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advent ... what it is

Long before the church acquired institutional trappings, Christians were using the latin word adventus to introduce others to their belief that the divine had entered this world. Adventus means coming. Christians claimed the one and only true God had come in the person of Jesus. They went on to claim this same Jesus will return as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Advent today occupies the four Sundays prior to Christmas Day. It proclaims that Christians have an out-of-this-world hope. Advent reminds believers how that hope offers deep yet unexplainable joy, regardless of circumstances. And that hope and that joy nurtures real peace—quiet assurance. All because we are loved unconditionally by the heavenly Father.
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canceling thanksgiving

2021 marks the 400th anniversary of Thanksgiving Day—America’s oldest tradition, celebrated by almost every citizen, native-born or newcomer. No matter where in the world Americans find themselves on the fourth Thursday of November, they gather to give thanks—fulfilling the prediction of Sarah Josepha Hale, the 19th-century magazine editor by whose efforts Thanksgiving was transformed into a national holiday.

Thanksgiving demands that no one be excluded. The widowed aunt, the grouchy grandpa, the coworker with nowhere else to go—customarily receive invitations to Thanksgiving dinner. Americans on the margins of society are enfolded into the celebration by the generosity of religious organizations and philanthropies. Everyone has a place at the nation’s Thanksgiving table, regardless of circumstances or creed.
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be like sweden or be like china

100 years ago in NY City, 20,000 people marched down Fifth Avenue in protest against the greatest public health policy experiment in history. For a year the USA had prohibited alcoholic consumption. From a public health perspective it was reasonable. Alcohol is a dangerous substance; disease, violence, poverty and crime are bound up with it.

Until recently, Prohibition remained the largest experiment in social engineering a democracy had ever undertaken. But then, threatened by a new virus, the world’s governments responded with lockdowns and facemasks.
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