Bo Sanders: Public Theology

updating & innovating for today



Fully Human

What would it look like for you to be fully human?

Is Jesus a good model for that?

If Jesus was less than human because he was actually God in disguise (bad theology) then what do we lose with him as an example (or exemplar)?

I like to ask people a series of questions:

  1. How did Jesus heal?
  2. Was Jesus good at math?
  3. Did Jesus even have diarrhea?
  4. Did Jesus know people’s futures?

The problem with answering “he was God” too quickly is that we make Jesus something less than human or un-human – the opposite of what we are trying to do.

We are missing something vital about the incarnation because of easy answers. This is not trivial because Jesus models for a life that is open to God’s presence in our lives.

The invitation of Christ is to be open to the divine in a way that brings about our full humanity.

Being fully human is a complex web of overlapping and intertwined elements:

  • Family
  • Personality
  • Culture
  • Nationality
  • Religion
  • Sexuality
  • Language

Here is a 10 min video with some of my thoughts about being fully human. I would love your feedback.

Excess Isn’t The Problem

Working on two different presentations this weekend, I ran into a familiar theme: the ‘problem’ of excess.

This afternoon I am teaching a class on ‘Theology in the Wesleyan Tradition’. The students are at the end of their semester and so I wanted to present something to them that will give them a chance to apply what they have learned this semester to a contemporary situation.

I was also working on a church service for two weeks from now where I will be filling in for the pastor who will be at regional gathering with most of the worship team. I am planning a creative Christmas interactive sort of experience.

In both of these projects I kept running up against the theme of excess. What would someone like John Wesley think of the world if we could reach back three centuries and bring him to today?  The Methodist (who he helped to found) were a people of moderation and temperance. They prioritized simplicity and focus. Many times this semester I have tried to imagine what they would think of the world and the Methodist churches that I have been visiting.

I imagine them being a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things and options. We live in an age consumption in which manufactures compete to get consumers the variety and amount of whatever they desire.

At the same time, I am preparing for Christmas and trying to address the pervasive chorus I hear about the extravagance of what Christmas has become. This weekend I watched some football on TV, I had to go the mall to get a package, and I went to church to observe the second week of Advent. I get it … the season is a lot. I hear what people are complaining about and I 100% acknowledge that it can frazzle the nerves and trigger some soul-searching about the modern world.

I am haunted by a lingering suspicion and I want to put it out there for your consideration:

What if excess isn’t the problem? What it excess is the venue and virtue is the issue?

I think about trying to watch football on TV with John Wesley and how I would explain the commercial for 800 channels of cable to him. Why do we need 800 channels? We don’t. So what is the problem? I get why people complain about excess. I do.

I am just wondering: what if excess is the given and that how we handle it is the variable.

So I went to the store for cheese and there are literally 200 varieties. I don’t have to eat them all. In the same way,  I don’t have to watch every show on every channel of TV, flirt with every attractive person in a restaurant, or desire every item that is advertised to me.

We make choices. Those choices are born out of a character. That character is formed and informed by a virtue that I embody and which is enacted by the choices I make and how I behave.

I just wonder if we wouldn’t be better off to spend our energy talking about character-in-community instead of complaining about the ridiculous and excessive manifestation of modern consumer society. It feels like a golfer complaining about the presence of grass or a fish complaining about the presence of water. Excess is the venue of western society. We are not going to go back to the 4 kinds of cheese (Swiss, American, Cheddar and Velveeta) or the 3 network channels of my childhood (ABC, NBC, CBS). Costco isn’t the problem (per se).

Excess isn’t good – but neither is it the problem. Complaining about it, while legitimate and justified, may be an exercise in futility. We are not going back to a simpler time anytime soon.  In fact, pointing out the problems of excess may be a good diagnosis but still leave us with the lack of a cure. Even if excess is a problem, the lack of it is not a solution. We are still left with the absence of something deeper.

Spending this past semester studying Methodism has been good for me to think through this stuff. Going back to a simpler time isn’t the solution … and I’m arguing that living in an age of excess isn’t the problem. The absence of excess doesn’t result in the presence of character.

My growing conviction is that excess isn’t the problem, it is merely the venue and virtue is the issue.


