2018 has brought a lot of things our way: heavy losses, exciting possibilities, and hard discussions. Likewise, our blog also had a lot of fascinating and pertinent articles for the year. As we prepare for what God has in store for 2019, we'll first pause to remember and celebrate the top 10 articles of 2018.
I have always been an avid collector of nativities, picking one up as a souvenir for each of my travels near and far. So, I was incredibly surprised to find that the reality of the nativity is hardly depicted in most of my little scenes.
With some insight from Kenneth Bailey's Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, I've learned a lot about Middle Eastern culture and how things would have actually happened in the Christmas story. Here are some of the things I've gleaned.
Almost every Christmas for 30 years of marriage, Dian and I have put up the Angel Tree at Christmas time. At the very top hangs our not-so-traditional beauty, Pearl. The loss of her halo, wings, and lute combined with her droopy, melted face make her an interested choice for such a spot of honor. However, she reminds us of an important lesson as she declares God's glory through the bags under her eyes.
The stores and online catalogs seem to think that October is the time to prepare for Christmas. Soon, shelves will be crowded with wreaths and glitzy tree ornaments. This used to annoy me quite a bit, but after a while, I finally realized that the stores are right—to some extent. October really is the time to begin getting ready for Christmas! In order to celebrate the Advent Season, church leadership must prepare even earlier. So, bring on the Christmas spirit! It's time to celebrate.