Holidays

130 posts

Veteran’s Day – Keep us from Evil

“Keep us from evil.” It is a prayer that many pray by rote. But one way God answers this prayer is with the men and women who would offer their lives to keep us from evil. The photo above is a church in Germany, within sight of the concentration camp at Dachau. The peacefulness of this scene attempts to mask the demonic face of evil.  Whether it is with the evil within or with the enemies of freedom, fighting evil comes at a high price.  I took this photo driving away from Dachau. I was with two of my closest friends. We were stunned at the horror of what we had just seen: Man’s inhumanity to man! This church looked […]

What to Think About Halloween

Each year questions arise about participation in Halloween. Is it really the Devil’s holiday? Well, it is in the sense that every day where he rules in the hearts of unbelievers is his day. But it is also true that Christ has triumphed on the cross and brought defeat to the dark enemy of our souls. So it is important to look a little deeper if we are going to find a satisfying answer. At its best Halloween is time for creativity, joy, friendship, and fun. At its worst, it is about death, fear, darkness, and the celebration of evil.  Again, for the Christian, this is like every other day. Each day we are to choose between life and death, […]

The Resurrection: Humanity’s Story

The resurrection of  Jesus Christ has become a fairy tale in modern culture. Chocolate bunnies, new clothes, and Easter church services are all tolerated as a tip of the hat to an outdated myth. So, Easter break has become Spring break. This is Easter week. Does it still matter? The media will observe this week as a religious or traditional event. But it is doubtful there will be commentary that states the fate of the world depended upon a political prisoner 2,000 years ago. It is unlikely that you will hear that the decision of this prisoner, a radicalized carpenter, to suffer the pain of the cross was the defining moment in all of human history. If Christ had not […]

Saint Patrick: A Teenager on a Mission

Most people think the best place to celebrate St. Patrick’s day would be in the local pub. Actually, the better place to remember him would be in church! Saint Patrick is revered in Irish mythology as the man who drove the snakes from Ireland. Each March 17th, the color green is worn with pride and various forms of celebration erupt in pubs everywhere. However, the real story of St. Patrick is one of a man on a mission. Not a mission to drive out snakes and party but to bring the power of the gospel to his Irish captors. In the fifth century, as the Roman Empire was collapsing, Patrick was captured by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland from […]

Empty Boxes, Hurting Hearts

Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Gifts were given. Some carefully planned and thoughtful, others, not so much. The flowers are in their vases, the chocolate has been enjoyed, the calendar has a new date. But the most important question still remains. How is your relationship? Did last night help to make it stronger? Do doubts still remain? Does the new morning bring new worries? The answers to these questions are found in the relationship that matters most – your relationship with God. Knowing and loving God gives significance to all other relationships. This morning after, one thing is certain above all others, God has not changed. He is constant. This means the content of love does not change. […]

Celebrating Insanity!

There is a popular definition for insanity that is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and others. It goes like this: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Every January 1st, most of the world celebrates insanity. Times Square is filled with people who watch a crystal ball descend as midnight approaches. Millions more watch on television. When the ball ends its journey a massive celebration erupts. People are excited about the promise of a new year. They hope the disappointments of the previous year will be replaced by better times in the new year. They believe that their new resolutions will work better than last year’s. But the jubilant celebrations too often […]

From Presents to Possessions

Something mysterious happens to items in colorfully wrapped boxes and then placed under a tree full of lights. After a short incubation period these items, called presents, become possessions when the wrapping disappears. This is actually a dangerous time! Christ had an encounter with a brother who was also concerned that his sibling was not being fair with possessions. He wanted Jesus to settle an inheritance dispute. No doubt, this issue was critically important to the offended brother. He must have been taken aback to see his desire for fairness and justice be exposed for what it really was – greed. Christ ignores the who, what, where, when of the situation and goes straight to the heart. He tells this […]

What Child Is This?

Verse two of the Christmas Hymn, “What Child is This?” provides much to ponder this Christmas. Read these words slowly and carefully: Why lies he in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding? Good Christian, fear, for sinners here the silent Word is pleading Nails, spear, shall pierce him through, the cross be borne for me, for you Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the babe, the son of Mary. Why does the hymn writer include this line in a song celebrating the birth of Christ? Nails, spear, shall pierce him through, the cross be borne for me, for you What Child is this? He was a child born for the nails, the spear, the cross. These are […]

Christmas Rush

Being a parent is a consuming job. The unexpected and unplanned for circumstances just keep on coming. It is ironic that In the rush of Christmas, Christ can become distant.  In Psalm 73, the psalmist had become overwhelmed with the seeming futility of following God. Survival mode had become the norm. But here is the reality that the crush of daily life can obscure—Jesus is right there with you in the middle of the mess of your life! Trusting Christ in the rush of life is what gives stability to your soul. He has brought together all of the events, frustrations and demands of your life to point you to him. Jesus is not some distant bystander. He is there […]

Christmas Light

Christmas is all about the joy of true light. John’s gospel teaches us that Jesus is the light for all of humanity.  Any goodness in people is a reflection of the true light of Christ.   In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There is no authentic light in this world but the light of Christ. Anything else that appears to be light is but a reflection of the light of Christ. This is just like the way that the moon or the planets have no light of their own – they only reflect the light of the sun. 2,000 years ago […]