An Advent Thought: A Royal Nobody

(Note: I’m (Joel) contributing to a daily Advent devotional. Each post proceeds from a lectionary reading.) John 7:40-44 When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that…

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Though ____________ ; yet I will……

(From today’s Daily Office) Habakkuk 3:17-18 17 Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the…

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The Spiritual Life and Divine Assault (When God Hurts Us)

“God sometimes hurts us.” I said this as I sank with a sigh, exhausted and burdened, into a chair in our living room. Wisely, my wife posed the most appropriate question: “Well, does this happen in Scripture?” The answer, we agreed, is YES. God hurts us. And Christians need a spirituality capacious enough for divine…

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An Advent Devotional

(Throughout the season of Advent, I’ll occasionally post a brief devotional thought. This will be cross-posted from an Advent devotional in the college ministry where I serve. For some general thoughts on Advent, read here.) Isaiah 2:1-5 1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 It shall come…

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On Locked Rooms & Empty Tombs: A Resurrection Reflection… for Advent

Advent is about waiting for Someone to come. Christmas shows us that He can appear  in unexpected ways and in unsuspected places. The Resurrection teaches us something similar—you never know where the Risen Christ will appear. Or when. Luke, Matthew and John all portray the disciples as stuck after the tragedy of the Crucifixion. We…

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Joy to the World

The familiar hymn says, “Joy to the World, the Lord has come.” If you’re like me, you pass over these words as if they were no big deal. But wait a second. Our God — holy, living, true, glorious, high and exalted — came? The Word became flesh and….dwelt. among. us? So, Let earth receive…

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Advent Calendars, Kids, & the Need for Jesus to Come

A dear friend of mine gave my family an Advent calendar five years ago.  It is a special delight, this calendar, with its tiny little cabinets storing various characters of the Nativity scene.  Grasping the tiny nob on the tiny doors to pull out a sheep or an angel and then carefully hanging that sheep…

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