The Pros and Cons of Advent

Last Monday John Stewart did a very funny bit on the Daily Show about how Christmas has gotten so big that it is starting to take over other Holidays – what we used to call Thanksgiving is now ‘Black Thursday’ … Watch out: you’re next Halloween!

And in one sense, it is true. Christmas has become, as many have articulated, a frenzied orgy of consumerism. My dean, Philip Clayton, in a piece entitled “ Reflections for a Time of Madness” points out:

In an irony of history, the time of spiritual preparation and silent waiting has become the busiest, most frenetic season of the year.

 Now admittedly I am new to Advent. This will only be my third time through it. I have embraced it with gusto though! Last year I even bought a box of these amazing Liturgical Calendars and led a series of lessons on it in the Adult Ed. classes at our church.

In fact, when Stuart explains that the 12 days of Christmas is actually the period from Christmas day to Epiphany (January 6) when the Magi (Wise Men) are celebrated as visiting the baby king. The sad part is that just 5 years ago, that would have been news to me! I probably thought that not only was it the 12 days that led up to Christmas – but that I was showing great restraint to limit the season to just 12 days.

I love reading, listening to and even chatting with Phyllis Tickle and Dianna Butler Bass [one of my conversations with her] about all of the rich tradition and deep meaning that are to be found in walking these ancient paths.

And while I am very excited about the spiritual season of waiting and reflection, I have a new wrinkle in my fledging appreciation for the liturgical season. We have started a new emergent gathering (the Loft LA) that employs an ‘ancient-future’ sort of engagement.

This coming Sunday we are introducing the group to the Advent Conspiracy and I am very pumped to enter into the that conversation.

 I am, however, a little less enthusiastic about introducing the topic of Advent itself. In fact, we have debated, prayed and really wrestled with how to approach this. Our liturgical service (10 am) does Advent that the 9s. We go all out. We even hold off singing the famous songs until Christmas day – even though we have this amazing (and overwhelming) pipe organ that would be a huge draw for those who like to sing the classics in preparation for the big day.

 But is it worth it to bring up the topic to a crowd of newbies? My conviction is wavering.

Look, I love Christmas. I love the month of December and the lights and the presents and everything that goes along it with. I love singing Christmas carols in December! Do I really want to get into this counter-cultural restraint motif with new folks? Is it really worth initiating folks to this old way?

 Part of me says no! The ship has sailed – that battle is lost. Christmas starts before December in our culture and we should capitalize on that as the Church! Stop being such sanctimonious nay-sayers and pious do-rights and join the party! Plan, strategize, and engage the people around you at the time the are most christianly-inclined!

They are singing things like: 

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,

‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!

O night divine, O night when Christ was born;


Truly He taught us to love one another;

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;

And in His name all oppression shall cease.

What the HELL is your problem?
Get with the program!
Shake off the dust Church Lady and roll with the times!
Carpe Mañana

Then another part of me says Advent makes so much more sense – is so much more meaningful – and aren’t we preaching an anti-mammon counter-cultural message anyway? Maybe we should cave in to culture. Maybe we should concede to the bloated, grotesque, shallow, hollow consumer and credit card carcass that christmas has become.’  Maybe Advent is still worth doing … even with new people.

Maybe, especially, with new people. Maybe giving them an alternative to the frenzied and hectic mess that December has become is exactly how we could minister to and with them.

Or maybe Advent is just one more of these sentimental oddities that the church likes to hold onto and even prides itself on hanging onto until it’s dying breath. It’s not like we own Christmas. Wait … we do kind of have an invested interest … one might even say a market share … and by God – we are going to love it to death.

As you can tell, I am quite unsettled on the issue.  Thoughts?

 [please let us know if you grew up with Advent in your response] 

The Christmas message of the Angel

In Luke chapter 2 the Angel of the Lord says something really profound (v.14)

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom God is pleased”  (NAS)

It is beautiful in its simplicity.

I’m not trying to make this into a three point sermon, but it does seem to me that there are three interesting things said here:

God is pleased with us. That strikes me in a post ‘sinners in the hands of an angry god‘ era. Now, maybe someone wants to say that god was pleased with us before we killed his kid and rejected the gift… but that is not how I’m reading it here. Why is God pleased with us? Is it because god is gooder than we have been told? Probably. Is it because of something within God and maybe not within us? Possibly. But the bottom line is that God likes us and in Christ is well pleased with us! That is is a Christmas gift worth unwrapping.

