Ancient Israel formed and molded it's creation story around the chaos they experienced in the destruction of Jerusalem and their exile. What does what they believed - and what Genesis teaches - about God's role in creation have to do with the ordering of our lives today, and how do we move into the chaos that's so unsettling.
The story of advent is a story that unmakes all other stories, and then gives us all an entirely new - and unexpected - story to tell. How can we always be learning as we lean into new ideas and new things and new ways of experiencing reality.
Jack now is tasked with explaining Christmastown to Halloween town - but how can he? Or how can he faithfully represent this new thing in a way that the folks in Halloweentown will understand? Which leads us to the same questions for ourselves...
Jack experiences an uncontrollable joy in his discovery of Christmas town - as if everything he's ever waited for and wanted has come true in this new place. That sort of Joy should be a part of our own journeys and experiences, especially during advent, as we anticipate the coming of Jesus.
A lot of us can connect to Jack Skellington's disillusionment in Halloweentown - he's king of everything, and he needs more. Join us this advent, as we explore Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas" as an allegory for what happens when we have seen Christmastown, but have to go back and make sense of it in Halloweentown.
At the end of Ch. 12, a later author adds an epilogue to the book of Ecclesiastes. Why? What was it about the original text that bothered him, or that he felt was incomplete? How does that thought help us process this book of ancient Wisdom?
The "Why do bad things happen to good people" question isn't new to us - it's found it's way into all of the ancient Wisdom literature, and is an important part of how we frame our world. While the teacher astutely asks the question, we might find that the answer is something completely unexpected.