The weekend following Thanksgiving, my husband and I decked the halls of our apartment with wreaths, garland, and a Nativity scene. And next week, we’ll drag home a heavenly scented Douglas fir to decorate with lights and sparkling ornaments. Christmas is my favorite time of the year, as it is for many people. I love the food, songs, decorations—everything! The festive spirit of the season buoys my own spirit.

For some Christians, both individuals and whole denominations, Christmas can be a source of controversy. (more…)

Close-up of Take 5 (not to be confused with Take Two)

“Once upon a time, there was a quiet little village in the French countryside, whose people believed in tranquilité—tranquility. If you lived in this village, you understood what was expected of you. You knew your place in the scheme of things. And if you happened to forget, someone would help remind you…. So through good times and bad, famine and feast, the villagers held fast to their traditions. Until, one winter day, a sly wind blew in from the North…”

–The Storyteller, Chocolat

The sly wind, in this case, is Halloween. It blows in the faces of Christians, stirring up words like pagan, occult, and chocolate. (more…)

As I kid, I remember thinking there was nothing good about Good Friday. I wanted to fast forward to Easter—when Christ was alive again—and not focus on the pain he endured prior to his death on the cross. But I was literally surrounded by visual reminders. The Stations of the Cross ached across the walls they lined, guiding to the center of the church where Jesus hung, silent and lifeless.

Though these figures may have been disturbing for a kid, for adults they can compel us to reflect on Christ’s work on the cross. (more…)