Peace on Earth is God’s intention. God wants peace on earth. The angel said so. The sad part is that many Christians will argue with me about this. Fortunately, they probably disagree with part one (that God is pleased) as well … so you have take that as a whole package.

The Glory of God is peace on Earth. This is God’s house and we are God’s people. The state of your house and welfare of the people who live in it reflects something about you. The state of the earth and the welfare of the people who live in it reflects something about God. Now, people who emphasize the transcendence of God portray God as being so holy that God can have nothing to do with humanity’s sinfulness. The problem is that Luke 2 is about incarnation and God becoming one us. God is not just in the highest – as of Luke 2, God is also in the lowest.

So to you I say Merry Christmas! I join the Angel to say Peace on Earth! Goodwill to all mankind! For this is the Glory of God!

Moving Mountians

I was reminded again in my morning reading of the beauty of following Jesus. It’s something that is never far from my mind but which is always bursting through the crust of everyday life with new freshness like a blooming tulip in the Spring while the landscape all around it is still gray and brown with dirty snow unmelted in the shady edges.

I am also painfully aware of the presence of something quite different when I read the words of Jesus: a gap.  I am stabbed by the realization that Jesus not only spoke a different language than me but that he used words very differently than I was taught to.

Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. Matthew 21:21  NLT

I was taught to be literal. I was told Jesus was actually saying that if you had enough faith you could do anything! Nothing was impossible. I had, coincidentally, never heard the world ‘hyperbole’ before.

Now it seems so clear. Jesus spoke in parables and Jesus spoke parabolically. He was not a philosopher or a scientist in our modern sense. I have blogged recently about a better way to read the Bible and I think that this fits in with that.

Jesus was not telling us that we could rearrange the topography of our region. He was not telling us that we could reorganize our geological and geographical surroundings.

I feel bad for anyone who has prayed about something – or even ‘claimed’ something – and thinks that it is their fault that it didn’t happen because they didn’t have enough faith. I am horrified that we have taught people to read the Bible this way. In trying to be exacting and literal – in an enlightenment/ modern sort of way – we have warped the message of the Bible to be something that it was never meant to be.

It’s a tough one. Whenever I tell people that Jesus did not mean that we would literally move mountains with just a little bit of faith, one of two reactions happens.

  • they tell me a story about this one time that some people they never met in place they have never been did it.
  • they say something about taking the Bible literally and how I am making it allegory.

The second one really gets me. Because parable is not allegory. Allegory would be like taking the story about the widow who used three cups of flour to make bread and asserting that the three cups of flour represent the three continents that the apostles would take Jesus’ message to: Asia, Africa and Europe.

Allegory is very elaborate. Reading the Bible poetically, prophetically or parabolically makes in simpler – not more elaborate.

I used the example of a person finding out that there is no Santa Clause and the Jesus was not born on December 25th and concluding that Christmas, if it is not literal, has no meaning. They, of course, would be wrong.

So it is with casting mountains into seas by faith. Jesus was using hyperbole to make a point. That does not steal from it meaning, it points like a sign to the real meaning.

Next time: beyond allegory

>Christmas is not Easter


Christmas is not Easter. They each hold a meaning that is in danger of getting lost when it all collapses into one thing. For the purpose of this conversation, I would like to even pull apart the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Each of these three is essential, and while there is a unity that ties them together, there is something  particular to each one – a uniqueness that we don’t want to lose.
 [if you get what I am saying – go ahead and jump down to the main point… you can just skip the side thought]
Listen to the Podcast [here]

Side Thought: I generally do not like when things get mashed together – especially when I am not sure that they belong together. I think that it often takes away from the very thing that it is suppose to provide our understanding.

There are four gospels.  We love to ‘harmonize’ them make it one gospel – which can be a helpful study tool – but let’s not be under the impression that there is only one gospel account.

Then there is that crazy thing people do with the Anti-Christ. When most people talk about the mythical character, what they actually do is mash together 5 biblical bad guys from  various genres and centuries. You end up with the Prince (of Daniel 9), the False Prophet, the man of Lawlessness, and the Beast jammed into one Big Bad Guy that – if you actually read the four passages in John – don’t sound like a single person or in a single time period.

