On this site, I have for several years been challenging various popular myths about Christmas—that Jesus was born in a stable, that he was born into a distinctively materially poor family, that the shepherds were despised outcasts, that swaddling had symbolic significance, and that Joseph and Mary were isolated and alone at Jesus’ birth. Is … Continue Reading
This Sunday’s lectionary reading for Advent 4 in Year A is Matt 1.18–25. It is a short reading, but laden with significance as Matthew gives his distinctive account of Jesus’ origins. James and Ian discuss the reading, its place at the beginning of the first gospel, and issues around reading it and preaching from it.