We went to the Rose Parade this year. It was fascinating.
Thousands of people camp out over night (some of them for several nights) on the sidewalks and medians of Colorado Blvd in anticipation of this internationally known parade. As you can imagine, things get pretty crazy. When that many people pile into such a small area, humanity shows up thickly in all of its grit and beauty.
I chuckle when my friends lament the steady advance of Christmas music onto the turf of the “regular” year. I chuckle because my feathers get ruffled during the holidays too, but it isn’t the sounds of carols in November that grate on my ears; it’s the inevitable tune played by an institution I like to call the WCC, “The Wholly Complaining Church.”
I received an email forward from this Church last year. It sung the classic WCC Christmas-tree dirge, “These are not Holiday Trees, they are not Winter Festival Trees, they are not Hanukkah Bushes, they are not Allah plants! They are Christmas Trees! Say it… Christmas, Christmas, Christmas! NOT Holiday!”
Let’s be honest. When Christian communities bequeath massive amounts of responsibility to their pastors and effectively cut off all chances at healthy/accountable relationships, pastoral ministry tends to attract the narcissists like sharks to blood and moths to flame.
I don’t know how to put this tactfully, so I’m just going to say it. At its most innocuous my Christian undergrad perpetuated a highly critical spirit of non-Christian scholarship among students and distastefully discounted “outsiders” (possibly even hindering some from considering Christ) at its worst. I’m suggesting that we, the Christian community, openly admit to this tendency of ours, name it, shame it, and move on to healthier structures of Christian education.
There is a home video of an Easter egg hunt in my grandparents backyard when I was a child. I was probably four or five years old, judging by my uncle’s neon shorts and dapper mullet. That year my leg had broken in a car accident, during which our van rolled into a field. My great-grandmother and older brother walked away just a little shaken up, my mom had been knocked briefly unconscious, my little brother had a bloody nose, and I ended up with a full length purple leg cast. Read more “The Stuff My Dad Didn’t Do”