Because we’re talking about God, we can fill that blank with a lot of words, all of which are true. “Comfort” is the word that probably leapt to mind first, from 2 Cor 1:3. And while many need comfort in these days, we’re going to look at a different word.
One of the things we need most in these days is discernment. The dictionary tells us that it is “the ability to judge well.” That pretty much sums it up: we need the ability to judge well. And we need it because, historically, humans are pretty bad at it. We’ve been bad at it for a very long time—Hey, let’s eat some of that fruit, it will make us smarter than God!
I live in a fairy-tale land, a land where logic and mathematics and common sense were banished long ago. A land where the impossible is possible, where certainty is forever uncertain, where the probable is very unlikely.
I live in the land of the Dallas Cowboys.
The land was not always this way. Long ago, when dinosaurs and a fedora roamed the earth, the Cowboys were in the NFC championship game 10 out of 13 years. They set the record for most consecutive winning seasons at 20, a record that still stands, at least until next year. They played in a stadium with a hole in its roof so God could see His team play, or so the saying went.
We’re going to have to talk about Harry Potter to set the scene, but this really isn’t about Harry. If you’re not a Potter fan, stick around anyway. Of course, if you’re not a Potter fan, you’re probably not the kind of person who would end up reading this blog, anyway.
Fantastic essay this morning on Elvis (not Costello), forgiveness, music, and probably a couple of things I’ve forgotten already. Stop reading this until you’ve read that. (The Morning News website is behind a paywall, but they offer some number of free articles every month, so everyone should be able to read it.)
In church circles, hand-raisers are those who often express their worship by raising their hands. There are a large variety of hand-raisers, and others have covered those varieties much better than I could; e.g. this Tim Hawkins video gives you a quick rundown. (Hawkins is a comedian who happens to be a Christian, which is an entirely different, and much funnier, thing than a Christian comedian. See also Micheal Jr.)
Moses had some hand-raising friends, too, but of a completely different kind.
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.