Yes, we are technically still in the Advent season for a couple more days, but this is the time of year folks begin to greet one another with "Merry Christmas!" The origin and exact meaning of the phrase "Merry Christmas" is somewhat debatable, largely because the word "merry" has carried different connotations at different times.

This time of year, many Christians say things like, "Remember the reason for the season." The point, of course, is that the real meaning of Christmas must not get lost amidst the presents, the parties, and everything else that typically goes with the Advent/Christmas season. I agree and disagree.

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that there is a Chesterton quote for every occasion. But Chesterton's wit and wisdom especially come through when he is addressing home and family life. A collection of his essays entitled Brave New Family  is a very jovial look at family life and a storehouse of insight. His praise for home, especially as the domain of the woman, is unequaled. His expose of the folly of anti-biblical family patterns is winsome and compelling.  Time and time again, he uncovered the foolishness of feminist and egalitarian practices, though in his day they were only in their infancy.  His wit was disarming and engaging, even when he carving an ideological opponent up.  Here we will look at some of his gems, with a few comments along the way.

In case no one has told you, we have election coming up next Tuesday. Some people think it's a pretty big deal, so here are my pastoral guidelines for Christian citizens this time around.

AIMING AT SHALOM:

THE CHURCH’S MISSION OF

JUSTICE AND MERCY

 

BY RICH LUSK

 

(This is an older article, originally published at Theologia.org in 2004.)

 

Charles Spurgeon once quipped, “If you give a man the gospel, wrap it in a sandwich.  And if you give a man a sandwich, wrap it in the gospel.”  With those words, the great Baptist preacher captured the essence of the church’s mission in the world.