The First Christmas – Final Reflection

It turns out, the living out of Christmas got in the way of writing a reflection on this book over the last few weeks.  BUT as it is the last day of Christmas I figure I have time for one more post.

I really loved this book.  I found my own journey through Advent enhanced by Borg and Crossan’s writing.  I listened to most of it as an audiobook, and as a person who doesn’t get to listen to sermons very often, this filled that hole I was experiencing. 

I was particularly drawn to their inclusion of time in their discussion.  The weaving together of past present and future in these stories and in how we live this story out in our lives provoked a great deal of thought for me, and was almost the theme of my Christmas Eve Sermon.

I liked hearing the story told in a way I hadn’t heard recently.  I liked the reminder of the political nature of the origins of our faith.  I really felt enabled to dig into scripture with renewed passion.

And now, if you’ll excuse me I have to go take down my Christmas tree, tomorrow is Epiphany!

Questions for Reflection

Did this book influence your experience of Christmas this year?  Did it change how you heard the stories?   How?

What was the most influential piece of this book for you? 

What action does your reading of this book call you to?

If you didn’t like this book, or found it disturbing or upsetting, what was it that caused that response?


(P.S. My reading of this book calls me to read The Last Week in preparation for Holy Week)

2 thoughts on “The First Christmas – Final Reflection

  1. The living of Christmas interfered with the finishing of the reading of this book! I did not have all the down time I usually have over the holidays, so I did not often sit down to read. I have put the bookmark in place and I’ve tucked away the book for next Advent to pick up them. So, to be continued…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I admit to finding the first few chapters rough going. However, the investment was worth it….
    Non-violent resistence.
    “Saviour” as competing world/historical vision.
    Establishing peace through non-violence.
    Light imagery (ch 7) is wonderful. Epiphany is central to my beliefs. Jesus as “Light of the World” is a wondrous metaphor. Light as God’s presence and promise… Jesus’ birth as the coming of light into the darkness… Pax Romana (claimed as ‘light to the World’) as eternal darkness for the People of Israel… Shepherds (lowliest of the low) as first to experience Jesus! Jesus as the fulfilment of prophecy (aha: all those metaphors explained!) So, in sum, quite a wondrous set of affirming messages to a Congregation like Trinity where folks ‘live out their faith all week, all year’. Making use of the bible as action resource, not consolation. The authors unhelpfully refer to this as “participatory eschatology” (excuse me?)
    Thank You, Erin, for this reflective opportunity!


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