Jesus was born into and grew up in a distinctively Jewish culture, with its many traditions and rituals. He spoke out against many of these during his three years of ministry as an adult, not because there was anything wrong with the traditions and rituals in themselves, but because people (specifically the religious leaders of … Continue reading Simeon & Anna Waiting for God to Act
After the announcement of Jesus' birth by the angels, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And … Continue reading Responses to Jesus’ Birth
When Jesus was born, the first audience to receive the birth announcement was a group of sheep herders tending their flocks somewhere outside Bethlehem. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the … Continue reading Glory to God, and Peace Between God and Man
In contrast to his initial response (disbelief) when the angel first told him he would have a son, and also in contrast to the responses of his relatives and friends (awkward discomfort, surprise and fear), Zechariah now wastes no time giving an appropriate response (worship) to God for what He has done in giving this … Continue reading Zechariah Gets It Right
Check out Luke 1:57-66, the account of the birth of John the Baptist, and note especially the progression in the responses of Zechariah's relatives and neighbors to this event. Zechariah, John the Baptist's dad, was a godly man, a priest in the temple from a long line of priests in the temple. Actually, both John's mom … Continue reading An Uncomfortable Truth?
In Luke 1, the angel Gabriel visits Zechariah, who would be the father of John the Baptist, and Mary, who would be the mother of Jesus, to announce two extraordinary births. Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth are described as "righteous" and "blameless" (Luke 1:6), and Mary is described as "favored one" and "the Lord is … Continue reading Nothing Will Be Impossible With God
400 years before Christ, the prophet Malachi closed out the Old Testament canon with this prophecy: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come … Continue reading 400 Years!
I love Christmas. It isn't the music or the decorations or the gifts that I love as much as the meaning of the season. I do love the music and the decorations and the gifts, but I love them because they remind me that God broke in to our world at it's darkest hour to … Continue reading Christmas in Genesis 3