Welcome to this week’s ALL TOGETHER, the podcast dedicated to exploring how religious ideas and spiritual practice inform and shape our personal lives, our communities and our world. All Together is hosted by Paul Raushenbush, the Executive Editor of HuffPost Religion and is available on iTunes and Stitcher.
Christmas is upon us, the trees are up, the lights are on, and stores are open. Yet even as the radio plays a rotation of Christmas favorites, the news tells the story of individuals suffering and communities and nations in conflict. As Martin Luther King, Jr. preached in his Christmas Sermon in 1967: "This Christmas season finds us a rather bewildered human race. We have neither peace within nor peace without."
Christmas is meant to be a joyful and hopeful time celebrating the birth of Jesus, but how does Jesus birth and life relate to the lack of peace and justice in the world? How do we find hope amidst the challenges people are experiencing in this moment.
In order to better understand Jesus, and what his birth means, Raushenbush invited James Carroll, author of Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age, Rob Bell, whose special on the Oprah Winfrey Network debuts on December 21st, and Lisa Sharon Harper who is the Director of Mobilization at Sojourners to explain who Jesus is to them, and why Christmas should be seen as a powerful opportunity for personal and societal transformation.