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Predictions For 2021

I am not a prophet. If you’d like proof, click here to take a look at last year’s predictions. It was an unusually abysmal year for prognostication, but usually I get about thirty percent. Time will only tell how wrong or right I may be for this year. I will say this, my prayer is for it to be much better for all of us.

And away we go . . .

From an economic perspective, the entertainment industry has been hit hardest by the pandemic. I predict Disney will either sell off most of its component parts (ESPN, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC) or simply close down most of is operations.

Democrats Ossoff and Warnock will win the Georgia runoffs on January 5. As an aside, ‘Georgia Runoffs’ would be a great name for a band. Or A Baseball team.

Congress, strangely united from the right by President Trump’s Section 230 rhetoric and on the left by lingering memories of Facebook’s 2016 electoral manipulations, will break up Facebook in the biggest antitrust legislation since the dissolution of Ma Bell and pass tough restrictive legislation on social media and possibly Amazon.

President Trump will not attend the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden on January 20.

A lot of international tension has been ‘on hold’ because of the pandemic. As the vaccine(s) promise a way forward, wars will erupt. The world should expect two or three major conflagrations this year. I mean major.

The NFC East champion of the NFL — whoever that will be — will win a first-round playoff game. While on football, dissatisfaction over the college football playoff will bubble so hot they will expand it to six or preferably eight.

We will still be wearing masks through the summer, but by Christmastime next year COVID-19 will be mostly in our rearview mirror. However, for a variety of reasons, the United States death toll will top out at over a million sometime in March or April. Easter will be tough.

It will be interesting to see what legislative priorities President-Elect Biden will start with, because you really only get one shot at one thing early on (President Obama rammed through healthcare and President Trump similarly rammed through tax cuts). I predict Biden will opt for climate legislation because he is more likely to get bipartisanship on that than healthcare or criminal justice reform. Even some oil companies and many tech corporations are on board.

Given last year’s high numbers of hurricanes, 2021 will see far fewer than average. However, there will be a devastating earthquake in a major urban area.

The Oscars will be moved to the winter, as Hollywood, crushed by the pandemic, scrambles to maintain relevancy. The new James Bond (No Time to Die) will finally be released in theaters in July.

The one thing that hasn’t been touched by the pandemic is real estate. That can’t hold. As the virus wanes, the real estate market will crash. The bubble will burst. Part of this will be fueled by people who have learned to work at home and they will want to continue to do so even after the pandemic abates. Zoom and strong internet connections and apps have changed the work environment and it will not go back. All those office buildings will stand empty.

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This Santa Is Gonna Need Some Alka-Seltzer When It Is Over

Merry Christmas, everybody! Today is the last day of the Fondue Writers Club free Christmas stories, and we finish with a delightful Santa story — a different kind of Santa story — from a man who has tons of experience in the field. Joseph Courtemanche has written us a contemporary drama that speaks to our fears, troubles, and hopes in the furnace of our present.

Click on the giant bowl of Pho to read about Santa John in the wonderful story “Santa Claus is Here”.

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Advent 2020: Revelation 21:22-22:5 (Christmas Eve)

During the season of Advent, I am translating from Greek to English the weekday epistle readings out of the Daily Lectionary of the Book of Common Prayer.

Thursday 24 December 2020 Revelation 21:22-22:5


The Text

22. I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 

23. The city had no need that the sun or the moon should shine upon it for the glory of God illuminated it and the Lamb is its lamp. 

24. The nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bear their glory into it.

25. Its gates never close in the day, for there is no night.   

26. They will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 

27. Nothing unclean, anyone committing abominations, or falsehoods may enter into it, only those people written in the Lamb’s book of life. 

Chapter 22

1. He showed me a river of living water glimmering like crystal coming out from the throne of God and the Lamb.

2. In the middle of the town square, on both sides of the river, the tree of life bore twelve kinds of fruit, producing the fruit according to each month. The leaves of the trees were for the healing of the nations. 

3. The curse, all of it, will be no more. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 

4. They will see his face and his name will be upon their foreheads. 

5. Night will be no more. They will have no need of the light from a lamp or the sun because the Lord God will shine upon them and they will reign forever. 


Commentary

Our Advent readings have come to an end. This is the last one, as today is Christmas Eve. I had to make a choice, because the Christmas Eve reading is different than the one for “Thursday” of the week. I went with the textual conclusion, because the Christmas Eve reading is from Philippians. Besides, having been so long in this subject of Christ’s second advent, it felt right to continue there, and did it ever.

There is so much to say, but not at this present moment. Allow me, however, to make the following brief observations. The idea of light is woven throughout these verses, specifically the idea that lamps and the sun are no longer needed, and indeed, seem to no longer really exist. God and the Lamb — the Father and the Son, now are the light source for humanity. Along with this is the idea that night has been banished. The banishment of night goes along with the banishment of the curse. All bad things are wiped away.

A second big idea is healing. The tree of life somehow is nestled across both sides of the river of life, maybe as a bridge. This scene is located in the town square where everything is transparent gold. The tree produces twelve different kinds of fruits (there is that number again) and the leaves will heal the nations. That is some serious pharmacology there — the medicine we need is from this tree. Healing wounds, hurts, traumas, marriages, relationships, families, churches, and yes, even nations. I am reminded of the prophetic line from Isaiah, that it is by his stripes we are healed. Jesus was crucified upon a tree where his healing blood flowed. The tree of life has some kind of connection to that work.

One more curiosity that has intrigued me since my childhood. The kings are bringing their glory and honor into the city. This sounds like tribute. But that is insignificant. The bigger question is: who are these kings on the outside who are coming inside? Are they the nations needing continual healing? Why are there other kings and kingdoms in heaven? I have to admit, to me, it is a very confusing notion of which I have several possible explanations, but it is not appropriate at this time to share those.

Verse 5, I think, might be the most beautiful words ever etched. God and the Lamb, the Father and the Son, will shine and they will reign forever. Amen. Maranatha.


Questions For Application

  1. How do you think it is that God and the Lamb are the temple? What is the temple of the Holy Spirit right now? How might these two ideas blend into one thought?
  2. There seems to be a coming and going into the city — with gates being opened — and entry determined by registry in the books. How does that challenge your ideas of eternity?
  3. Here at the end, the curse is banished. What is the curse, and where did it start?
  4. What ways can we implement the teachings of Christ’s second advent into our nostalgia filled sappy Christmas celebrations?
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Vanillekipferl Lebkuchen Butterkekse

Today’s free Christmas story from Kathy Kexel is an excellent example of what I’ve been saying all year. The Fondue Writers Club has the best writers. Period. If Hallmark and any sense at all, they would get Kathy Kexel under contract right now to adapt today’s ABSOLUTELY FREE story into a screenplay to show next year during the Christmas season.

Although, I have to admit, I can’t tell if some of the things eaten and drank in here are German or Klingon. They could be both. I think they are German, but in my heart this is a Klingon Christmas story.

Click on General Chang (Christopher Plummer, aka Captain Von Trapp, German or Klingon? — You decide) to read Kathy’s outstanding story “Christmas Fair”.