Sharp About Your Prayers

the challenges, absurdities, and joys of an urban faith

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Entries Tagged as 'christmas'

Mulch

January 7th, 2016 · Comments Off on Mulch · Faith and the City

Life moves fast. If you walk around the city this week, you cannot help noticing the curbside stacks of bedraggled Christmas trees. They are ready for “Mulchfest” — New York’s annual recycling program that turns our holiday remnants into something useful for local parks and playgrounds. The Church moves fast, too. This week we celebrate Baptism […]

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Hopes and Fears

December 19th, 2015 · Comments Off on Hopes and Fears · Faith and the City

Christmas is for poets. The best verse for Yuletide tweaks our nostalgia. It prods our skepticism, too. It pushes past both the syrupy sweet and the sadly cynical places in our hearts. The best poetry ushers us into the mystery of God’s incarnation. How could the Eternal do a temporal act, The Infinite become a finite fact? […]

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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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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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Go Donkey, Go!

December 24th, 2012 · Comments Off on Go Donkey, Go! · Faith and the City

Friends, A little get-in-the-season video… Merry Christmas, Scott Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

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The Innocents

December 18th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Sermon Bin

“The Innocents” Advent 3 Luke 1: 26-38   December 16, 2012 Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church ©Scott Black Johnston   Since this is Pageant Sunday, I had planned to use this time during the service to talk with our shepherds, angels, little lambs and what appears to be a Christmas pig.  However, as news of the […]

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Sandy Hook

December 15th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Faith and the City

My head hurts.  I spent yesterday afternoon sitting at my desk sobbing.  I know you are devastated too.  The tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has shaken everyone.  The world feels like a terrible, terrible place. Our prayers go forth for the people of Newtown. Although, in the face of these pictures, I sputter […]

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Hark!

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 Incarnation

December 28th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Faith and the City

My friend Michael recently sent me this snippet of poetry from Wendell Berry: The incarnate Word is with us is still speaking, is present always, yet leaves no sign but everything that is. Christmas blessings! Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

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Where Will You Be On Christmas Eve?

December 23rd, 2011 · 2 Comments · Faith and the City

I know that many of you are on the move this weekend. As you journey to be with family and friends, I wish you Godspeed and travelers’ mercies. I also encourage you to attend worship services wherever you may be this Christmas Eve. (See FAPC’s worship schedule here.) Now, believe me, I have heard a […]

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