Before the birth of Christ, the world muddled along in darkness. Humanity didn't have the awareness or power to live any other way.
I don't like -- don't approve, refuse to throw myself into -- the spirit of obligatory gift-giving. In my lifetime, this has become existentially linked to a commercial orgy that has now even co-opted the ritual angle
The beloved author Frederick Buechner tells the story about a Christmas pageant a friend of his took part in as the rector of an Episcopal church. Buechner writes:
So for those who wish to celebrate the spiritual enlightenment of the Rabbi from Galilee for his embodiment of peace and love, they can comfortably do so. Merry Christmas.
The lovely blue glass container holds a small roll of parchment on which is written the traditional Jewish prayer that begins, "Shema Yisrael." For those in the know, this mezuzah reveals that those who live in the house are Jewish.
Many stories are told of his kindness, such as the one of the poor man and his three daughters. To save the daughters from being sold into prostitution for want of dowries, St. Nicholas dropped a bag full of gold down the man's chimney.
I truly believe if American Christians stayed more focused on the message and teachings of Jesus, many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people would not have the annual angst of searching for home for the holidays.
Now that the "War on Christmas" is over -- its publicist, Fox News Bill O'Reilly, announced this finding last week -- we can survey the post-war terrain.
I am ethnically Chinese and grew up in Muslim-majority Indonesia. For years, I was subconsciously frustrated and estranged by singularly European depictions of Christian figures.
In today's topsy-turvy environment, all bets are off. Rather than focus on critical upcoming legislative elections and a major conference to help attract investments to Egypt's struggling economy, TV channels seem sidelined by matters that raise eyebrows and questions given their timing.
Until recently, my attitude toward prayer had been guided by President Harry S. Truman who said that "people who pray the loudest are the ones you lock your hen house from." Praying out loud was something I never did. Until Facebook came along.
"My mother is Orthodox Christian and my father is Muslim," said my new friend, Ismail.
The choirs are rehearsing their music, the preachers are mulling their texts and volunteers are organizing to once again deck the halls for the six services of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
It was interesting to witness, how in this summer season in Peru, informal meetings and briefings would take place outside and chairs were moved to the grass areas and under the tress instead of being seated on concrete or inside the rooms.
We will need to demonstrate that there are viable nonviolent means of dealing with societal problems--ways that are not only effective, but in fact more effective than violence is at resolving conflict, and keeping us safe as a society.
Ben Franklin once wrote that "it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer." Dick Cheney, on the other hand, said: "I'm more concerned with bad guys who got out . . . than I am with a few that in fact were innocent."