New Here?
     
Christmas

Kylo Ren and the Weakness of Love

Kylo Ren and the Weakness of Love

For those of you who’ve spent the holidays under a rock and have yet to participate in the global phenomenon that is The Force Awakens (or if you just don’t care), I promise that this little ditty contains no spoilers like the one some Sith Lord left on a stickie attached to my Han Solo mug.

Coming out of Star Wars, my youngest son asked me an interesting question: “Kylo Ren just really wanted to be bad, huh?” I thought it over for a moment and answered “no, he just really wanted to be powerful.” And this led me to an…

Read More > > >

Martin Luther vs. English Christmas Carols

Merry Happy Christmas!

The (Lost) Christian Origins of the The Elf Code by Buddy the Elf

The (Lost) Christian Origins of the The Elf Code by Buddy the Elf

Originally submitted in partial fulfillment of a degree in Tinker Training
&
Presented here for those who, like Jovie, share my affinity for elf culture*

I know you’re probably a human raised by humans. I, however, am a human raised by elves. Before journeying through the Candy Cane Forest and the Lincoln Tunnel on my embarrassingly public quest to find my dad (who was on the Naughty List!!!), I lived at the North Pole. I was training to be a tinker and trying to fit in as a toy-maker with my oversized yet under-nimble fingers. Discovering I was human was as shocking as…

Read More > > >

Home But Not Alone

Home But Not Alone

Every year I assign myself the arduous task of watching my favorite Christmas movies. No, really–it’s hard! ABC Family and AMC, between them, have helped simplify things with their impressive array of holiday fare: all that’s left for me is to check the listings and set the DVR. But watching has gotten more complicated as the years have gone by. While I was single, or first married, Love Actually radiated from the TV while I ate a quiet dinner; Elf flew by as we enjoyed a glass of wine. Since I’ve had kids, my chosen films have aired in half-hour…

Read More > > >

Our Suffering Advent

Our Suffering Advent

This one comes to us from Matt Kroelinger.

Turn on the news station of your choice, and you will encounter a barrage of sickness, tragedy, and heartache. Over the past few weeks we’ve seen hundreds of people killed: those in Paris, those in the mass shootings in the US, those public beheadings by ISIS. Every now and then, the rarity of these “bumps” in our collective public opinion feel like we’re running over small pebbles–lately, though, it feels like we’re driving over large speed bumps at 35 miles per hour. I don’t know about you, but my suspension feels more like a ’93 Toyota…

Read More > > >

Another Week Ends: Little Richard, Brand Luther, Star Wars, Marilynne Robinson’s Soul, and Identifying As…?

Another Week Ends: Little Richard, Brand Luther, Star Wars, Marilynne Robinson’s Soul, and Identifying As…?

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast.

1) On the heels of “identity” being Dictionary.com’s word of 2015, Spiked editor Brendan O’Neill discusses a theme that we have spoken about quite a bit ourselves this year, namely, the increasingly fluid cultural understanding of identity politics. O’Neill takes on the phrase “I identify as…” as a telling move from what we used to say about ourselves: “I am…” And with this new movement of self-identification comes the emphasis on subjectivity, the need for one’s identity to be transient, temporal—rather than objective, fixed, given.

O’Neill describes that this rampant interest…

Read More > > >

Surviving the Albatross of a Disgustingly Perfect Christmas

Surviving the Albatross of a Disgustingly Perfect Christmas

Billboard’s Top 100 Holiday Songs for the week of December 26, 2015 is an interesting piece to ponder. On the surface, it’s a mere summary of what’s happening around the holidays at a radio station nearest you, a glimpse into the pop culture of a standard American holiday. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” takes number one: a song about romance in the winter and all the cheeriness that comes along with it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the other 99 are not overtly religious either; they are about relationships, family, food, warm fires, happiness, joy,…

Read More > > >

Programme Name: The Great British Bake Off Christmas Masterclass - TX: 16/12/2014 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: (L-R) at Rockley Manor  Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry - (C) Love Productions - Photographer: Andy Devonshire

Tis the Season to Eat Our Feelings

The next person who corrects me about eating (or not eating) a Christmas cookie is gonna get it. I’m done with the Rules about Food during the Holidays Conversation. Yesterday, a perfectly lovely acquaintance of mine warned me off of some Christmas-themed brownies and I almost went full blown Julia Sugarbaker on her. Don’t make me pull out the That Was the Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia speech.

Alas, this well-meaning soul is just struggling with the same consumptive anxiety that everyone deals with this time of year. We are all obsessed with what can and cannot put into…

Read More > > >

Strange Gifts in the Season of Receiving

Strange Gifts in the Season of Receiving

This is an Advent reflection that came up in yesterday’s entry in Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas. It comes from pastor and theologian William Willimon, who is discussing the misplaced emphasis on the “season of giving,” and the real reason for the season–receiving. 

In a society that makes strangers of us all, it is interesting what we do when a stranger gives us a gift.

And consider what we do at Christmas, the so-called season of giving. We enjoy thinking of ourselves as basically generous, benevolent, giving people. That’s one reason why everyone, even the nominally religious, loves Christmas. Christmas…

Read More > > >

There’s No Santa Claus, Charlotte, but #GodisGood- andYouCanTrustHim

There’s No Santa Claus, Charlotte, but #GodisGood- andYouCanTrustHim

In my 31 years of life, I’ve had two run-ins with the real Santa Claus. I know what you’re thinking: “Aha, she’s going somewhere funny with this. She didn’t really see Santa Claus!”

WELL I DID!

And I didn’t just “see” him. I saw him twice.

Santa Sighting #1

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m a six-year old who stays up pretty much every night sweating, concocting terrible, horrific stories in my mind (i.e. death by headless horseman, an unseasonal tornado, or undetected appendicitis). As per usual, the rest of the family is long since asleep. Suddenly, I hear a clatter on the roof. My…

Read More > > >

Die heilige Nacht (Triptychon). 1888/89

From the Archives: Reflections on Memory and the First Christmas

Memory and imagination work to give us experiences outside of the present moment, whether through recorded sensations (the low lights and taste of dinner yesterday), images of things past (the 2014 State of the Union on Youtube), or stringings-together of bare words: “at that time a decree went out…” We’re indisputably determined by our own pasts and our relation to them, and Christianity makes the distinct claim that we’re fundamentally determined by another’s past, a story we remember at this particular time of year. Though our past(s) – and our relations to the past, are opaque, I think one of…

Read More > > >

A Mockingbird Gift Guide (2015 Edition)

A Mockingbird Gift Guide (2015 Edition)

That time again! To check out last year’s list, click here.

For the youth minister looking to inject their presentations with a bit more pizzaz, or the mid-level manager needing to spice up staff meeting: Pyro Mini Fireshooter

For all the other parents in your toddler’s playgroup who are barely treading water this season: Rain for Roots brand-new Advent album, Waiting Songs or Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets’ The Quality Holiday Revue Live on vinyl

For the guy at your old church who always accused you of mis-reading Paul: Reformation Readings of Paul ed. by Jono Linebaugh and Michael Allen

For those of us who like the idea of a calendar more…

Read More > > >