We already covered the whole Heaven & Hell mashup and the Devil mashup last month (and earlier). But it is a real problem! It’s this darn thing that when Jesus says “wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction” and people automatically swap out ‘destruction’ for ‘hell’ when that passage is clearly not about hell.

So as you can see, this is a real problem. I love that every modern Christian can have a Bible in their hand. But as with most things, there is both an upside and a downside. The downside is that a lazy condensing or mashing together can result in something that leads to monstrous amalgamations.

You might think that I am overstating it, but I actually think that the amalgamations are perverse. This whole shorthand thing that we do with Heaven & Hell, the Devil, Salvation, the Anti-Christ and prophecy drives me crazy. I actually have come to think that they are a form of false-religion that keeps us from true religion (as defined in James )

Oh – one more… when we talk about Jesus‘ miracles by simply saying “he was God” , that sunday school answer actually becomes a real problem. By not celebrating Jesus’ humanity we cripple ourselves when it comes to participating is the kind of miraculous religion that we (who love the Bible) celebrate so much in the book of Acts.

But that is a side note. 

Main Point: Leading up to Christmas, I love to ask church and non-church people of all ages “why did Jesus come?”  The most frequent response is ‘to die for our sins’ or ‘to save us’.  Which is fine enough I guess (on one level) but is really more of an Easter answer and not a Christmas answer.

One of my favorite professors in Seminary made the point (I think that he may have been  quoting James McClendon) that if the whole point is for the just to die for the unjust then Jesus could have been ‘created’ by God as a sinless little baby and plopped in the Arctic, to die in the harsh elements.  That would have satisfied the sinless life expectation of ‘the righteous for the unrighteous’.

But that is not how it happened. Jesus was born to a family, in a place, learned a language, and participated in a culture. That was not a random detail or an accidental circumstance. That is important and central to the story.

If God could have accomplished the atonement in the Arctic – having made Jesus to suffer and die the cruel effects of human existence and to experience an unjust death that would satisfy the wrath of God and heal the broken gulf between God and his creation… since that is how it could have happened (and it could have) – then there is something significant in the fact that it did not happen that way.

No, Jesus was born via painful labor, to a family, with a family name (Bar Joseph), and he learned to speak their language and practice their religion. He participated in ceremonies and cared for his sibling and mother. This is all a part of the incarnation. It is not secondary or inconsequential – it is central.

So here is my theory:  Christmas is not primarily about the salvation of mankind or the redemption of the world. That is what the crucifixion and resurrection are about!  (they – by the way – are not the same thing either and there is something that we are suppose to learn from each of them as well – by resisting the temptation to mash them together into one… but that is for a Pod about 4 months from now.)

Christmas is about Incarnation.  Incarnation tells us that God has drawn near to humanity. We know that God has bridged the gap and that this is in order to restore the broken relationship. In fact, God did not just visit for a day and import, impose, and implement a new order… God dwelt with us.  Literally (in the original language) God tabernacled with us. As The Message has it “God moved into the neighborhood”.

God is not afraid of our sin. God is not offended by our presence. In fact, God became one of us.  And here is the wild twist – God became like us so that we may become like God. This is an ancient tradition called Theosis – made famous by St. Athanasius of Alexandria.

In fact,  what the Incarnation is to the beginning, Pentecost is to the middle. Not only did God become one of us – but God gave us the Spirit of God as a gift to help us along the way and God’s Spirit remains on the earth as a constant presence … but I don’t want to get ahead of myself and mash things together that do not go together.

Bottom Line: the Christian life is not to simply to believe that in a time long, long ago in a land far, far away that God did something … and that if you just believe and receive that ‘truth’, that after you die, then God will take one part of you (your soul) to another place.

No. There is something else going on in the Christmas story. It has to do with the fact that God loves the world. That God became one of us, spoke human language (not heavenly or angelic language) and showed us the way to live.

The goal is not so much to believe right things so that I go to a better place after I die – but to behave like Jesus showed me so that I experience that life of the ages (the eternal life) before I die and then impact this world that God loves so much that God came and visited in person – becoming one of us.

