Today (Friday, January 6, 2023) is Epiphany, best known for commemorating the visit of the Magi and the revelation of God’s salvation to the Gentiles. The classic hymn, We Three Kings, is inaccurate (for starters they weren’t kings, and the Bible tells us only that they brought three gifts), but we’ll still sang it this past Sunday Sunday (it is a classic for a reason). Here’s Blondie’s rendition in case you missed it.
I would really encourage you to take a look at this article on the way the coming of Jesus Christ affected all of western civilization. A key quote:
“if you live in the West, the claims of Christmas have profoundly shaped your life and view of the world. You don’t have to believe in Jesus or even think about him for that to be true.”
Let me know if you can’t get to it behind The New York Times paywall.
Do you, like me, find yourself getting angry with our Covid situation? I would recommend this article from Kansan Sarah Smarsh. It’s written from the perspective of someone who favors vaccination and masking, but I think both sides could learn from it.
Pope Francis has published a moving editorial about the pandemic in the New York Times. He writes of how moments of crisis like these reveal what is in our hearts. The best line: “If we are to come out of this crisis less selfish than when we went in, we have to let ourselves be touched by others’ pain.”
It’s not brief, it’s not entertaining, but I encourage you to take the time time to read it.
Good news singers! At least one study is being done on the safety of congregational singing during this pandemic. There aren’t any results yet, but it’s good to know that we’re not the only ones who want to start singing again.
If you’re like me you regularly loose invitations to Zoom meetings. To that end, I’ve created a page on the church’s website where all the church’s Zoom meetings can be found in one place.
I love the United Methodist Church. And I have an attachment to our denomination emblem, the Cross and Flame. However, I recently started seeing it from a different perspective because of an article by Rev. Edlen Cowley. I would encourage you to look at it and let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s one church’s experience that is keeping me up at night: https://bit.ly/3e2jyyg.
Margie Miller shared this with Jenny this morning, Jenny shared it with me, I’m sharing it with all of you. Blessings.
It’s probably a good thing I didn’t read this article before last Sunday’s sermon.
Early on in her latest post titled Mary, the Magnificat, and an Unsentimental Advent, Rachel Held Evans states “but I’m not feeling sentimental this Advent. I’m feeling angry, restless.” If you’re feeling the same way, I would encourage you to read her post.
NPR has a story about a Bible intended for slaves and published in 1807 that “excludes any portion of text that might inspire rebellion or liberation.” According to an associate curator at the museum where said Bible is on display, “About 90 percent of the Old Testament is missing [and] 50 percent of the New Testament is missing.”  The existence of such a version of the Bible is a reminder that the Bible is a dangerous book. That’s why slave owners insisted that so much of it removed, it’s why so much of it is still ignored today.
 Michel Martin, “Slave Bible From The 1800s Omitted Key Passages That Could Incite Rebellion,” NPR, December 09, 2018, , accessed December 10, 2018, https://n.pr/2QqWiCL.