Sharp About Your Prayers

the challenges, absurdities, and joys of an urban faith

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Entries Tagged as 'advent'

What Are You Waiting For?

December 3rd, 2015 · Comments Off on What Are You Waiting For? · Faith and the City

Two splendid works of 20th-century culture have a lot to teach us about the ancient mysteries of Advent. One is a play, the other a movie. In a 1999 survey by The Massachusetts Review, Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot was voted “the most significant English language play of the 20th century.” Written in 1949, […]

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Jesus is Coming…

December 4th, 2014 · Comments Off on Jesus is Coming… · Faith and the City

Dear Friends in Christ, Advent is a season of waiting. We wait for Christ to appear. We wait for the baby to be born in Bethlehem. We are also waiting, in general, for God to show up and make all things right. What are we supposed to do while we wait? Is waiting “passive”—permission to […]

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Great Joy!

December 13th, 2013 · Comments Off on Great Joy! · Faith and the City

At our house, the boxes have been carted up from the basement storage bin. The Christmas tree is in its stand, and the lights are strung. My wife’s Scandinavian straw goats (don’t ask!) have appeared. Stockings are hung by the chimney with care. I have also unpacked our overly big carton of Christmas children’s books. […]

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Do You Hear What I Hear?

December 5th, 2013 · 3 Comments · Faith and the City

I love New York City. It is my father’s birthplace. All four of my grandparents found work in Gotham. It is a thrilling metropolis overflowing with fascinating people, important challenges and unparalleled energy. There is one thing, however, that New York is not. It is not quiet. At this time of year, as flocks of tourists […]

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Busy, Busy, Busy

December 6th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Sharp Prayers

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman” both aired on CBS this week. These two animated “specials” first appeared in the 1960s, and they are clearly stamped with the language and sensibilities of that moment in American history. Still they endure. They are required viewing for millions of people during the Christmas season. I […]

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November 29th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Faith and the City

Advent is upon us. This Sunday we begin our journey toward Christmas.  As we head down the sacred path to Bethlehem, we will be accompanied by a familiar cast of characters: rough-and-tumble shepherds, a puzzled Joseph, a prophetic Mary, a cranky innkeeper, and, of course, choirs of angels. It is hard to imagine Christmas without […]

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The Hope and Fears of All the Years

October 25th, 2011 · 13 Comments · Faith and the City

Hey Good Readers, I am working this week to frame up a series of sermons for Advent and Christmas, and I have a question for you: What’s your favorite verse (or phrase) from a Christmas carol or an Advent hymn? I know that we haven’t even passed trick-or-treating yet, but the choir and I need […]

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