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Prepare Him Room

Prepare Him Room

This Advent reflection comes to us from Grace Leuenberger. “Into this world, this demented inn in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited.” ― Thomas Merton “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She […]

Häve a Blessed Ådvent

Häve a Blessed Ådvent

Cozy up and enjoy this seasonal reflection from Ryan Currie: The New Yorker declared 2016 “The Year of Hygge”. I know, it’s 2018—leave it to church folks to get on trend two years late. ‘Hygge,’ for those who either missed it or already forgot, is a Danish word that doesn’t quite translate into English. When it […]

The Economics of the Incarnation

The Economics of the Incarnation

I don’t like the axiom, “Remember the reason for season.” While the commercialization of Christmas has superseded the meaning of the season, it’s not society’s job to get the season right — it’s the church’s. Instead of getting irate over a culture that fails to appreciate what Christmas means, perhaps it’s time to look in […]

I Have No Gift to Bring: Me and the Little Drummer Boy

I Have No Gift to Bring: Me and the Little Drummer Boy

Ever since I can remember, “The Little Drummer Boy” has been a Christmas favorite. When I was a kid, the fantasy of a cute boy drumming for Jesus made my pre-teen heart go rum-pum-pum-pum. I’ve always had a thing for musicians and he was just the sort of heartthrob Tiger Beat would have covered and […]

Hopelessly Devoted: Legal Christianity

Hopelessly Devoted: Legal Christianity

This reflection was written by Alexander Chapota. When I became a Christian nearly twenty years ago, I knew the run was over. I was tired of lying, life had become so heavy, and I badly craved relief. And so I repented of my sin and dedicated my life to Christ. And yet, not many months […]

O Come Thou Dayspring (and Grandparents, too)

O Come Thou Dayspring (and Grandparents, too)

“Would you like to see what you got me for Christmas?” Starting this time of year, this is the refrain in my home. I am a gift person. My husband is … not. I love selecting, buying, and wrapping gifts. He … doesn’t. I could blame the hectic Advent schedule at church (he’s clergy), but […]

Now Available! An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark, by Larry Parsley

We could not be more pleased to announce the latest Mockingbird publication, An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark, by Larry Parsley.

This accessible, down-to-earth devotional walks verse-by-verse through the shortest official take on the biggest life ever lived — the story of Jesus played out in the Gospel of Mark. You’ll follow in the footsteps of Jesus as he performs healings and preaches to crowds. Mockingbird writer Larry Parsley brings the story to life, offering approachable, personal, and insightful commentary along the way.

You can purchase An Easy Stroll through our newly redesigned bookstore (store.mbird.com) where you can also find all of Mockingbird’s other publications, along with seminars for purchase and a selection of merchandise…! Major thank-you to Brian M for the redesign.

As with all of our books, An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel is also available through Amazon—and all positive reviews help promote the cause!

“This is a short, meditative work that you will want to read slowly and repeatedly as you walk through the shortest and oldest canonical Gospel. As you do, significant—sometimes startling—insights await, as Larry Parsley gently, thoughtfully, and ably guides you through Mark. As it happens, Dr. Parsley has written his first book on the first Gospel. My hope is that this work is but the first fruits of future harvests from this gifted interpreter, storyteller, and teacher.” — Todd D. Still, Ph.D., Professor of Christian Scriptures in the George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University

A gentle journey… Larry’s wisdom and eye for beauty might readily serve as inspiration for daily spiritual exercises.” ― Dr. Paul Scott Wilson, Professor of Homiletics at Emmanuel College, Toronto, and author of The Four Pages of the Sermon

Wonderfully refreshing…compelling [and] down-to-earth…  It truly is ‘an easy stroll’ and a disarmingly profound one simultaneously. All I know is that I will never teach from Mark’s Gospel again without first consulting this book.” — Andy McQuitty, author of Notes from the Valley: A Spiritual Travelogue Through Cancer and The Way to Brave: Shaping a David Faith for a Goliath World

Find An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel in Mockingbird’s new online bookstore and on Amazon.

December Playlist: Happy Birthday Baby Jesus, 2018

Bonding time: the Nativity in Townsville. Jan Hynes, 2007.

Bonding time: the Nativity in Townsville. Jan Hynes, 2007.

My son got an Advent calendar from his grandparents that has Santa captaining Noah’s ark. Is this better or worse than the ones that just dispense chocolate? I am unsure.

One thing to be sure of is that in 1962, Kim Fowley secured the copyright to an arrangement of the march from Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker. The result is evergreen and to be trusted in, unlike Advent calendars.

Enjoy the music! (And click here to listen to about 2/3 of it on Spotify)

 

Gig Economies and the Evangelism of Pleeeeeeeeaassssee

Gig Economies and the Evangelism of Pleeeeeeeeaassssee

I really wish she hadn’t written this one. It would’ve stung no matter when it came out, but right now just seems cruel. Maybe you saw it and feel similarly exposed. Hopefully not. I’m talking about Ruth Whippman’s searing editorial in The NY Times “Everything Is For Sale Now, Even Us.” Believe me when I […]

Same Old Song Sings Again!

Thrilled to announce that our lectionary podcast, Same Old Song, is back! Join Jacob Smith and new co-host Aaron Zimmerman each week as they break down the lectionary texts for the coming Sunday. Abounding with Gospel insight, (in)appropriate cultural references, and a heart for the sufferer in the pew, Same Old Song works as an audio devotional just as much as a resource for the sermon-prepping pastor. All in 25 minutes or less.

New episodes will drop every Tuesday. You can listen/subscribe on iTunes or Spotify. Google Play and Stitcher coming soon, God-willing. Oh, and if you’re still subscribed to the old feed, you’ll probably have to re-up via one of the links above, as we switched hosts during the hiatus.

Lectionary readings can be found here. And thank you for your patience. We’re so excited to resume!

P.S. Same Old Song will be on The Mockingapp soon! Look for an update next week.

Popsicles and Prayer Books

Popsicles and Prayer Books

Despite a seldom-interrupted lifelong habit of weekly church attendance, I have difficulty recalling the content and personal impact of more than about a dozen sermons. I may be a poor auditory learner in any case, and my lack of recall does not reflect on the homiletical abilities of my many friends who spend hours every […]

When God Turns Down a Title

When God Turns Down a Title

Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. […]