good morning, welcome. this is advent christmas season and a great of -- time of great faith, hope, love and joy, a time that we anticipate and expect our lord's coming. i'm especially joyful that my colleague and ko host and producer hugh bureaus is with us this morning. tell us a little bit how we're going to begin into this great season of advent. >> you set the tone that it's all joyful and religious and looking forward to christmas and all of that. but i think it's a little bit more than that for most of us. thanksgiving and hanukkah
coincided this year but we kickoff the holiday season. what does that mean? it means that santa claus arrives at macy's and officially opening the shopping season, even though this year's -- on thanksgiving, some stores were open, it's black friday, it's now sign ber monday. it's a lot of things just coming altogether and you wonder when does it start and when does it end? it you'd to be when the rocettes would dance and santa would come, and then you knew it would all over at the orange bowl. because that was january 1st. and you had the -- the parade and then you had the rose bowl and then you had the orange bowl and then you went back to work and you thought, okay, that's the ho the day season. well now, it's a little bit more difficult than that, because after -- after the bowl games, which they now extend
into the -- then you have the nfl and then you have the nfl and that goes into the first week of february. >> superbowl and all of that. >> and all of that. so now the whole thing is extended to what i call an early winter holiday, an early winter holiday. and so the question becomes, you can't can't celebrate everything, it seems to me. we just get overwhelmed -- overwhelmed. i mean, there's some great things about it, coming in today, i was down on davis street, there's the -- one of the high-rises with the great big red ball for the christmas -- you know,. >> yeah. >> that's great. and you -- all of the christmas trees are up and all of the christmas carols are going on but i'm waiting wait a minute. how many more days of this do we have? so i think the danger is that we become overwhelmed and exhausted by -- by the pace of this. so i'm going to suggest that we
have to kind of. >> find out -- >> take a step back and kind of pick and choose and where to begin all of that. and so i thought that what we'd do is look at some particular customs that we have and then move onto reminding people about what -- the christian holidays are about and even be radical and use a little scripture just to highlight that. i thought that might be a little different there. >> absolutely. we go back and we can talk about -- start with the ancient traditions and move up from there. there was a great dispute in the early church when is christmas celebrated. >> uh-huh. >> and the churches in north africa said well we're very certain about this, it's january 6th. and the -- the churches farther north said well we're very
certain about it, too, it's december 7th. how do you know this? it's -- that's the feast of st. nick las. and then the people in the eastern church said i'm glad you're all very certain about this, but we know, you know, january 6th or december 25 the. and so you had three competing dates for christmas that developed over the course of 500 years. >> right. many people don't know that. >> people don't. and so there's these tensions, what are you going to do? gregory -- you can attribute everything to pope gregory. so about the year 500. he said enough of this. i will tell you what we're going to do. we're going to celebrate the feast of st. nick lus on the 7th of september but we're not going to -- we're going to give the gifts after that until the 25th and what we're going to do is we're going to start the celebration of christmas on the 25th of december and we're going to extend it for 12 days till january 6th. that's where you get the twelve
days of christmas. there was all the big argument. but it got us twelve more days of celebrating. >> that's already enlightening. >> so that's sort of the start of the thing. >> okay. we're going to come back to that. i'm sure that a lot of people didn't know about those three days and the twelve days we always heard about. but connected has been great. >> we'll go on up through luther. >> great. please join us as we look more at this advent christmas season with hugh burrows. please join us. thank you for being with us.
we'll suggest some true meanings at the end here. but the fact is that it's a great big grab bag of customs. let's take st. nicholas, for instance. he was an early bishop, a very religious ethical man and he would give gifts at the winter solstice. and much like, you know, saint valentine, that sort of idea. but the idea of st. nicholas and auslander so on, the north earn europeans have a lot of this stuff. there was a celebration for thor, the great god of thunder. and it would be celebrated around the fireplace and he would come and leave gifts. and his sled was powered by two goats. >> oh, wow. >> and so thou. >> no hammer. >> he probably had one. but... that became part of the lore.
so if you want to look at many of our sort of christmas traditions, i think you can look at -- and blame the luther rans. you can blame them for a lot of this. >> not pope gregory this time. >> no. we can get back to martin luther. and the second blame we can sort of put on the 19th century magazine writers and novel i was. many people know martin luther is credited with the christmas tree. and he was supposedly out wandering about one christmas eve and he saw the tree and star saw the stars and the fresh snow and he cut down the tree and he brought it into the house. we don't know what mr. luther said about this. set it up and so that was the -- but it was sort of an older custom that he built on the evergreen at the very dead of winter. >> i heard he preached 2,000 sermons on christmas. >> really? how many did you breach?
