Jesus, I.S. and Terror

We’ve just celebrated the first Advent of our Lord, and in the New Year we wait for the Second Advent.  The Heavy lifting has been done.  The child born … finally said, “It is finished!”  Then, on the third day he was not there but he was here, with us, still Immanuel. God with us, present, powerfully at work advancing the Kingdom of God, which already claims all the other kingdoms of this world.  In a sense already they have become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever (Rev. 11:15).  We begin the New Year eager to say, “Jesus is Lord!” But, of course, Jesus is King over a very different …

THE MASSACRE OF INNOCENTS

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.  17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:  18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”  (Mat 2:16-18 TNIV). Once again “Herod” blemishes our Advent season. Yesterday the unthinkable played out before us in Newtown, Connecticut.  Shockingly, a young gunman forced his way into the Sandy Hook Elementary School, apparently just moments before …

Lessons from the Mother of our Lord

During Advent 2007 I’ve been reflecting on the opening of Luke’s gospel, especially the narratives recounting Mary’s role in the gift of Messiah.  Here are the bottom line realities that nourish and challenge my Christmas faith, which you can read about in the reflections below. Mary was surprised to be shown such incredible favor and then continually surprised at how the grace of God worked through her and the Messiah.  So, Lord, help me never to get over the wonder of amazing grace, never to yawn at your including me, never to think that I’ve got you and your way figured out, nailed down, inoculated against surprised. Mary was drawn in, enthralled by the wonder of it all, eager to …