Category: Christmas & Easter

What TurboTax Teaches Us About Lent

There's something liturgically appropriate about the alignment of Lent and tax season. Both are solemn occasions for discipline and self-reflection, and both anticipate the promise of new life—well, at least for those expecting a refund. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that many in our congregations will likely spend as much time on the TurboTax website as they do in church during Holy Week. Like many…  [more]

Glitter Ash Wednesday: a New Way to Practice Grace

Editor's note: TC is a ministry of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The denomination's position statement on homosexuality can be found here. Ash Wednesday is my favorite day on the Christian calendar. Some people find this hard to understand considering my relatively upbeat personality, yet I’m drawn to this somber, dark, honest confrontation with death. Ash Wednesday offers relief for…  [more]

No Room at the Inn? Try Airbnb

I was thinking about G.K. Chesterton’s poem, “The House of Christmas,” this week as I read the news about an ongoing legal battle between the home-sharing company Airbnb and the City of New York. Since 2008, Airbnb’s business model has disrupted the entire hotel industry with the simple idea that people will pay money for the opportunity to stay in someone else’s home rather than in a…  [more]

Five Other Christmas Movies You Should See

Christmas movies tend to trod familiar ground. That's the nature of tradition, after all. We rightly love the ritual of watching movies like It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story or White Christmas. These are all fine films (to varying degrees), but rare is the Christmas movie that captures the truth of Christmas, the—dare I say it—true spirit of the holiday: the coming of the Christ. The…  [more]

Hillary Clinton and the Color of Advent

Hillary Clinton’s concession speech was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise depressing election. Though I didn’t vote for her and don't support her policy positions, I deeply respect the poise and dignity with which she accepted the narrow outcome of a fierce and frequently uncivil contest. After months of vicious mudslinging, her disarming humility helped me believe that perhaps at the end of the…  [more]

Mary, Do We Know? Evangelicals and the mother of God

National Geographic’s December cover proclaims Mary, the mother of Jesus, as “the most powerful woman in the world.” The story itself examines Marian apparitions and Marian devotion across the globe, profiling those who claim to have experienced visitations and healing from Mary. Speaking in the article to Mary's enduring appeal, New Testament and Jewish Studies professor Amy Jill-Levine says…  [more]

Why A Charlie Brown Christmas still resonates 50 years later

If your childhood had any similarity to mine, then the arrival of Christmas each year was marked by America’s Advent calendar of television holiday specials. Claymation classics like Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and animated legends like How the Grinch Stole Christmas filled our home with daily anticipation that Christmas morning was coming soon. The highlight was always the night we spent in footed pajamas…  [more]

Advent and lament

The stories don’t stop coming. I woke up Saturday morning and tried to digest the news that a gunman had entered a Planned Parenthood clinic and killed three people, including a police officer who also served as an elder in his church. This was after I followed the news Friday of protests in Chicago in response to the delayed release of police department video showing the shooting and killing of Laquan…  [more]

Adele and Advent: worth the wait

If you’ve been following me on social media the past few weeks, then you know how much I adore Adele. I have been counting down to last Friday’s release of her new album, 25, and have now spent this past weekend listening to it on repeat. The anticipation was due not only to her amazing talent, but to the four-year hiatus since her last album, 21. 25 is on track to be a record-breaking album, projected…  [more]

Lent devotionals offered by TC sister ministry

Some of you are aware that TC has a sister ministry of daily devotionals called Today. If this is news to you, now is a good time to get to know the program, as Today is offering a special series of devotions to guide you through the season of Lent. Called Focus on the Cross and beginning on Ash Wednesday, the series is designed to help you concentrate on the depth, beauty and mystery of the death and…  [more]

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