woman raising hands beneath sunlit sky

Epiphany: Seeing the Light

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 5, 2022

Have you ever had an “aha” moment when an issue suddenly becomes clear? All the details fall in line and the pattern finally makes sense. It’s hard to explain but a common experience. Sometimes people call it an “epiphany:” a Greek word that means “manifestation,” the appearance of a divine being, or a sudden intuitive…

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Covenant Sunday in Christmas

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 1, 2022

Happy New Year! Covenant Sunday comes at the very end of the Christmas season, on the Sunday closest to January first. Back in 1755, John Wesley, English founder of the Methodist movement, held his first Covenant Service of worship. Ever since then, Methodists have been encouraged to begin each new year with a portion of…

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The Twelve Days of Christmas

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 21, 2021

In recent decades across much of the world, the phrase “the twelve days of Christmas” refers to the twelve days before Christmas – as in shopping days to buy presents before Santa’s Big Day. But from ancient times, that proverbial phrase has referred to the days after Christmas Day, together making up the worship season…

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All Saints Day in Pentecost

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 13, 2021

One special day in the season of Pentecost is All Saints Day. Most Christians around the world celebrate it near the end of Pentecost on November 1 or 2.** So who are the “saints,” anyway? While some denominations have an official process of recognizing them, many Christians around the globe see saints as everyday people:…

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Advent: A Blue Christmas

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 6, 2021

It seems odd that the New Year for Christians starts in the winter, not in the spring. Springtime would be a natural season for new beginnings when nature is filled to bursting with buds and blossoms of new life. For example, a branch from the Jacaranda tree would be an outstanding symbol of transformation to…

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More About Those Easter Eggs

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 29, 2021

When you color eggs with your kiddos this year, you are making a long-time historical connection. In ancient times, both Egyptians and Persians dyed eggs to give to friends, much like many Muslims today give colored eggs to their Christian neighbors. In the Middle Ages, people who had kept themselves from eating eggs during the…

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Kairos Time

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 22, 2021

There are two specific terms for time in the New Testament language of Greek. One is chronos: linear time that moves from past to present to future. It’s symbolized by the newborn baby that ushers in the New Year and finishes the year as grizzled, old Father Time. That’s the only way most folks in…

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Bible Times Before Jesus

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 15, 2021

Beginnings of the Hebrew People                                                                      1850 BCE       Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph 1450 BCE       Moses, Exodus from Egypt 1200 BCE       Joshua, Conquest/Settlement of Palestine   The Old Testament Kingdoms 1020 BCE       Saul, David, Solomon – the United Kingdom 930 BCE         The Divided Kingdoms: Israel and Judah 721 BCE         Northern Kingdom (Israel) ends – Isaiah, Micah 586…

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Christmas: Madeleine L’Engle

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 8, 2021

“When we celebrate Christmas,” says awesome author Madeleine L’Engle, “we are celebrating that amazing time when the Word that shouted all the galaxies into being, limited all power, and for love of us came to us in the powerless body of a human baby. My faith is based on this incredible act of love, and…

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Thanksgiving Prayer

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 1, 2021

Here is a beautiful prayer we can use as the grace at our Thanksgiving table or as a prayer to give thanks any time of the year. Delightful stewardship consultant Cesie Delve Scheuermann shared it in her Inspiring Generosity column on November 24, 2021. Prayer of Thanksgiving By Vienna Cobb Anderson         …

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