King Jesus

Reading thru the Bible in 2019, the plan I’m using includes some Old Testament and New each day. Today’s reading included Zechariah 9 and Revelation 19 - a prophecy regarding the promised Messiah entering Jerusalem as a king riding a donkey of peace and, then, the anticipation of Jesus’ second coming riding a white horse … Continue reading King Jesus

Leviticus Christmas

It’s often said that Jesus is the Reason for the Season. In the same way, Leviticus is the basis for Christmas. That’s right. Leviticus. At the very heart of the Christmas story lies the all-important doctrine of the Atonement. How can sinful people, separated from God in their sin and selfishness, be reconciled to a … Continue reading Leviticus Christmas

Christmas Clothes

Born on Christmas morning, Jesus was wrapped in swaddling cloths and placed in a feeding trough (Luke 2:1-15). Transfigured on the mountain, His clothes became dazzling white to reveal His heavenly glory (Luke 9:28-36). Condemned by sinful men, He was dressed with a purple robe and mocked as the King of the Jews (Mark 15:16-20, … Continue reading Christmas Clothes

The Nativity

"The Nativity" by Gari Melchers is one of my favorite artistic portrayals of the birth of Jesus because it seems to capture the harsh realities of the night that changed the world. Before the shepherds appear to tell about the angelic announcement, before the wise men arrive to worship Him and present their gifts, there's just … Continue reading The Nativity

Unplanned Pregnancy

"The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant..." (Matthew 1:18). There it is in the Bible: the birth of Jesus was an unplanned pregnancy. Certainly it wasn't the first in the history of the world … Continue reading Unplanned Pregnancy

Trials

Could there have been anything more tedious, anything more ill-timed for Mary and Joseph than following political orders to travel for a census when she was 9 months pregnant?  I imagine the tiresome commute to Bethlehem and their disappointing search for lodging was not immediately recognized by Mary and Joseph as something “good” from the Lord. … Continue reading Trials

In Those Days

Faith in Jesus' incarnation certainly requires belief in the supernatural work of God, but it's not a leap beyond reason. In the Gospel of Luke, the author carefully investigated and provided specific details about the political rulers and setting surrounding Jesus’ birth that were important to Theophilus (Luke 1:3-4), perhaps a political leader himself, whose … Continue reading In Those Days

Prince of Peace

Our world today is anything but peaceful. Many people are driven by fear, angry about the events of our world, protesting the injustices of racism or refugees, preparing for war, and even fighting a war of words within our country. As we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), we are anything but peaceful. Jesus … Continue reading Prince of Peace

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Have you ever looked under the Christmas tree to inspect still-wrapped gifts for size and shape and mass and volume? As a child, I used to think, “the bigger -- the better.” But over the years, I’ve discovered the reality that “big things come in small packages.” In fact, great things come in small packages. … Continue reading O Little Town of Bethlehem

What is Advent?

What is this thing called Advent? In 4th and 5th century Gaul and Spain, Advent was a preparation not for Christmas but for Epiphany. That's the early-January celebration of such diverse events in Jesus' life as his Baptism, the miracle at Cana, and the visit of the Magi. In those days,  believers spent Advent's 40 … Continue reading What is Advent?