A friend sent a picture recently, of the box from a nativity set. In the description on the front of the box, it had the dimensions for Joseph, for Mary, and for … baby. Which kind of misses the point of a nativity set, I think.
Another friend had someone this season tell them all sorts of horrible things about the origins of what we know as Christmas. That someone refused to celebrate it as a result, and instead celebrated Jewish holidays. That seems to me to be going the wrong direction, but whatever.
Christmas makes everyone nervous, sometimes even the ones who share the name of the one whose birth we celebrate.
(Spoilers galore. You had five days; if you haven’t seen it by now, you don’t really care what someone says about it, anyway.)
The most obvious thing after watching Last Jedi a second time? Rian Johnson loves Star Wars, he just doesn’t love your Star Wars. If there was any doubt, he scatters hints throughout the script.
Luke: This is not going to go the way you think!
Yoda: We are what they grow beyond.
And, most telling:
Kylo: Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you are meant to be.
No spoilers. Yet. I avoided them all, including the trailer, so I won’t ruin your fun, either.
I’m on record that however good the experience of watching Force Awakens was, the movie itself was essentially a remake of New Hope. I watched it again yesterday in anticipation of … well, you know. After a year away from it, the first 50 minutes are really, really good. And then the Death Star 3 shows up and it’s Newer Hope and you remember who directed it. With Force Awakens, what we knew about J.J. Abrams turned out to be true — he knows how to start a great story, but has no idea how to end one.
My friend William is a great guy. We’ve known their family for fifteen years or more, and he’s the pastor of a great church in Virginia. He wrote a pretty good book on leadership based on the minor prophets, he taught me everything I know about Hebrew (which isn’t a lot, but that’s my fault, not his), he married far above his station, and he and his wife have two awesome daughters.
He also has two great failings.
Great quote from a piece on This Is Us, last season’s water-cooler show that had one of the most well-constructed and executed pilots in recent memory.
For over a decade I’ve run summer conferences for teenagers in which a good portion of the time is dedicated to discussing and exploring their own lives in and through relationships. For years, I expected that teenagers would care most about dating relationships with an additional emphasis on matters relating to sex (they’re teenagers, after all). I figured friendships would come in second and family relationships would be a tertiary factor, eventually. But with nearly 20,000 teenagers passing through our program across two decades, one of the true constants amid all manner of variations in the lives of teenagers is that familial relationships are their primary focus.