Jan 3, 2015

Keeping Christmas Well: Live with Graceful Generosity

2 Corinthians 8:1-9
How can we live rich, full lives? How can we flourish at work and at home, at church and in the community? Second Corinthians 8 answers these questions by drawing out implications of the Incarnation of Christ. Second Corinthians 8 is a first-century fund-raising letter. The Apostle Paul wrote this...Read more +
Jan 2, 2015

Keeping Christmas Well: Be Part of Christ’s Presence in the World

1 Corinthians 12:12-27
How is Christ present in the world today? How can you and I represent him in our daily lives? Our text from 1 Corinthians 12 answers these questions by use of an incarnational analogy. First-century Corinthian culture prized spiritual experience and personal accomplishment. Thus it encouraged both preoccupation with one’s...Read more +
Jan 1, 2015

Keeping Christmas Well: Taste the New Creation

2 Corinthians 5:1-21
Happy New Year! Yes, today is the first day of the new year. But it is also the eighth day in the Christian season of Christmas. So today, we continue our series in Keeping Christmas Well. At the same time, our reflection today picks up the theme of newness, focusing...Read more +
Dec 31, 2014

Keeping Christmas Well: Imitate the Humility and Sacrifice of Jesus

Philippians 2:1-11
How should the Incarnation impact our behavior in the Christian community? What does the fact that the divine Son became human tell us about how we should live? We find answers to these questions in what might be one of the very oldest Christian hymns: Philippians 2:1-11. For the most...Read more +
Dec 30, 2014

Keeping Christmas Well: Approach God with Boldness

Hebrews 4:14-16
If we’re sinful people, how is it possible for us to come into the presence of a sinless, perfect God? And if we’re permitted to approach God, how should we come before him? Should we cower in shame? Or can we approach God with confidence? Hebrews 4:14-16 helps to answer...Read more +
Dec 29, 2014

Keeping Christmas Well: Know God through Jesus the Son

John 1:15-18
How do we know God? How can we know God, not just theologically, but relationally? Let’s keep these questions in mind as we turn to John 1:15-18. After celebrating the Incarnation of the Word of God, who became human and revealed his divine glory (1:14), the Gospel of John underscores...Read more +
Dec 28, 2014

Keeping Christmas Well: Focus on the Incarnation

John 1:14
Today is the second installment in a series of reflections called Keeping Christmas Well. If you missed my introduction to this series, you might want to check out yesterday’s Reflection . In this series, I’m working on the question: What would it mean to keep Christmas well every day? The...Read more +
Dec 26, 2014

Keeping Christmas Well: Like Ebenezer Scrooge

Luke 2:1-16
In the first stave of Charles Dickens’ classic story, A Christmas Carol , Ebenezer Scrooge didn’t have much enthusiasm for Christmas. “If I could work my will,” says Scrooge indignantly, “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried...Read more +
Dec 25, 2014

Our Waiting Is Over! The Savior Is Born and Laid in a Manger

Luke 2:1-20
When I was young, I thought manger meant “stable.” I was well into my adult years before I realized that a manger was a food trough for animals. Etymologically, manger is related to the French verb manger , which means “to eat.” Animals eat from a manger. No doubt Mary...Read more +
Dec 24, 2014

Advent Reflection: Sharing the Good News

Luke 2:15-20
The “E-Word.” That’s what Christians often call “evangelism.” It’s the “E-Word” because it’s the word that just about nobody wants to hear. If a pastor gets up and says, “Today I’m going to preach about evangelism,” the ushers had better bar the doors. Yes, there are churches that are unashamedly...Read more +