This Advent season, iAt reflects on each week’s theme (Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love) and how the promise of the incarnation transforms how we view what’s happening in our culture today. We continue this week with Peace.
I don’t know what it is like to be you, but when I think of “trust” in my life, I first want to make some clarifications: Because I am human and live in a real and broken world, I have trusted people and regretted it. Yet, I have also withheld trust from those who didn’t deserve my withholding.
The God we encounter in Scripture hears the cries of mothers wailing for their children but is not moved by the smug self-righteousness of those who claim there is a proper and orderly way to flee for one’s life.
The consolation of the sufferer is the fact that God does not abandon the human in her hour of most desperate need.
Christ knew that a time was coming when his identity would be revealed – when the curtain of the temple would be torn in two, when the stones would cry out, when an empty tomb would proclaim that truly, he was the son of God. But it was not yet.
Christ did not remain in the tomb, but rose and lives.
Part of living like a disciple of Christ is recognizing the foolish and scandalous nature of the cross, which stands in stark opposition to the pride and self-love that dominate our Orpah-ian responses in the ebb and flow of Christian life.
The difficulty of discerning truth and the humility in that discernment do not negate the responsibility to look out for what is dangerous and harmful.
If we want to catch people for Christ, we need to be sure to do both parts. We need to be willing to listen for God and expect God to speak in even the most mundane parts of our day.
In the same way, if we let our jealous, bitter, hateful thoughts toward another person—or situation—lead our heart and desires, we will forget about Christ. Ridding these thoughts from our minds is hard work, but realizing we need Christ back at the center of our lives—instead of jealousy, anger, frustration, or discontentment—is the first step in letting God redeem us.
This season is a reminder that “we are children, not of the slave but of the free woman. For freedom in Christ has set us free.” Whether we are old or young, we are all children that have been set free by Christ.
Our primary strategy is the vitalization of local congregations where Christ brings flourishing of human life.
How do we join with Christ in this mission? Whom shall we heal? What can you do this week to reach the blind, the misguided, the incapable, the broken, the confident ones, those who tremble, those who are humble, those who call Him Lord? When you minister to each of these, you join with Christ in his healing mission.
A series of reflections on the healing mission of Christ.
The images of sheep and shepherd are woven throughout the Old Testament scriptures. From the image of David the shepherd who became king to the prophet Isaiah’s sheep going astray, these strokes paint for us a picture of a Messiah who shepherds his flock. So why is the character of a good shepherd one we should remember during Advent?
Let us give thanks for the coming of the King, the righteous judge, the one with the authority to pass judgment over death itself, and the one who delivers His people from every sorrow into everlasting joy and peace.
There’s a scene in the 2006 Will Ferrell movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in which Will Ferrell’s character, Ricky Bobby, is saying grace before a meal. He addresses his prayer explicitly to “baby Jesus.”