We miss most of that when we mash Christmas and Easter together. Incarnation is the thing that God did and it is what we are suppose to learn (and do) with Christmas: move into a neighborhood, learn a language, give our life and show the way.

The Christian religion is to be – first and foremost – relational.  It is transformational (of both person and place) and this is accomplished by being incarnational. Christmas is suppose to remind of this every year: live in the place, speak the language, love the people, and show the way.

>Friday Follow-up: Mary & Jesus

>Harold posted an amazing thought (from Wendell Berry) on the Facebook discussion and I wanted to follow up on it.

I had asked: If someone came out with the Magnificat today, do you think that it would be disregarded as a John Lennon style “Imagine” daydream, or dismissed as socialist utopian propaganda, or even disparaged as a Liberal agenda?

Harold responded:  I was reading “The Burden of the Gospels,” by Wendell Berry the other day ( ), and he put forth a similar, thought-provoking question:

If you bad been living in Jesus’ time and had heard him teaching, would you have been one of his followers?

To be an honest taker of this test, I think you have to try to forget that you have read the Gospels and that Jesus has been a “big name” for 2,000 years. You have to imagine instead that you are walking past the local courthouse and you come upon a crowd listening to a man named Joe Green or Green Joe, depending on judgments whispered among the listeners on the fringe. You too stop to listen, and you soon realize that Joe Green is saying something utterly scandalous, utterly unexpectable from the premises of modern society. He is saying:

“Don’t resist evil. If somebody slaps your right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too. Love your enemies. When people curse you, you must bless them. When people hate you, you must treat them kindly. When people mistrust you, you must pray for them. This is the way you must act if you want to be children of God.” Well, you know how happily that would be received, not only in the White House and the Capitol, but among most of your neighbors. And then suppose this Joe Green looks at you over the heads of the crowd, calls you by name and says, I want to come to dinner at your house.

“I suppose that you, like me, hope very much that you would say, “Come ahead.” But I suppose also that you, like me, had better not be too sure. You will remember that in Jesus’ lifetime even his most intimate friends could hardly be described as overconfident.”

Definitely makes one think.

Joe said: It seems we most often assume we’re one of the people trying to really understand his teachings…but I think we would do well to place ourselves in the shoes of the Pharisees (trying to discredit and disagree at every point) or the Roman guards, looking over the crowd of peasants and trying to determine what to do if they get out-of-hand. I think in subtle ways we often take on one or both of those roles.

I wanted to add two points:  I have heard it said (and I wish that I could remember who said it – I am suspicious that it was Peter Rollins) that we need to be careful when we read a parable to find ourself in the story. If , for instance we are reading the parable of the Good Samaritan and we cast ourself in the role of the Good Samaritan… we are reading it wrong.
    If on the other hand we see ourself in the religious leaders walking by or in the wounded traveler (or god forbid in the robbers who did the harm) then we are hearing what Jesus was saying.
    We have to be mindful of our privileged perspective and remember that the Gospel that Jesus came to preach was good news in a specific direction. (see Luke 4:16-21)

Secondly, I run into this odd line of reasoning with people who Major in Church History. There seem to be a weird attraction to defending people of the past by dismissing any bad behavior as simply “a product of their time” and stating confidently “if you had lived during that era – you would have done exactly the same.”

This line of reasoning seems to fly in the face of a two evidences to the contrary:

A) There were people at that time who did differently and spoke out against the way things were! So apparently it IS possible to have historically deviated from the ‘spirit of the Age’ and actually thought for oneself and followed ones conviction!  (I have a Podcast on this coming out in January called “the Minority Report”)

B) IF you do not hold opinions in opposition to your government, protest agains the economic oppression of your era, or buck the dogmatic stance of your denomination today… then “no” I don’t suppose that you could have been expected to do any different than was done by the majority in any period of history. IF however you exhibit resistance now and demonstrate a prophetic stance in our current era – then I think it is fair to at least entertain the possibility that you MIGHT have done differently had you lived in the past.

The simple fact is that we will never know. It is all speculation – we are not in charge of which era we were born into. However, what we are in charge of is what we stand for and how we counter-culture in our actual era.

>Did that Elephant say Merry Christmas?

