5 of my Favorite Thoughts on Christmas

I have noticed it’s been quite hard to get into the Christmas spirit when it’s still in the mid-60’s down here in Arizona. But Megan put up some great decorations and we’ve been pumping the Sufjan Stevens Holiday station on Pandora, which helps. This morning I decided to do some Advent reading and see if that helps get me into the spirt — and it really has, perhaps a bit more than this wonderful picture to the left. Perhaps this Santa/Jesus battle is reflected in a couple of the thoughts later (maybe #2).

So here are my top 5 favorite quotes about Advent. (Sidenote: They aren’t necessarily interrelated with each other, but all center around Advent and Christmas.)

5. “We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us. The coming of God is truly not only glad tidings, but first of all frightening news for everyone who has a conscience. Only when we have felt the terror of the matter, can we recognize the incomparable kindness.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer from “The Coming of Jesus in Our Midst” in “Watch for the Light”

4. “Waiting has its rewards, as I want to argue here… And yet, we might think of waiting also as a temporary liberation from the economics of time-is-money, as a brief respite from the haste of modern life, as a meditative temporal space in which one might have unexpected intuitions and fortuitous insights.” – Harold Schweitzer in  On Waiting

3. “So, according to the New Testament the dream of a liberator, and the dream of peace, is not merely a dream. The liberator is already present and his power is already among us. We can follow him, even today making visible something of the peace, liberty and righteousness of the kingdom that he will complete. It is no longer impossible. It has become possible for us in fellowship with him. Let us share in his new creation of the world and — born again to a living hope — live as new men and women.” – Jurgen Moltmann in “The Disarming Child” from “Watch for the Light”

2. “While many American Christians complain about what the store employees wish them, they are there in the stores alongside everyone else, engaging in a practice that has no real Biblical roots, making purchases in the spirit of our contemporary materialistic age.” – James F. McGrath in “Christmas: The Christian War on Solstice”

1. “If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.” – Stephen Colbert on Jesus and Christmas. See the full clip here.

There you have it!

Did any of these resonate with you? What are some thoughts or particularly meaningful quotes you have as Christmas comes closer?

I hope you’re enjoying the season, wherever you are, as much as we are down in the desert!


When Great Musicians Do Christmas

So if you’ve been anywhere or done anything in some sort of public arena in the last week, you’ve undoubtedly heard Christmas music. Even with the high today being 77 down here in Arizona, I’m still surrounded by it. Some of it is great, others are simply terrible. (I was going to link to Justin Bieber’s Christmas CD but I refuse to make it easier for anyone to buy it). So today is a special edition of Music Monday Wednesday to celebrate good artists and the Christmas music they produce. A few of these are covers of classic Christmas songs with a couple of originals (not by me, but other bands doing originals). Enjoy!

“O Come O Come Emmanuel” – The Civil Wars

“In the Bleak Midwinter” – The Indigo Girls (there’s a little intro, but if you skip to about 50 seconds in, you’ll still catch all of it.)

“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” – Sixpence None the Richer

“Winter Song” – Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson

“Christmas Lights” – Coldplay

“Sister Winter” – Sufjan Stevens

It has come to my attention that I seem to move toward sad, lonely Christmas songs. I assure this isn’t some kind of passive-aggressive, subliminal cry for help. I just think these songs are beautiful.

And ring way more true than anything Justin Bieber could ever create. That’s all I’m going to say on that. I don’t want to get in some online fisticuffs with a 14-year old girl scorn for the Biebs.

Anyways… Hope you enjoyed the Christmas music.

Did you have any favorites? Which ones stuck out to you? What are your favorites that aren’t on this post? Post them and let me know! I’m always in the market for good new music.

Have a great Wednesday!



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