Christmases of my childhood were magical and full of meaning. At the beginning of Advent each year we dug special books out of the attic, and my mom read them aloud to my brother and me over and over again. From My Bible Friends’ Bethlehem story—“clip-clop-clip-clop went little donkey’s hooves”—to tales of lonely, misunderstood trolls wishing for someone to love rather than fear them. Each day we opened a window or door of our Advent calendar village.
I have been reading Jonathan Weisner's beautiful book, The Beak of the Finch, listening to sandhill cranes' rusty calls as they fly overhead, and watching starling murmurations. Questions flutter and peck at my mind. What would it be like to live so authentically, so true to my inherent identity, as a bird lives its own instinctual and evolving life?
I must say I am puzzled by Paul’s assertion to Timothy that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV). This is particularly bewildering when the church fathers had not gotten around to deciding which writings would be included in both the Old and New Testament canons! Much of the New Testament had not at this point even been written. I guess I should say I am curious how this text is applied to selected scriptures of the past and scriptures not yet written!
October 22, this year and every year--a teachable moment for those who have lived in hope for something that hasn’t yet happened.
Today is the 170th anniversary of what Adventists and the progeny of the religious movements that grew from the teachings of William Miller euphemistically call “The Great Disappointment." Talk about an understatement. It was closer to “The Great Annihilation of Hope,” or “The Great Theological Mistake Big Enough to End the Whole Discussion” or “The Great Challenge that If It Doesn’t Break You Will Make You Stronger.”