Gritty Grace

Years ago, I was serving in a small church in my neighborhood. One week, I was preparing for a baptism and discovered this church did not have a baptismal font.

In a conversation with another pastor and friend whose church was down the street, he said, “Not a problem, I will bring you ours.”

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Third Sunday of Advent – Year B

John 1:6-8, 19-28

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

1:7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.

1:8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

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God of the Ordinary

In my part of the world, advent is sometimes seen as an ominous sign. Instead of the picturesque holiday cards we see in the hallmark aisle, Advent feels more like a warning. Yes, the Advent air has a different vibe, for it evokes the memories of the devastation of the yearly typhoons that visit the Philippines during this time. More recently, there’s been a chilling social effect because so many activists are being arrested or worse, killed.

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Advent this year coincides with the election season in the Philippines. In my country, elections are often associated with polarization, division, hate, and sometimes even violence. But what is often neglected is that politics can also offer a deep sense of belonging that is similar to what people experience through religion.

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Light from Darkness

A prison cell may be the last place we look for light; they are dim by design. But in my country, the Philippines, there is a flicker of light emanating…

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Born in Jail

John the Baptist, sitting In Herod’s prison with nothing but time on his hands, is beginning to question his expectations about Jesus. And I would imagine he’s wondering about his own life in light of his present circumstances.

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The Waiting Rooms of Christmas: The Wilderness II

Advent gives us an excuse to consider again the nature of a God who comes to be with and in a people. If the Incarnation is anything, it is the God-in-flesh ONE who turns things upside down and inside out, simultaneously scandalizing and comforting us. This is the God we are waiting for and the God we will welcome—anew.

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I tried to sleep in a few weeks ago but failed to inform my children of this plan. My daughter came into the room and flipped the light on. “Ahhhh!” Pain shot beneath my eyelids…

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The Waiting Rooms of Christmas – Prison

This year, during Advent, the Gospel of Matthew invites us to sit in what we are calling The Waiting Rooms of Christmas. In the first week of Advent we were…

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Advent Hope

It’s the third week of Advent and soon the “Word will become flesh.” We will hear the voice of an angel announce “peace on earth.” But let’s be clear, the pathway to peace is paved by the disruptive voice of the prophet.

Again this week we hear the voice of John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness.

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