Christmas


22
Dec 2017
A New Decision

God has made a fresh decision, and this new one does not come as threat but as child. He does not come as victory but as helpless child. He does not come in pride but in a way almost unnoticed by the world. But he is king. He is not robed in splendor but in baby clothes. He is not in the royal nursery but in a barn. None of it makes any sense. At least it does not make sense to people who think they have all of life reduced to......

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20
Dec 2017
God Became a Child

“Mighty God” (Isa. 9: 6) is the name of this child. The child in the manger is none other than God himself. Nothing greater can be said: God became a child. In the Jesus child of Mary lives the almighty God. Wait a minute! Don’t speak; stop thinking! Stand still before this statement! God became a child! Here he is, poor like us, miserable and helpless like us, a person of flesh and blood like us, our brother. And yet he is God; he is might. Where is the divinity, where is......

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13
Dec 2017
The Art of Waiting

I’ve been reading a wonderful Advent collection from the writings of one of my favorite German theologians Dietrich Bonhoeffer. And I want to share one of these devotions with you today. Many of us are experiencing some intense situations of waiting this Advent season – waiting on family to come home for the holidays, waiting through the journey of grief over the loss of a loved one, waiting on medical tests, waiting in hospitals, waiting for answers, waiting for strength and pace…and so much more. I found this piece encouraging within my......

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11
Dec 2017
Belonging to Love, Joy, Peace & Hope

Yesterday during worship, I asked our church family to consider how Christmas is about belonging. Immanuel – God With Us – is a message of belonging. As I said in a blog article last week, Immanuel is a phrase that connects God and us through the little word with (im in Hebrew). To summarize, the Hebrew word im can mean: Being by or beside someone (approaching) Dwelling in a place or with someone (inhabiting), or Being together with someone (belonging). This third meaning is all about belonging. And when we look at Immanuel......

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06
Dec 2017
White Gift Tradition

One of my favorite traditions while I was a student at Hollins University was the White Gift Service.  It was a worship service held in the University’s beautiful duPont chapel on one of the first Sundays in December.  As a member of the Hollins Chapel Choir, we prepared beautiful Advent and Christmas music for this occasion each year.  The service also included scripture, appropriate readings, candle lighting, bells from the carillon, stories, dance, and instrumental music from the large pipe organ, and solo performances from the music staff.   Many people in the......

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05
Dec 2017
Preparing for Christmas

Are you prepared for change? So many people don’t like change. Others enjoy it – or at least tolerate it – but never really prepare for it. But here’s the truth: we should always be prepared for change! And here’s another truth: Christmas is all about change! We change our homes by adorning it with decorations. We change our budget – setting aside money for gifts and travel and parties and special foods. We change our radio stations to the “All Christmas All The Time” stations. We change our eating habits as......

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