>I thought it would be fun to share one of the Christmas messages I preached on the podcast.
[PODcast Here]

In case anyone wanted to chat about it, I have put a short set of bullet points here.

  • Trying to explain our holiday celebrations to someone from outer space or from a foreign land who had never seen them might be tricky. To get from a poor family having a baby a long time ago to our massive shopping sprees and gift exchanges might take a while.
  • Consumerism is one of the elephants of Christmas. It’s that giant presence in the room that’s just easier to ignore than to acknowledge and address.
  • The “Happy Holidays” versus “Merry Christmas” controversy exposes another elephant. The fact that this whole holiday is centered around the gift of love and humility makes it tough to sell when it gets entangled with cultural constructs and political realities.

  • The Gospel of Matthew has two things that none of the other Gospels in our Bible have. One is the slaughter of the innocents where King Herod (King of the Jews) tries to murder all boys under two years of age in the region. The second is Mary and Joseph’s flight to Egypt. It is clear that Matthew includes these because he is trying to tell us a distinct type of story: an Exodus story. He includes images and allusions to portray Herod as a Pharaoh character and then connect with this to Egypt in a way that makes it impossible to miss. ( There are many other devices that Matthew uses to construct his gospel in a way that mirrors the Pentateuch.)
  • These two elements from Matthew’s Gospel reveal biggest of the elephants of Christmas. The Christmas story is couched in, set in a context of, violence. When we ‘Hallmark’ this holiday we sometimes sanitize it and sterilize it to the point that it is unrecognizable from the Gospel accounts.
  • Let’s be honest, as these two Jewish young people flee to Egypt to become illegal aliens, foreigners in a land that holds deep cultural implications for their people, the idea of people saying ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘ Happy Holidays’ seems pretty irrelevant.
  • In fact I think that this exposes two things. The first is that the “Merry Christmas” controversy is not about this at all but about something else entirely. The second is that we are disconnected from the violence of that first Christmas.

  • When the angels say “Peace on Earth – goodwill toward mankind” it might have seemed redundant to those that first heard it. The region already had a Peace : Pax Romana. The Peace of Rome was enforced this way — you obey the rules and there will be peace. If Jesus came as the Prince of Peace he comes into the context of the Pax Roman and provides a different kind of Peace.
  • We miss this point because we are disconnected from the context of that original Christmas. when the Magi say to Herod “we’re looking for the one born King of the Jews” they are speaking to the one appointed by Rome ‘King of the Jews’. this would have been a subversive sentence. “ Peace on the earth” would have been a subversive sentiments to the Peace of Rome – saying that it wasn’t good enough. Many Christians don’t know that the phrase “Jesus is Lord” is a mirror to a very popular saying in the centuries before and after the birth of Christ. people in every direction from the place Jesus was born would have said “ Cesar is Lord”. So when Jesus’ followers would have said that he was Lord they were in an act of subversion saying that Caesar isn’t Lord.
  • The Christmas story is couched in violence and is violence to the ways and powers of this world. It still is today. The Christmas story says to the structures and institutions of this world ‘ you don’t get to stay this way’. The peace that you provide commerce through violence and submission and victory and is not a real peace. when we sanitize, sanctify and sterilize the Christmas story we lose this part of it.

  • Revelation 12 is the Christmas story as seen from heaven. It is distilled to us through a genre of literature known as Apocalyptic. It is the Christmas story nonetheless.
  • You never see Christmas cards of the image of a pregnant woman lying on her back with a dragon perched between her legs ready to eat the baby as it comes out. I’ve never seen a Christmas card carrying the image of the slaughter of innocents or of a terrified couple fleeing into the wilderness running for their life.

  • The Christmas carol “Oh Holy Night” is probably my favorite. I especially like the big notes of the chorus: Fall on your knees! Oh hear the Angels voices! Oh night divine Oh night when Christ was born! Oh night divine… and mostly I’m just hoping that I’ll be able to hit that big note at the end. Mostly I don’t. But it’s such a climactic moment in that song that after it’s over afraid I’d miss the next chorus because I’m thinking about how I can never hit that note outside the shower!
  • It’s a shame because that next verse is amazing. And in the context of what we are talking about — the violence of the first Christmas And the subversive nature of the story– it makes a lot more sense.

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

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