“Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed…so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35) Put yourself in Mary and Joseph’s shoes. At Jesus’ dedication in the temple, a sweet old man says, “Your Son will light up the … Continue reading Day 17: The Fall and Rising of Many
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:13-14) The Christmas season often seems to bring anything but peace. We rush to stores, to parties, to pageants, to worship services. During the time of year when we raise our glasses and toast to, “Peace on … Continue reading Day 16: Peace for Me?
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:13-14) Come to Bethlehem and see Christ whose birth the angels sing; come, adore on bended knee, Christ, the Lord, … Continue reading Day 15: Gloria in Excelsis Deo!
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people… to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear." (Luke 1:66, 74) There is a popular Christmas song that unwittingly instills fear in the hearts of little ones. You know it … Continue reading Day 14: The End of Fear
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people” (Luke 1:68) Zechariah is the father of John the Baptist. He sings a wondrous song at the birth of his son about another son—Mary’s son. His song has a simple, yet earth-shattering message: in the baby Jesus, God has come … Continue reading Day 13: The End of Self-Help
“He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty” (Luke 1:51-53) Imagine that you are teenage … Continue reading Day 12: The Great Reversal
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.” (Matthew 1:23) For many people, Christmas is the most brutal time of year. Whether it’s the death of a loved one, a recent divorce, loneliness, or something else, Christmas can be a sad reminder that life is not how it … Continue reading Day 10: God with Us in Our Sufferings
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) What’s in a name? In our culture, naming children is a lost art. Typically parents pick names they like. There may be some family or personal significance, but the meaning of a … Continue reading Day 9: Call His Name “God Saves!”
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5) It’s obvious that we live in a culture averse to waiting. Self-check out lines. Two-day shipping. Fast … Continue reading Day 7: At Just the Right Time
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) The unique thing about John’s Gospel is that it predates the birth narrative of Jesus. Not just by a few years or decades. It goes … Continue reading Day 6: The Word Became Flesh