December 5, 2013

December Messenger

Turning the tide from death to grace
Has the shortest book in the Bible been “hiding in plain sight” for centuries? (Hint: If you’ve got a New English Bible, you have a slight edge over those with other translations.) And what does it have to say to us about how grace operates in our lives?
The not-so-wise men
They certainly look regal, sagacious, and wise—at least as depicted in nativity scenes and on greeting cards—but were they really all that smart? Ken Gibble takes another look at these bearers of gold, frankincense, and myrrh who took their cues from stars and dreams.
Joseph
He is from “chisel, plane and mallet, from wood dust and chips,” writes poet Paula Sheller Adams about the man who accompanied Mary to Bethlehem. But he also comes from “a long and silent loneliness.”
The upside of kingdom drift
“Drifting” has gotten a bad rap lately. But could it be a good thing, especially if it involves “keeping an ear to the ground and an eye to the side of the road, on the lookout for where God may be calling us next”?
A gathering of families
Families remind us of our identities, of who we are and from where we’ve come. That’s especially true at this time of year as relatives gather from far and wide around the home hearth. But families—both immediate and extended—also have a rich tradition in our biblical heritage.
Coming in the January/February Messenger: A conscientious objector in the 'war' on cancer?