Christmas

Many things in life fill us with wonder. Our world is full of profound mysteries, but the greatest mystery of all is the mystery of the incarnation. One of the profoundest statements of this mystery is 1 Timothy 3:16 : "And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed...
While rereading Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol I recently read something I had forgotten. When Jacob Marley appeared to Scrooge his body was transparent, so that Scrooge could see not only the front of his long deceased partner’s waistcoat but the back of it too! But then this line appears, “...
Think back on an exciting time in your life when you were overwhelmed with emotion at the sight of something beautiful, a sudden surprise that captured your attention, or a moment of intense grief that seemed to cause your heart to fail within you. Any scenario we might recall of such intense...
Several years ago I worked for a funeral director. On one occasion I travelled with him to another city in order to recover a body. The person, a younger person, had traveled and died while out of town. On the way to the city morgue my boss and I talked together. I found out later that he was...
As 2018 draws to a close, we look back on a year in which perhaps the most pressing issue for Reformed Christians is the relationship between the church and the world. How does the church respond to cultural shifts in terms of human identity and sexuality? And what is the mission of the church when...
The very first Nancy Guthrie book my wife and I were given was Holding on to Hope . Before we had even turned a page, the title grabbed us because it resonated deeply with the needs we had been living with, at that stage of our life, for almost 16 years. Our daughter was born with severe disability...
Of all the advent sermons I have read, none are so profound and moving as those preached by the great German Reformer, Martin Luther. Luther was accustomed to preaching in step with the liturgical calendar so as to focus on the chronology of the birth narratives. In the dedicatory section to Prince...
Have you ever wondered why Matthew 1:23 quotes Isaiah 7:14? Perhaps the ready answer is that the quote substantiates the virgin conception and birth of Christ, which is true enough. However, the text raises a number of questions. For instance, why did God promise a virgin conceived and virgin born...
One December, a week or two before Christmas, the worship leader announced the hymn "Joy to the World" and a woman nearby groaned, "Oh no, not 'Joy to the World' again." I understand her point; she wanted a new Christmas song, but still, how can we grow tired of joy to the world. Psalm 96 begins "...
Sinclair Ferguson has recently released his second advent themed book, Love Came Down . Together with his previously published Child in the Manger , this has quickly become one of my favorite sources for advent meditations. That is not at all surprising, as I have found Sinclair's advent sermons to...

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