It’s that time of the year again! We thought we’d have a week off interviewing, and so we’ve arranged a little Christmas reflection for you. Nicola Slee is a feminist practice theologian and poet who is currently director of research at The Queen’s Foundation of Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham. In this podcast, Nicola reflects the implications of Jesus being born a girl. Now there’s something for you to ponder over your mince pies and mulled wine!


Image provided by Nicola Slee. Used with permission.

If you want to dig deeper into the issues Nicola raises in this reflection, then check out her book Seeking the Risen Christa

Last year we gave you our ’12 Days of Christmas’ reflections. We’re adding to that series with a reflection by the director of the missional community InnerChange, John Hayes. John reflects on the contradictions inherent in our modern celebration of Christmas.


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Want more? Then have a read of John’s excellent book Sub-merge: Living Deep in a Shallow World

Just in case you’re suffering withdrawal symptoms from our 12 Days of Christmas series, and are slumped listlessly in front of your now empty mp3 player, we’ve got one final Christmas treat for you.

We asked standup comedian and BBC comedy scriptwriter, Paul Kerensa, to record a wee Christmas Day message for you…


Image provided by Paul Kerensa. Used with permission.

If you want more from Paul, then check out his website, and his insightful and amusing books!

 

And you thought we’d finished (so did we, actually!). This one, however, really is the grande finale, and it’s a corker.

Krista Tippett has an award winning radio show, On Being, and was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.” And today she’s on Nomad telling you why she doesn’t do Christmas…


Image by Chris Daniels. Used with permission.

Oh, and if you want more from Krista, check out our interview with her where we discussed the lost art of listening. And you’d do well to read her book Speaking of Faith

To close out our 12 Days of Christmas we’ve enlisted the services of the author of Consumer Detox (read it, its really rather good, unless you don’t like being massively challenged, then don’t read it!) and founder of the Breathe Network (“Less Stuff, More Life”), Mark Powley.

Apparently the issue isn’t so much the way we go about Christmas, but the way we go about the rest of the year. Interesting!


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If you’re interested in more from Mark, we interviewed him, way back in the day…

Philosopher, sociologist and Christian feminist, Elaine Storkey has achieved a lot in her life. She’s lectured around the world, written numerous books, she succeeded John Stott as Executive Director of the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, and she served as the President of TEAR Fund. And now, she’s on Nomad Podcast, bringing you her Christmas reflection!


Image provided by SPCK. Used with permission.

 

Shane Claiborne – author of the must read book The Irresistible Revolution (among others), and founding member of the New Monastic community The Simple Way – would like to share some thoughts on Christmas. Anyone interested?!


Image by Ms. Tsar Fedorsky. Used with permission.

If you want more, dig deep into our archives and discover our interview with Shane…

Nadia Bolz Weber is the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, and a leading voice in the emerging church movement, known for her honest and provocative style. And today she’s bringing a Christmas reflection just for you!


Image provided by Nadia Bolz Weber. Used with permission.

Want more? Of course you do. Check out our rather pleasing interview with her…Oh, and read her really rather splendid book Cranky, Beautiful Faith.

Greg Boyd is one of Nomad’s favourite theologians and authors. He’s a leading figure in the reformation of evangelicalism, passionately advocating everything from the importance of doubt, care for creation, a non-violent view of God, and much more. Read his blog at ReKnew and listen to his sermons at Woodland Hills Church. Oh, and read all his many books!

And today Greg is bringing a Christmas reflection from his unique perspective, just for you, the beloved Nomad listener. Enjoy!


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Crying out for more? Look no further than our two previous interviews with Greg, on the importance of community and vegetarianism and non-violence.

The late Author and lecturer, Phyllis Tickle, was one of the most influential voices in emerging church circles, and one of our favourite guests of 2014.

We asked Phyllis to reflect on Christmas from the perspective of the emerging church and emergence Christianity.

Need more Phyllis? Easy, just check out our interview with her, where we discuss why a new church is emerging. It’s a classic.


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Oh, and you might want to read all her books (we have).

Jenny Baker was one of the founders of the Sophia Network, an organisation that champions the equality of women and men in church. She’s also author of the book Equals: Enjoying Gender Equality in All Areas of Life.


Image provided by Jonny Baker. Used with permission.

So we asked Jenny to reflect on the Christmas story from the perspective of gender equality.

Today’s Christmas reflection comes from Nomad’s favourite musician and activist, David Benjamin Blower.

David sets up a showdown between Christmas and Empire and throws in a couple of your favourite Christmas carols for no extra charge. So brace yourself for a good measure of hope-filled challenge, served up with a sprinkling of musical creativity. Enjoy!


Image used with permission.

Oh, and while you’re at it, read his excellent book Kingdom vs. Empire, and listen to his many wonderful albums.

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter is the executive director of New Direction Ministries in Canada, an organisation that exists to provide “safe and spacious places for those outside the heterosexual mainstream to explore and grow in faith in Jesus Christ.”

We asked Wendy to reflect on Christmas from the perspective of her experience in ministering to gay and lesbian Christians.


Image provided by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter. Used with permission.

Need more? Then check out our interview with Wendy where we did deeper into these issues, and definitely read Wendy’s excellent book Generous Spaciousness.

Robin Parry is an evangelical, but unlike most evangelicals he doesn’t believe that Hell and death is the end of the story for most of humanity. Instead, he believes the Bible teaches that we will all ultimately be reconciled to God and enjoy eternity with him.

So we set Robin a challenge. Can he find universalism in the Christmas story? Tune in to find out the results!


Image provided by Robin Parry. Used with permission.

After more? Then have a listen to our interview with Robin where we dig deeper into the idea of universalism. And definitely have a read of his book The Evangelical Universalist.

Dave Andrews has committed his life to serving the poorest and most marginalised people in Australia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal for more than forty years. His wisdom and humility made him one of our most popular interviewees of 2014.

In his Christmas reflection, Dave draws out some fascinating and surprising insights from the example of the Wise Men.


Image provided by Dave Andrews. Used with permission.

I know, a short refection just isn’t enough, is it?! Then check out our interview, and his many books. That should keep you going.

Carl Medearis – one of our favourite interviewees of 2013 – kicks off Nomad’s 12 Days of Christmas. Carl was a missionary in Beirut, Lebanon for 12 years and now works as an international expert in the field of Christian-Muslim relations.

So, sit back and marvel as Carl seamlessly weaves shepherds, ISIS, Bono, Jesus and the ‘fear’ of God into his Christmas reflection. Enjoy!


Image provided by Carl Medearis. Used with permission.

And if that’s not enough for you, check out Carl’s excellent book Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism.