Articles

  • The way home

    It was wintertime and I had just arrived in the state of Goa, the former Portuguese colony on the southwest coast of India. I was a long way from my home country of Brazil, but right away I made friends with a young mixed-faith couple—he was Catholic and she was Hindu—whose marriage had been rejected […]

  • Christmas Shalom

    One of the portions of the Nativity story that I find most beautiful and meaningful is when the angel appeared to the shepherds and announced Jesus’ birth, followed by a multitude of heavenly hosts praising God. It’s such a fitting entrance for the birth of the Son of God: “That night there were shepherds staying […]

  • Joyeux Noël

    Without an enemy there can be no war. I recently rewatched the movie Joyeux Noël (Christian Carion, 2005), which tells the story of a well-documented event that occurred on a battlefield in France on Christmas Eve, 1914. One engagement of the Great War (WWI) involved some 3,000 soldiers from the Scottish, French, and German armies. […]

  • The request

    It was my first Christmas in Taipei, Taiwan, when I heard the Christmas classic “Silent Night” sung in Chinese for the first time. It made a special impression, and I remember thinking that I had to learn the words. The first line was fairly easy—after all, half of it is the song title—but beyond that […]

  • Alone at Christmas?

    Over the years, Christmas has taken on different meanings for me. When I was a young child, it meant a special family holiday, the Christmas story at Sunday school, walking home in the snow, a brown paper bag with a big Jaffa orange, whole walnuts to crack, and a new book to read. After receiving […]

  • The right price

    I grew up in Communist Romania, where there was a state ban on religion, so “finding Christmas” wasn’t easy. “Don’t use the word ‘Christmas’ at school or with people you don’t know,” I remember being told when I turned school age. We used the word at home because some members of my extended family were […]