Do you ever feel as if your life is like a roller coaster heading downhill? Everything is whizzing by so quickly that you can’t focus on anything—it’s all just a blur. The days leading up to Christmas can feel that way. Sometimes we need to slow down and reflect on God’s gracious gift.[Read more…] about Anna’s Focus
We live in a society that craves speed. We want overnight delivery, high-speed Internet access, short lines in stores, and fast food. Well, maybe we should scratch fast food. Most of us would trade speedy service for healthier and higher quality food. But, in general, waiting doesn’t rank high on our list of favorite activities; and patience is a virtue we appreciate in other people.
Simeon, on the other hand, waited for years just to spend a few minutes with Jesus.[Read more…] about Simeon’s Patience
Best Supporting Actor
Almost every good story includes both leading and supporting actors. The Biblical narrative surrounding Jesus’ birth is no exception. Yesterday we looked at a leading actor—Mary. Today we’re considering a supporting actor—Joseph. Although Mary had the larger role, Joseph was right there with her, helping her all the way.[Read more…] about Best Supporting Actor
Have you ever wondered what preparing for Jesus’ birth must have been like for Mary? Was she excited? Was she afraid? How did her family and friends react and relate to her? How did she make it through those nine months after the angel Gabriel told her she was going to be the mother of God’s Son? Pregnancy is challenging enough. Knowing that she was carrying God’s Son must have been almost overwhelming.[Read more…] about Mary’s Faith
God Will Comfort
Feelings of disappointment and discouragement go hand-in-hand with life in a broken world. These emotions remind us that all is not as it should be.
For many people the weeks leading up to Christmas are especially challenging. The activities and expectations of the season, the shorter days and longer nights, and even the elusive hope for the perfect Christmas experience all take their toll on our emotions. Those who are prone to despair and depression can find this time of year to be particularly difficult.[Read more…] about God Will Comfort
The Bethlehem Candle
As we begin the second week of Advent, now is a good time to take stock of how our preparations for Christmas are going. Have you bought any presents yet (never mind having actually finished your shopping)? Have you put up any decorations? Did you finish off all of your Thanksgiving leftovers?
What about the spiritual side of getting ready for Christmas? Often we start strong, but then we fade after a few days or a week. If that describes you, don’t be discouraged; today is a great day to restart![Read more…] about The Bethlehem Candle
A Costly Invasion
Invasions are usually costly. The invasion of Normandy on D-Day claimed the lives of about 5000 Allied soldiers, and at least that many Germans died as well. Jesus’ invasion of Earth cost one life—His. Although we don’t normally think about Jesus’ death and resurrection at Christmas—we wait until Easter to do that—we can’t fully appreciate Christmas without remembering that Easter is coming.[Read more…] about A Costly Invasion
A Subtle Invasion
Would you send a baby to lead the invasion of a planet? Actually, would you send a baby to be the entire invading army? Wouldn’t a large, well-armed group of veteran fighters be a better idea? Why would anyone send a baby?[Read more…] about A Subtle Invasion
The First Prophecy
Imagine being in a totally dark room, unable to see your hand in front of your face. Now imagine if someone were to light a candle in that room. Although the candle’s flame would not be very bright, you would be able to see it from anywhere in that dark room.[Read more…] about The First Prophecy
A Broken World
We live in a broken world populated by broken people. As we saw yesterday, after God finished His work of creation, He pronounced everything He had made “very good” (Genesis 1:31). God didn’t mean that His creation was relatively good, He meant that it was absolutely good. It was perfect, without flaw, exactly the way He intended it to be. But now it’s broken.[Read more…] about A Broken World