Feature Articles

Dec 15, 2014

Advent Church: Is the Era of Mega-Ministries Ending?

by Skye Jethani
Ordering a coffee used to mean answering two questions: “Regular or decaf?” and “Black or cream and sugar?” Today Starbucks offers over 87,000 different drink combinations. For decades marketing gurus have said people want choices because customization empowers the individual. But when facing a menu with thousands of drink options,...Read more +
Dec 12, 2014

Advent Church: Celebrating St. Nicholas

by Micha Boyett
On December 6 th when my anxious nature woke me early, demanding I scrub the bathroom, order my nieces and nephews their presents from Amazon, and address my Christmas cards, I rebelled. Instead, I let my kids dress themselves in sweats, put some coffee in the pot, and opened the...Read more +
Dec 12, 2014

Advent Church: Rhythms Make Us Wait for God

Every Christmas Eve throughout childhood until I left home, my family clicked through the same ritual. Timing our departure so he could create the maximum challenge and adrenaline, my dad would rush (with me tagging along to watch the insanity) to Cox’s department store where he would commence his gift...Read more +
Dec 12, 2014

Advent Church: God with Us in Jesus

Every church creates its own culture—a blend of leaders, congregations, neighborhood, city, state and nation, along with language(s) spoken and theological orientation … and we can add music sung and translations sanctioned all the way down to the “right way” to end a public prayer. Some church cultures are blazingly...Read more +
Dec 14, 2014

God's Greatest Gift

In C. S. Lewis’ beloved story The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe , the land of Narnia is under an evil curse. It is always winter, but never Christmas. Only Aslan, the great lion who created Narnia, can break the spell. When Aslan finally comes to Narnia, so does...Read more +
Dec 5, 2014

Advent Hope: Staying Afloat

In the past several months, many of my closest friends have found themselves in the darkest of circumstances, hopeless situations not only missing easy answers but void of answers altogether. I’ve listened to laments of marriage hurts that just won’t heal, unexplained seizures that keep shaking limbs and unsettling lives,...Read more +
Dec 5, 2014

Advent Hope: God Enters In

by Rebecca Ashbrook Carrell
Advent: a season of hope and expectation. Approximately two-thousand years ago, the Jews anxiously scanned the horizon and scoured the skies, looking for the Messiah. Their God had been silent for four-hundred years. Where was their hope? Had God forgotten His people? Did he turn a blind eye to their...Read more +
Dec 5, 2014

Advent Hope: Small Comfort

While the Christmas story has through the ages delivered untold comfort, hope, and joy to the world, I have occasionally wondered why the men and women who first received the news weren’t completely bewildered as they learned the means by which salvation would come. Though questions did arise—Zechariah’s “How can...Read more +
Dec 5, 2014

Advent Hope: Dawn’s Pale Light

This is the child’s pose as Christmas whirls through the air: Nose pressed to glass. Scanning the sky—days and days before the 24th of December, before the night flight of wonder. Searching for Santa, for sleigh, the ink-stained silhouette of jolly fellow and lash of eight reindeer etched certain against...Read more +
Dec 9, 2014

Love Cannot Be Measured

A woman named Deborah was teaching her young daughter to count. One memorable day, the little girl realized that numbers could express quantity. She said, “Mommy, I love you 10 times.” She frowned a moment and said, “No, Mommy, I love you 20 times.” Later, the little girl said, “Mommy,...Read more +

Daily Reflection From Laity Lodge

Advent Reflection: God’s Tender Mercy

After his son, John, was born, Zechariah “was filled with the Holy Spirit” and uttered a “prophecy” (1:67). His prophecy is often called the Benedictus because of how it begins in Latin: benedictus Deus Israhel (Blessed be the God of Israel). Zechariah praised God for sending a Savior, whose way would be prepared by John. Finally, God would fulfill his promises through the ancient prophets (1:70). Zechariah’s prophecy concludes by celebrating what God is about to do through the birth...Read more +