Readings: Matthew 3:1-12 Quotes: “Because the only people baptized prior to this time were those converting from paganism to Judaism. These converts, Gentiles, were considered unclean, so they were required to participate in t a symbolic washing of their filth so as to become worthy of join the community of Israel. The convert baptized himself, …
Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5 Quotes: “This is one of the great ‘turning points’ in the history of Israel, one that is crucial to our understanding the Bible. From this point on, the southern kingdom will be known as Judah, with Jerusalem as its capital and one of David’s descendants as their king. The northern kingdom, composed …
You cannot avoid miracles in the Christmas story. If you were to try and remove them, you would gut the story of its most crucial elements. Angels appearing, prophecies being fulfilled, God becoming a man. But maybe the greatest miracle of all in the Christmas story is a new heart; God made a way for Mary’s song to be our song.
John the Baptist shows us a way of life in this passage that is not only right, but satisfying: the life of taking second place. It’s not natural, nor is it easy, but it is rewarding.
Jesus tells us that signs will accompany his second advent: calamities, wars, natural disasters, etc. Jesus exhorts us to be ready, to be on watch, to not fall in love with this world! Just as surely as he came the first time, so he will return a second time to make all things right! This is the hope of Advent.
The Advent season is always filled with great joy and festivity, and rightly so, but the real question is “Will you take the baby home?” Jesus did not come to stay in a manger, but to teach, heal, fulfill, die, and rise. Will you embrace the Christ child after Advent or will we give him away?
Love is possible because of Advent. It first existed among the members of the Trinity in eternity past, but now has overflowed into our existence here on earth. What is more, the coming of Jesus Christ into the world teaches us about what love looks like.
Isaiah encountered God and was never the same; he found a deeper well of joy than the ones he knew on earth. While there is joy to be had in the world, it is fleeting and will ultimately fail. The joy that is offered at Advent in the gift of Jesus Christ is an everlasting joy that abides and remains.
Jesus’ arrival two thousand years ago did not bring peace, and today our world seems to be as tumultuous, anxious, and divided as ever. So how can we make sense of Christian’s claim that Jesus is The Prince of Peace? Pastor Josh Moore gives two reasons why we should not say Jesus is our Prince of Peace, and two reasons why we should.