God Bless Us, Every One!

In Christmas, Culture, Formation, Fully Awake, Loneliness, Purpose and Meaning by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

God Bless Us, Every One!

Just before the light of Christmas morning beams into Scrooge’s newly minted heart, the gloom of Christmas Yet-to-Come settles deep within the bowels of his soul.

Of all the apparitions, this is the one Scrooge fears most.

And, to the reader’s eye, this is certainly the most intimidating Spirit of them all!…
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The Ghost of Christmas Present: A Journey Into Joy

In Blessing, Christmas, Consumption, Contemplation, Culture, Formation, Purpose and Meaning by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

The Ghost of Christmas Present: A Journey Into Joy

From the prison to the poor-house, Scrooge discovers what life requires of us who have been given so much.  He also learns what life exacts from others when we hoard our resources and live from a place of scarcity rather than abundance.

The opening scene of Stave Three introduces us to the Ghost of Christmas Present.  Dickens invites the reader to imagine a lavish feast at a King’s table. A table overflowing with bounty and abundance.

Upon entering the room, Scrooge …
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Wanting to Extinguish What Must Be Explored, Pt. 2

In Advent, Children, Christmas, Culture, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Wanting to Extinguish What Must Be Explored, Pt. 2

I remember the moment when my calling to minister within a congregational context solidified its hold on me.

As I recall, it was a moment filled with complexity and confusion.  It was a moment that required soul-searching prayer and heart-piercing surrender.

The prayer and surrender piece took all night.

Yes.

It was a chilly wintry evening, really down-right cold.

I was a student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, entering my final three semesters, preparing to pursue a Ph.D. with plans to enter …
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The Ghost of Christmas Past: Wanting to Extinguish What Must Be Explored

In Advent, Blessing, Brokenness, Christmas, Imagination by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

The Ghost of Christmas Past: Wanting to Extinguish What Must Be Explored

Everything about the Ghost of Christmas Past is exceptional.

Everything.

While televised renditions attempt to capture its essence, all of them fail – some miserably so.

But, of course, how could they not?

The Ghost that Haunts Us All

Dickens imagines a complex and contradictory apparition.  Conveying the essence of the Ghost of Christmas Past is like trying to describe an ancient, angelic being.  The kind of being lodged in the bowels of Apocalyptic books like Daniel or …
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Three Reflections from my Evening Spent with a Ghost

In Advent, Christmas, Family, Family Night, Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Three Reflections from my Evening Spent with a Ghost

It’s customary for our family to watch Holiday specials during this time of year.

It’s also equally customary – for me – to plead with my wife and daughter to resist the urge to search for these specials on the Hallmark channel.

Thankfully, removing Hallmark from the list of options leaves us with wide a wide assortment of Christmas classics that bear the test of time.

We rarely, as a family, agree on which Christmas special to watch.

Last night was …
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