Revelation 12 suggests that there's more going on under the surface of the Christmas story, and more going on in our own lives, than what we can see and touch.
On the evening of September 8, St. George's pastor Rev. Ryan Slifka was invited to offer a Christian perspective on the meaning of peace, along with representatives from Buddhist, Jewish, Wiccan, and Indigenous communities. Rev. Ryan reflected on images from Revelation 21-22, which comes at the very end of the Bible.
This Friday was a unique day on the secular calendar. April 22, Earth day, every year since 1970. A day marked around the globe as a day of celebration of, and action in defense of, the Earth and its environment. We don’t usually bring in celebrations from outside the church calendar in worship. One of the reasons for that is that we are trying to live in a counter-cultural story. So we’re trying to get rooted first and foremost in the Way of Jesus as a way of looking at the world. But today I think it’s worth making the connection.
When the wise men show up in Matthew's gospel, it's anything but cute. It's kind of dark, actually. Outraged tyrants. Murder plots. Last minute escapes. Matthew's story doesn't have any angels, shepherds, donkeys or a sweet little manger, even. These all belong to Luke's story. Which is the kinder, gentler gospel. The wise men get a little spotlight time this time of the year. But kind of like any Christmas pageant, they are usually tacked on to an already awesome story. As a bonus or something.