OliverJuan2By Juan Oliver

As we enter the season of Christmas, I want to reflect on the readings likely to be heard in our churches. The stories center on God’s work of bringing about the “Kingdom of God,” or, as the Syriac tradition calls it, a “New World” characterized by justice and peace. The interesting thing is how weird God is.

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Juan Oliver

Juan Oliver

By Juan Oliver

For those churches that use the seasons of the year, the season of Advent (the coming or arrival) prepares us for the celebration of Christmas. This year it officially starts the Sunday after Thanksgiving. In churches using set readings appointed for the season, these speak of the end of the world and its consumation as God’s project. It can be challenging to reflect in some depth about Thanksgiving in the context of these readings, but Juan Oliver does so below.

“What are we thankful for?” is a question that will be heard around a lot of turkeys next week. We will gladly share our blessings, mentioning health, family, and loved ones. We will bask in comfort and love and be grateful.

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Juan Oliver

Juan Oliver

by Juan M.C. Oliver

Until his retirement to Santa Fe in 2008, Dr. Juan Oliver was the director of the Hispanic/Latino Program and adjunct professor of Liturgics at The General Seminary in New York City.

He holds the M.Div., from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and the M.F.A. in painting and drawing from the University of New Mexico. He earned the Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley with his dissertation, “The Look of Common Prayer: The Anglican Liturgical Place in Anglo-American Culture,” which explored how a local vision of the Reign of God might be the main theological criterion for evaluating worship spaces.

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