Today is a day to celebrate mothers. While not everyone gets to enjoy healthy relationships in families, we all came into the world through women. Moms who were not perfect but did give us one priceless treasure: life.
Happy Easter Sunday! Christ is risen; He is risen indeed! This is cause for great rejoicing among the saints. The grave is empty. Death has been defeated. Jesus Christ has won
For over two millennia, Christians around the world and from all walks of life have taken time to remember and reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice on this day—Good Friday. While Resurrection Sunday celebrates the ultimate victory and new life with the empty tomb and vacant cross, Good Friday comes first. This day can only be called good because through it our redemption was bought; however, for those present on that day it was far from good.
Today marks the start of Passion Week. A point on the calendar when Christians over the past couple millennia take time to remember and reflect on the final week of Jesus before His crucifixion. A lot took place in this monumental week, which was the pinnacle of Jesus’ three-year earthly ministry. From Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday, history was forever changed. In the course of one seven-day period, Jesus went from being the people’s favorite to their worst criminal to exalted, risen Son of God. Therefore, let us take some time this week to meditate, study, and remember the journey Jesus took to purchase our redemption—the sacrifices He made, the pain He suffered, and the glory He received when He conquered death.
The week began with a great start. The crowds loved Jesus. They followed Him faithfully and on that sunny day that has since become known as Palm Sunday, they seized the opportunity to tell the world exactly what they thought of Jesus.
Welcome to a new year! Christmas has passed and 2020 is behind us. Now, as we step forward into the future and possibilities of 2021, let us ground ourselves in God’s Word. As life slows back down after the excitement of the holidays, may we not forget to re-immerse ourselves in the truth of God’s Word. Therefore, as we start this new month and new year, I will be starting a new Bible study.
Happy New Year! Twenty-twenty is officially in the review mirror. The calendar has restarted. The page has been turned. Twenty-twenty-one has begun!
However, before we can archive 2020 and leave it to history, we must take some time to reflect and ponder what we have learned. For some of us, 2020 has been a year of building, growth, new horizons, wonderful opportunities, and great blessing. We have seen God work in powerful ways as He opened door after door and broadened our borders.
Christmas is over. The presents have been opened. The wrapping paper cleaned up and the gifts put away. The feast has been consumed and most of the goodies have disappeared. While Christmas is an amazing, awe-filled celebration and time of memory making and remembering, the post-Christmas season can be a bit of a letdown. After all the planning, anticipation, and eager expectation, post-Christmas can feel mundane, anti-climactic, and disappointing. While New Year’s is right around the corner, it does not carry the same joy, celebration, excitement, and magical moments that Christmas does.
The long awaited day is here. Christmas morning. A special time of celebration, reflection, and love. Gifts are exchanged and joy shared. Family is appreciated and celebrated, and memories are made. However, in the midst of the wrapping paper, delicious food, fun games, and family jokes, let’s not forget whose birthday we’re celebrating.
The world is full of a diverse array of people. We come from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, have different styles and accents, use different lingo, and possess unique behavioral quirks. I am reminded by the diversity among humanity every time I stand in line at the grocery store or sit in an airport terminal. While we form groups based on preferences and similarities and judge each other based on our differences, fundamentally we are all the same. We are driven by the same desires and share the same needs, which is why we bump into different people at the grocery store in an airport security line. And most importantly, we were all created in the image of God.
Christmas is less than a week away! The time is flying by! As we continue on our Road to Christmas series with the list of unlikelys, today’s topic is probably the most unlikely of all. Unlikely places. The Christmas story is full of unusual details; however, considering it is the account of the arrival of the King of kings, some of the most unexpected parts are the places that significant events took place.
Traveling is a large part of modern Christmas celebrations. Families gather from far and wide to celebrate the season with loved ones. Adult sons and daughters journey with their families back to their childhood home and join the masses on their way to various locations for Christmas. In many ways, this bustle of travel activity harkens back to the very first Christmas, a Christmas marked by lots of traveling.
We love the manger scene and rosy pictures of Mary riding a donkey on the way to Bethlehem. It seems so idyllic and serene. But have you ever considered how stressful and chaotic that trip might have been for Joseph and Mary? They, along with the rest of the world, were on the move because of some unexpected government orders. Traveling to Bethlehem was not part of their five year plan, and especially not while Mary was expecting the Christ Child. However, God had different plans and used an unlikely government order to accomplish it.
Christmas is a rather magical time of year. The lights and festive décor truly add to the holiday spirit. Angels grace Christmas trees and stars are liberally scattered throughout. However, these traditional elements of our celebrations point to an even more magical time. A time in history when the chasm between heaven and earth became smaller and angels commonly appeared to men.
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! Not because the decorations are beautiful, the music is cheerful, or the season is nostalgic, but because it’s a season during which we intentionally place Jesus at the forefront and focus upon Him. While the decorations and holiday cheer are fine and good, they should never be the focus. As Christians, we know the true meaning of Christmas and, therefore, ought to celebrate and focus our minds and hearts accordingly.
For this reason, I’ll be taking time this month to reflect and highlight different parts of the Christmas story. Over the past five years, I’ve looked at Christmas through the eyes of different members of the story. Mary’s wide-eyed wonder, Joseph’s steadfast gaze, Elizabeth’s joy, the shepherd’s fear, Bethlehem’s busyness, Simon’s amazement, and the magi’s worship. Each character has a unique perspective from which we gain greater insight into the miracle of Christmas.
Twenty-twenty has been a year of different. At first, so many had great expectations for this year and new decade. Twenty-twenty vision was the slogan many used to predict what this year would bring. While it may seem like this expectation never came about due to COVID-19, as we near the end of the year, I would have to argue the converse.
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