Tag: devotional

Advent 2019 – Day 25 – Merry Mary Christmas!

Christmas is the celebration of a birth. But a Christmas Jesus is a clean baby wrapped up in cloths, not a sticky one emerging from Mary’s body. Why is that? Is it our discomfort with our bodies, and in particular, women’s bodies (trans or cis)? The strangeness of the incarnation, this mixing of divine and human, that we don’t want to recognize? I’m not entirely sure. But I know that this Christmas, I want to see birth. I want to see a woman’s body intermingled with the divine. I want to see a record of the pain that comes before the joy.

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Advent 2019 – Day 20 – Imagining an Alternative East Asian Christmas

I often wonder what a different Christmas might be like, what Christmas in Asia — in Persia, India, or China might have been like towards the end of the first millennium, when the early church in Asia had been active. How much of our understanding might be a relic of missionary and colonial history? How else have others understood the Incarnation in the past, and how might we broaden our horizons today?

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Advent 2019 – Day 19 – The Patience to Let Justice Grow

A few weeks ago I returned to Malaysia to visit family, and – lo and behold! – discovered that my mom had planted three coconut trees in the front yard. The coconuts require lots of tender, loving care, demanding precise amounts of fertilizing for a few years before it can bear fruit, before we can enjoy cooling, sweet, fresh coconut!

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Advent 2019 – Day 18 – Mary

Growing up in a Chinese evangelical-ish church, kneeling was taboo unless it was to God. At my grandma’s funeral, our family had even been excused from the traditional Buddhist prostrations before her casket. Yet here is my art history teacher, already getting on his knees before the painting of Mary inside Cavalletti Chapel.

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Advent 2019 – Day 16 – Adventual Tension

When I was a kid, Advent was an exciting time. Mostly because it was leading up to the reason for the season: Santa Claus and presents. What? Don’t @ me. Now, as an adult, mostly I feel dread and annoyance. I hate presents. I hate shopping. I hate the cold. And apparently, I really hate joy and happiness.

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