Willis Jones

Articles by this author:

  • It was Heidi's fourth birthday, and we had planned to go on a family outing to Playland in Rye, New York. As we sar-dined ourselves into the "birthday mobile," we were in a festive mood, ready for a day of fun and celebration. But just as we were about to pull out of the driveway the telephone started its ominous j anglings. The kids were armed with ready wisdom, "They'll call back— c'mon, Dad." But Dad didn't listen; the Calvinist tug was too intense.

  • Old Testament: Isaiah 11:1-10
    Psalter: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
    Epistle: Romans 15:4-13
    Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12

    Two years ago a freak tornado whirled its way through Wyckoff, New Jersey. "This never happens here; this isn't Oklahoma," said the old-timers. Many of us shared that sentiment. What can you count on anymore when even weather patterns, that normally don't produce such destructive entities, prove unreliable?

  • Old Testament: Isaiah 35
    Psalter: Psalm 146:5-10
    Epistle: James 5:7-10
    Gospel: Matthew 11:2-ll

    A merry Christmas in the Mojave Desert seemed to be a contradiction in terms to me! My favorite aunt repeatedly assured me of the beauties and the positive benefits that could be gained from hving in the desert. But I left the desert decidedly unconvinced.

  • Old Testament: Isaiah 7:10-16
    Psalter: Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
    Epistle: Romans 1:1-7
    Gospel: Matthew 1:18-25

    God is a sign painter! One of God's favorite hobbies is putting up signs in places obvious and hidden, clear and oblique, that reveal the "outskirts of his ways." The signs tell people that God is present with us.

  • Old Testament: Isaiah 9:2-7
    Psalter: Psalm 96
    Epistle: Titus 2:11-14
    Gospel: Luke 2:1-14

    Isaiah concludes the eighth chapter by describing a darkness so deep that people who experience it will have no dawn. Everywhere they look they will see distress and the gloom of anguish; and they will be thrust into deep darkness.

  • Old Testament: Isaiah 63:7-9
    Psalter: Psalm 148
    Epistle: Hebrews 2:10-18
    Gospel: Matthew 2:13-23

    Isaiah remembers, and as he does, the prophet begins to stammer. His reason yields to praise, and remembered history turns to worship. There are times, however rare, when words, concepts, and systems are not grandiose enough to be the cradle of the gift.

  • Most Christians would be horrified if a ban were placed on the celebration of Christmas—as some claim happened in Boston many years ago. Yet many are reluctant to celebrate other holy days from the Christian church year. Seasons like Advent, Epiphany, and Lent seem to have a Roman Catholic or Episcopalian aura about them.

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