Monthly Archives: December 2014

24 posts

Merry Christmas and the Gospel

The first widespread usage of the greeting “Merry Christmas” apparently began in 1843 with the publishing of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Not surprisingly, the greeting first appeared on Christmas cards that same year. The idea behind this phrase is that Christmas should be a happy, joyous time. When you wish someone a Merry Christmas, you are, in fact, offering a blessing to them. The blessing of forgiveness of sin. God filled the sky with his angels to honor the birth of his son. God commands the rivers and the hills to sing for joy at the Savior’s birth. So giving the blessing of Merry Christmas resonates with the purpose and actions of God! Psalm 98 was the basis of […]

Do You Give Gifts To Yourself?

Giving gifts can be a dangerous activity, especially if you give gifts to yourself. No, I am not talking about the present under the tree that is labeled from Dad to Dad.  I am talking about the gifts you give to your wife or to your kids or to others close to you. One example is giving a gift to someone for the pleasure of seeing how much you are appreciated. For example, things are a bit on the difficult side with your teenage son. You give him a new iPhone, thinking that he will be pleased with you. This is where things get murky. When your son (or daughter) is not overwhelmed with your gift, you are hurt. You […]

Caesar and Christmas

Roman emperors ruled with unquestioned authority. Their word was enough to upend the lives of people all around the ancient Mediterranean world. Like most leaders in history, Caesar Augustus gave no thought that his orders would serve the purposes of the living God. Caesar wanted to record the vastness of his empire. So he decreed a census be taken. He had no clue his orders would bring about the fulfillment of biblical prophecy; that his decree would serve the eternal decree of the true King. God’s ways are not our ways. Things are not as we think. 2,000 years ago it was not evident that Caesar’s order would result in the first Christmas. As Nebuchadnezzar realized no one can hold […]

Christmas Light

The darkness of the world is total. When you are overcome by anger, resentment, bitterness, despair there is no light – only darkness. God has something better for you. People who are walking in darkness will see a great light. Light is the great promise of the Christ-child. As Isaiah proclaims, it is God who turns darkness into light. Take time to remind your children and yourself that life without Christ is deep, utter darkness. May God grant you faith to live by the light and turn from darkness. May the light of Christ shine in the dark, troubled places of your heart. Rejoice! The light of Christ has come. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; […]