'christmas' Tagged Posts

'christmas' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

Psalm 29 “May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!” vs. 11 The psalmist had no doubt about the sovereignty of God, and believed that every part of creation reflected the power and majesty of its creator. Earthquakes, winds, thunder, and lightning were all a part of the earth’s posturing before the Almighty One–and as one caught up in the turmoil and messiness of it all, he cried out, “May the Lord…

Daily Devotions

Genesis 1:1-5 “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” vs. 3 According to the ancient Hebrews, all creation was spoken into existence by God in the beginning, and the first of those words was, “Lights!” And it makes sense! Any movie director knows that nothing can happen on the set until proper lighting is in place, hence the phrase, “Lights, camera, action!” What’s interesting though, is that this light had nothing to do with the sun.…

Daily Devotions

John 1:15-18 “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” vs. 18 Through the centuries humans have been told that the study of religions will lead them to an understanding of God. And so we have done our work. We’ve dug into holy scriptures, listened to learned teachers, and probed deep into the intricacies of the world’s religions–and for the most part the search…

Daily Devotions

John 1:10-14 “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.” vss. 12-13 John the Gospel writer seems to be saying here that people are not the children of God unless they have received Jesus, that only after believing in him do they truly receive the power to…

Daily Devotions

Ephesians 1:11-14 “In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit…” vs. 13 For many believers these words are linked to the Rite of Baptism as practiced by some of our congregations. After the washing with water and the laying on of hands, the officiant proclaims, “__________, child of God, you have been sealed with the Holy…

Daily Devotions

Ephesians 1:3-10 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.” vss. 3-4 The writer of Ephesians knew that the story of the Christ did not begin with Jesus, but in the very origins of the universe. And that’s where our story…

Daily Devotions

Jeremiah 31:10-14 “Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.” vs. 13 The picture of hope that Jeremiah painted for the people of Israel included return to the land and an amazing celebration. Their mourning would be turned into joy, and their sorrow transformed into gladness. There would be dancing and merriment…

Daily Devotions

Jeremiah 31:7-14 “For thus says the Lord: Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘Save, O Lord, your people, the remnant of Israel.’” vs. 7 Jeremiah is typically thought of as a prophet of doom, one who continually warns Judah and Jerusalem of the catastrophic consequences of their current behaviors. But in this portion of his sayings he has nothing but salvation on his mind. He believes…

Daily Devotions

Luke 2:22-40 “There was also a prophet, Anna–of a great age… She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer…At that moment she came, and began to speak about the child.” vss. 36-38 When Mary and Jesus brought the baby Jesus to the temple for the rites of purification they were accosted by two elderly prophets, Simeon and Anna, both of whom were temple regulars. Now it’s not unusual for old people to hang around places of…

Daily Devotions

Galatians 4:4-7 “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.” vss. 4-5 We don’t know whether Paul was familiar with the infancy stories included by Matthew and Luke in their gospels–but he regularly emphasizes the humanity of Jesus in his epistles. Jesus was born of a woman and was a…

Daily Devotions

John 1:1-14 “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” vs. 14 There is a sense in which the word “Christmas” is misleading. For example, the word itself could give the impression that Christ was born on Christmas, and that just isn’t the case. John tells us clearly that the Christ brought all things into existence and has been around…

Daily Devotions

Luke 2:1-14 “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” vs 7 Luke’s precious story detailing the birth of Jesus is at its core a tale of hope. When we look at our family stories it’s amazing how regularly the accounts of death are accompanied by the report of a birth. A beloved grandmother dies and a…