The Kingdom in the Christmas Story

This is, first and foremost, a blog about the kingdom of God.

This blog is rooted in the firm belief the word “Kingdom” is not merely a contentless adjective for Christians to use to sound more spiritual in their religious conversations but is in fact an administration with territory, earthly and spiritual, with people, including citizens and enemies, with a purpose, along with a rival kingdom opposing that purpose, and most importantly, with  a King.

I was reading the Christmas story in the first chapter of Luke yesterday and saw something I’m sure I had seen before but had not fully registered. When Gabriel spoke to Mary and described for the first time the child she would give birth to and His purpose, he said this, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Luke 1:32-33. Continue reading “The Kingdom in the Christmas Story”

A Post-Christmas Message

empty-mangerOn Christmas Eve I was reading the Christmas story in Matthew and Luke, and I saw something I had never seen.

An angel appeared to the shepherds in the field and told them a Savior had been born and where to find Him. (Luke 2:8-18).

The Shepherds do what any of us would have done: they go to try to find Him.

They find Him, and Luke says this about what happens next:

“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had ben told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

(Luke 2:16-19). Continue reading “A Post-Christmas Message”

On Scrooge And Change

It has become a Christmas tradition for the wife and I to go to the local theater to see the play, A Christmas Carol.

Its message is as fresh each year as the first time I saw the play because the message of redemption and change never grows old. And Scrooge does change. Radically.

Tonight, while at the play, I began to think about why more Christians don’t see more change in their lives. After all, one of the best arguments for Christianity has always been a changed life. Yet change often comes imperceptibly slow or not at all, and not always because of a lack of trying.

There are five principal reasons people don’t change.

Continue reading “On Scrooge And Change”

Some Christmas Perspective

One of the gifts the Magi brought the baby Jesus was myrrh, a substance used for embalming. The gift was a potent foreshadowing of the sacrificial death on a cross that was Jesus’ destiny.

Thursday night I went to a Christmas party with my wife’s family. At the party I spoke with my wife’s cousin who, a year ago, was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of pancreatic cancer.

He has been a believer for as long as I can remember, but last night there was something different about him. Continue reading “Some Christmas Perspective”

My Christmas Rant

Okay, I’ve tried to avoid doing this.

I don’t want to be that guy who uses his blog to air his pet peeves…you know, Andy Rooney with an iPad.

But this has to stop, and I feel responsible to do my part to stop it.

I’m speaking, of course, of the secularization of Christmas music.

It’s been around for quite a while but was only nipping at our nose; now it seems it’s all up in our face and threatening to take down what little is left of the sacred in Christmas tunes.

Continue reading “My Christmas Rant”