>> oh, probably 40. >> luther and the everybody greens -- he also brought in the christmas wreath. and that idea is again a evergreen, a circle. some would say it maybe had some druid ideas of the circle of life. and then really in the 19th centuries, somebody took the wreath and it became popular and they put it with candles, the advent wreath. so it becomes a lot more religious. so each sunday -- and this goes into traditions, if you're going to church, what are you going to -- what are you going to see? i'll pause a minute and say that i think what's important -- you have to remember what you don't know and you have to know the meaning of what you do to really get it. and if you don't know it, it's hard to plug in. my grandson is six-and-a-half years old. i was putting him to bed the other night. and i said something it's like
noah and the ark. and he said who is noah? and i go into my best bill cosby. noah. who is this? well, he doesn't have that either. >> he doesn't have that tradition, history. >> a lot of us don't. >> i had to tell him the story of noah. and a lot of stuff began to make sense. similarly, you don't know the christmas stories. >> uh-huh. >> it can be pretty baffling. and so the wreath is part of the christmas symbolism brought in early 1600s, but really it's taken root across the american churches where each sunday is part of the service, usually a familiar or person lights a candle. >> that's what my church family did. >> and from's a name for each one. i don't remember. >> well, faith, hope, love and joy. >> okay. faith, hope, love and joy. and they're all purple, because purple is the color of.
>> right. >> it's advent. that's how you can tell. it's color-coded today. and a white one or a red one for christmas eve. that is the light. so that is -- if you go to church and you don't know that it's lighting each of these symbols on the road to christmas -- >> what i like about it is preparing. it's not just a one-time event, but it's four weeks of preparing for the lord's coming. and scriptures, as you say, are there to try to point us in that direction. and you can use all of the -- what, four or five passages that can help formulate your -- your person operation and expectation for the coming of the christ. >> we're going to -- probably in the next segment then, i'll take your hint and go the biblical texts. but again, the -- the four sundays of preparation, that goes back to an argument and it
was gregory again -- some people say, well, when are we start something it was actually a fast of the it was like lint. advent was like lint. and so we see that. because what is the color of add haven't? you go into a church. everything up there is purple or dark, dark blue. but if you go to lint, you see purple as well. and that's because the time before easter and the time
before christmas were originally times of fasting. and then gregory said no, it's not six sundays, it's four sundays. and that's how we get into it and later we got the twelve days of christmas. but it is time of preparation. and as we look at some of the scriptures, we'll see that there -- they overlap. and if you don't know why are we listening to this -- these certain readings, what is the thing about it, you kind of lose in the sense -- you kind of -- >> in the next segment, we're going to look at the scriptures. okay. thank you for the background. please continue with us as we look at this advent christmasy on and how important it is to all of us. announcer: every day across america, excess food is gathered by a network of good people at local food banks, giving hope to millions of children who struggle with hunger. they've earned their wings. and you can, too.
advent. advent is the latino tip word for "come" in the english. and i was surprised to read this week that 1462 times that word appears in the old and new testament. one thousand times in the old testament and 462 times in the new testament. and a scholar did the research on that. i did not. but i was reading it in the commentary this week and so i found that quite fascinating and it's all the way from genesis to revelation, the emphasis on come. one of the last versus is come lord geez and of course one of the great invitation s is jesus says come to me all ye who
labor and are heavy laden. we've been talk about the advent and some of the scriptures that can help prepare us during this time. hugh, what are some of the scriptures that -- >> well, i think it would be helpful to prepare for christmas, we do -- we do a lot of things. everybody has got their own family traditions and so on. >> uh-huh. >> reading or a christmas carol or the night before christmas or watching -- >> joy to the world. >> watching it's a wonderful life, trying to get through the movie the miracle on 34th street. things like that. so we all have these storied and traditions. even if you want to wash froes see the snowman; that's great. as long as you get the sound track. charlie brown's christmas. all of this stuff, just choose what you want to do, in your own family traditions. mike in the booth says his family tradition is you get up
and keep your jam mes on and your robe on christmas day and open things then. some people go out and -- but the point, i think, is that -- what we're urging people to do is to go to church and you talked about the sundays, the four sundays that lead up to it. preparing for -- preparing for and getting ready. now, as part of that, some churches, most roman catholic owned orthodox churches and many mainline protestant will follow a set of readings. how we're reading and what -- why we're reading it. i know that last week and it usually has an old testament prophecy, a psalm -- a song, something from the -- the letters of paul or so on and the gospel reading. so all of the churches don't use all four. but they're offered for that and you can print it out, you
know -- you go to shrader common -- and they will tell you the -- and the advantage of that, of course, is that -- and the idea is that you can go to church anywhere in the world, any church and you're going to be hearing the same text and there's power in that. >> there's power. >> and it also tells the story -- it's a three-year revolving thing. i can't don't i hear the same stories all the time. so it's a balance reading what we like and don't. each one tells a different story. i'm sure you preached on isiah last week. >> i try to keep a balance. because there's so much emphasis on the new testament around this time. but it's a very famous passage. and there is a sculpture outside the united nations
building. nations will not use sword against nation and study war no more. what a great passage. that's one of the great songs in the spirituals, study war no more. i love that passage. what i also discovered is that isiah is saying this 800 years before christ comes. so they had that kind of vision, way before advent of some time of peace, the peaceful kingdom. he also has a couple of weeks before and that text of 65 isiah where the lion lays down with the lamb and the wolf with the objection senator corker. so that vision of isaiah i can't and all of the profits, they had a vision of hope and a vision that there would be peace some day. it's not just a recent development. and they said there's a time when there people are either going into exile or coming out of exile, going into captivity or going out of captivity. and so it's a time of great depression pour people and so
they had that kind of hope. >> and that's the theme. if you go to church, you're going to hear on each of the four sundays this year from isaiah. and in that, i -- i think that you quoted isaiah perfectly and let me go on then and pick up one of the texts that's going to be read this next sunday in romans. >> uh-huh. >> those of us who were strong and able to stand in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who fallter, not just those who are convenient for us. i'm reading from the version of the bible given to me by a friend sitting over there called a message. it's a modern translation. and step up and ask ourselves how can i help, reach out and welcome one another to god's glory? jesus did it. now you do it. and so you have encouragement and hope in the four prophetic readings that are leading up each sunday from isaiah.
