There’s a stark difference between the tranquil, happiness-filled Christmas that companies market to us beginning every Black Friday, and the Christmas that many of us actually experience. If you are reading this blog post, you’re certainly old enough to have experienced the difference. Remembering loved ones no longer there at the celebrations. Estrangements that the holidays only magnify. Financial stress that the holidays exacerbate. If we’re honest, I suspect that many of us sitting in church (not to mention those absent from church) struggle with the gap between the idealized Christmas, and the real holiday experiences of sadness, loss, or anxiety.
As I recently wrote, utilizing a personality test with the team you lead can foster a greater appreciation and communication among team members. But there are some cautions. Here are three ways we can misuse personality tests.
How Star Wars should have ended (special edition)
A few years ago, the How It Should Have Ended guys put together a fun video poking fun at Star Wars. This week, they took a page out of George Lucas’ book and released a special edition:
Earlier this week, a friend who is about to enter a PhD program asked me a few questions about how I managed that season of life.
I hesitate to answer because, first, I’m not sure that I always managed it well or in an exemplary way. And second, because we are all different, we have different gifts and responsibilities. To say “here’s what you should do” seems woefully ill-informed if not designed for someone’s unique situation. It would be much better to work with the people who know you and your situation best—your wife, your family, your church—to get specific answers on most questions.
But what I can do is offer some counsel based on what worked well for me.
Krista Tippett hosts a public radio show/podcast called On Being. (I haven’t heard it.) She was interviewed on the Longform podcast back in October, and the episode gave me a lot of food for thought.
Some argue that either Matthew or Luke got it wrong. They created or borrowed a genealogy in order to provide Jesus with a legitimate ancestry. Or they accuse later Christians for artificially creating a genealogy to provide Jesus with a Davidic lineage after the fact.
Yet there are three other possible explanations for the two different genealogies. Let’s explore these.
I recently spent some time driving around our community in order to see the way in which Joseph was portrayed in the various nativity scenes that people set up in their front yards. There was everything from cartoon bug eyed Joseph to haloed Joseph to–and this was most interesting–a nativity scene in which Joseph was noticeably absent. The reason why the latter captured my attention is because Joseph is often the most overlooked of all the figures mentioned in the Gospel records. Mary, the Angels, the shepherds, the wise men and Elizabeth all seem to get more airtime than Joseph. All of that, in turn, begs the question, “Why was it necessary for Jesus to have an earthly father if He didn’t need a biological father?” Isn’t it conceivable that Mary could have, with the help of family members, raised Jesus without a husband? It was necessary for Joseph to be Jesus’ adopted father for the following reasons.
A favorite from the archives:
I have a confession: I’m not a big fan of Christmas specials, movies or very special episodes of our favorite sitcoms. It’s rare for me to enjoy a Christmas special in general. Every once in a while, I hear about a special or movie I should check out… but I never do.