007, I was a little less serious. “Eight Songs A-Sucking” was my most popular blog post ever in terms of number of comments, because everybody likes to rant about the Christmas songs they hate.
Christmas 2009 I was back to reflecting on the meaning of the Incarnation, with “Light.” Again, these are thoughts I’ve been turning over for years — I wrote an article similar to this back in the late 80s — about how we celebrate Christmas at the winter solstice, even though Jesus almost certainly wasn’t born then, and the symbolic significance of light-in-darkness at this time of year.
In 2010, Santa met Jesus for a showdown! No, not really. I just used my Christmas blog space that year to explore the idea of Santa and how he fits (or doesn’t fit) into the Christian story of Jesus’ birth, and the celebration of Christmas for Christians today.
Tragically, in 2012, one of the worst mass shootings in US history occurred just a couple of weeks before Christmas. Getting ready for a season of joy and celebration as we were confronted by news of the Sandy Hook massacre left me with some thoughts on “Advent Tragedies.” The season of light can be a dark time.
2013 was the year my mom passed away, and I reflected on how hard it is to be merry and bright when you’re still mourning a loss. My Christmas post that year was titled “Merry-ish.” It’s about my approach to handling grief and celebration at the same time.
I think I was watching a lot of Doctor Who in 2014, because when I had another try at grappling with the mystery of the Incarnation, the post was titled “Time Lord of Gallifrey, Now in Flesh Appearing.” How is Jesus like, and not like, the Doctor?
Finally, last year in 2015, a lot of people could relate to my post “Broken,” in which I had an argument with my almost-grown son about the Christmas service at church, then went to church and reflected on how broken we all are.