and then you will have also. >> -- >> not just projected hope. you do something practical. >> you do something practical and do it right now. and in the -- in matthew, we're -- in matthews' gospel and it's stepping up and telling the stories beginning next -- this story with john the baptist. >> right. >> and so jesus was taken up by the spirit for a test. but jesus appeared on the river jordan and he wanted john to baptize him. john says i'm not worth think. and john the baptist is looking for and quotes the -- he thinks there's going to be thunder in the dessert, prepare for god's arrival, make straight the way, change your life. god's kingdom is here. john thought it would going to be great and coming with 7 sword. and so it prepares us to -- well, no, it -- it's not going to be like that so much. >> but it's all the preparation again. >> it's all in the preparation.
and in the psalm, it also echos the idea and the day of hope. let me see if i can just get a little bit of that one for us. and the psalm this sunday would give the gift of wise rule to your kings. let the mountains give -- shape the hills and contours with right living. please stand up for the poor. help the children with the needy. come down hard on the cruel tyrant. outlive -- and so there -- again, this idea of justice -- justice and hope. >> hope. >> come through and that's going to continue in each of these readings, each of the four readings as we lead up to the christmas reading. >> last month we had the food banks. and i understand the food banks did well. i'm hoping that our interview did well, because they had a lot of people come. >> sharing and charity. that's -- >> that's the idea that is -- that's coming behind this. >> we have one more segment. let's look more at the time
lord. >> you heard a lot of scripture. i hope that enexpires you. there's power. there's luke and john, i believe. you have some scriptures around that? >> yeah, i do. >> why are you hearing what you're hearing here? they're chosen and common theme as -- hope and encouragement. this year it's matthew. on christmas eve and christmas it shifts. and it goes from matthew and it goes over to luke. and it's in luke it begins this family thing. about the time caesar order and census to be taken throughout the empire, this was the first census when -- usually from
luke's gospel, we remember that. but then also it goes to john's gospel and you have to remember that john is not interested in history. he's interesting in the meaning and theology. and so in many churches on christmas eve, you will hear this, again, in the modern language. the life light was the real thing. every person brings into the light, he was in the world. the world was there through him and the world didn't even notice. he came to his own people but they didn't want him. and so you have this great light image. >> that's right. >> in john. and he's trying to convey meaning. matthew has got a history, luke has got a history. >> in the beginning was the word. >> in the beginning was the word and the word was god. of course part of the fun thing -- well, when someone would irritate me when i was a pastor and they would always be quoting the bible to me in advent study groups, i would sometimes say to them, okay, would you read us the christmas story from mark. and they would open their
bible. why are you laughing? >> because there's no christmas story in mark. it's like someone said read the 17th chapter of mark and there's no 17th chapter of mark. they said they read it but -- there's no 17th chapter. >> this is part of what advent is about. and the value i think of going to church, hearing these readings, again, and knowing the stories, being reminded of the stories, what they're about. if you don't have the stories, you can't really understand christmas as a celebration. so while it's good to know frosty the snowman and charlie brown's christmas and going to the nutcracker is great and going to see a christmas carol is terrific. i'm all for that. i'm just urging -- i think
there's value in going to church and participating in the rituals with other people. if you want to get to a sense of, well, there's some -- i really got something out of this christmas season and i felt some christmas spirit. you're going to have to put a little something into it. >> life is matter of stories. it's full of stories. and so it's so important. i think of abraham, joshua, the great rabbi. he said you can sum up religion in one word, remember. and so we remember these stories. >> speaking of remembering, when is your christmas eve service. >> christmas eve of course at 7 o'clock. fairfield community united methodist church. you've been there quite a number of times. in fact you brought my mother on easter. i thought that was significant. >> seven o'clock on christmas eve. good time to be there. >> sunday mornings at 10:30. >> well, it's an easy drive up from the bay area. >> right. >> go there once -- one of the
and welcome to bay sunday, everybody. i'm your host. pardon the voice. we begin with our pitch. if you've got a show idea, we'd love to hear from you. go to our website, scroll down to bay sunday and hopefully we can all hook up. our first guest is the new york times best seller, a spiritual man that brought us the book of awakening and his new book is filmed with 73 poems about the nature of working with what we are given until it wears us through to joy. kind of fun. called reduced to jod