28 December 2016

Bookishness / Mysterion: Rediscovering the Mysteries of the Christian Faith

Read _ During pockets of time throughout the day, as an e-book

I don't think anyone would disagree that life is messy. It doesn't always make sense. As much as we use our (mostly) rational minds and science to contain life's experiences in an orderly box, the next moment something spills into the unexplained. As the apostle Paul puts it in his letter to the Corinthians in the Bible: “For now we see through a mirror in darkness” – we're operating in a world that we still only know in part.

The anthology Mysterion: Rediscovering the Mysteries of the Christian Faith offers a creative approach to this partial perspective of ours, with speculations on the many unknowns within the faith. This loose theme results in a wide range of stories from both Christian and secular authors, making you ponder angels and aliens, theology and technology. Whether or not you're a spiritual person – and even if you're not typically a fan of science fiction and fantasy – this serious, humorous, and irreverent collection is worth picking up. 

01 December 2016

Miscellanea, etc. / 01 Dec 2016

Even though Christmas music has been blasting in stores since mid- or even early November, I haven't been ready. Hearing Mariah Carey belting "All I want for Christmas is yooooooou" typically brings me delight (particularly in this context), but these days I cringe. Forget "Jingle Bell Rock." My ears are only ready for gentler seasonal music like the Nutcracker suite, or possibly Vince Guaraldi's jazzy Peanuts Christmas soundtrack. That's about it.

I'm not usually a grinch by any means, as Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year for festive and religious reasons. I've just been tired of the overflowing intensity of the news cycle and our world in general. First there was the election and the frenzy leading up to it -- now still ongoing. Then Thanksgiving whirled by, with the holiday-ness of the holiday season being thrust upon us without as much as a pause.

But perhaps December 1st and the creeping crescendo of cold weather makes it more "okay" to embrace winter and Christmas to come. I am slowly coming around to it. It feels more okay not to be "ready." Advent started this past Sunday for many Christians, and I am embracing the side of it that is about the long journey to Bethlehem.

So as a reflection of my (and perhaps your) mixed state, in this edition of miscellanea you'll find some articles about and not about the holidays: