"... If you read John’s Gospel, you’ll quickly discover that it’s full of surprises. It starts with Jesus’ unexpected invitation to be curious. “Come and see,” he suggests. “Come and see,” Philip says to his good friend Nathanael. Don’t give in to disinterested cynicism. Don’t assume you know what you’re getting into. Let your imagination be piqued, let yourself be open to surprise. Come and see what God might be doing in this world. Whether you’ve been religious your whole life or new to the game, can you be open to the possibility that there are still surprises?..."
"I don’t remember when I began to believe that curiosity was a virtue. It’s not one of the ‘Classic’ virtues, like temperance, prudence, courage or justice, or even the ‘Cardinal’ virtues like charity, patience, kindness or humility. Some might even argue that curiosity isn’t a virtue at all. It’s dangerous, as in, “curiosity killed a cat.” You might even say that curiosity is what got Eve and Adam into trouble way back in the Garden of Eden..."
" . . . You know, we’ve heard this story of Jesus so many times, so many years . . . We know this story by heart . . . But that very first Christmas, when Jesus was about to be born, nobody knew what was coming. What it would look like, how it would be. What would be required of anyone, because of this child. Nobody knew the disruption, for Mary, for Joseph, and shepherds, and wise men, for the world . . ."
"... As Christians, our hope comes from God: God’s vision for the world, God’s dreams for the world, God’s actions in the world. As people of faith we learn to look for those signs all around us: to see hope realized in small, brave acts of courage, in brilliant, beautiful, small signs of goodness...But how do we live into that hope and embrace it? How do we show the light of hope to a world that badly needs it? ..."
"Zechariah has to be one of my favorite characters in the whole Bible. Here he is, doing what he’s always done, doing what he’s supposed to do, keeping the faith, serving the Lord, taking his turn… not so much minding his own business as tending to the business of God. He is a righteous man. And BOOM! Here comes Gabriel, an angel of the Lord, smacking him upside the head with news that is just unbelievable. I mean, really unbelievable! . . . "