Christmas has always presented a challenge to humanity. Some take 12 days to celebrate it; on the other hand, the Puritans outlawed it and even today some cults say Christmas is wrong. The birth of Christ asks the question, “What do we do with this Christ who was born?”
The Visitor - Greg Albrecht
KEYNOTE SCRIPTURE: John 1:1-18
There are two biblical stories about the birth of Jesus. One is the factual story of who did what, when and where, given to us by Matthew and Luke. The other story occurs in our keynote passage.
The "other story" concerns itself with the profound significance of what happened at the intersection of time and eternity, when God in the person of Jesus came into our world to be one of us. The first 18 verses of the first chapter of the Gospel of John is powerful, majestic, and in ...
God brings interesting situations into our lives so we can "find" Him. The story of the Magi, or Wise Men, and their determined but difficult trip to find Jesus has some interesting parallels for our own lives.
"Swing low, sweet chariotComing for to carry me home,Swing low, sweet chariot,Coming for to carry me home.
I looked over Jordan, and what did I seeComing for to carry me home?A band of angels coming after me,Coming for to carry me home.”
Sometimes I'm up, and sometimes I'm down,(Coming for to carry me home)But still my soul feels heavenly bound.(Coming for to carry me home) (unknown and I don't know)
The brightest day that I can sayComing for to carry me homeWhen Jesus washed my sins awayComing for to carry me home”“Sweet Chariot” was sung to let ...
I remember Christmastime as a child. I remember riding together with my brothers and sisters in the backseat of our old family station-wagon. As the days were short on sunlight during the wintery months in our particular part of Western Pennsylvania, many of our rides together took place after dark. We thought of ourselves as “country bumpkins” who grew up “in the sticks,” and as such, we knew if we could catch a glimpse of the Christmas lights from “town” on one of our rides, it would make for a real seasonal treat.
As children, ...
Jesus didn't put on a mask and pretend to be a human. He didn't use make up or have cosmetic surgery so that he would appear to be human. Such was his love for you and me he actually became one of us!
by Greg Albrecht
Your first thought at this time of the year might be those frenzied crowds in shopping malls and department stores on the days immediately following Christmas. People exchanging and returning gifts they received that were the wrong size, wrong color—or just plain wrong!
But there's another exchange we need to keep in mind. This great exchange is the reality of the cross of Christ. Jesus Christ took our sin and died for it, paying the debt that we could not pay. In exchange, God, because of his grace, gives us eternal life. Our sin for eternal ...
"Stop Acting Like God. Start Acting Like Jesus." The message, on a poster being waved during a rally in support of a minority group, confronted and challenged me. It seemed to be directed at me and my fellow Christians.
If they really knew Jesus, I thought, they would know that he is God and he was God in the flesh!
I continued to ponder the poster until a free translation of its intended meaning occurred to me: "Jesus, save us from your followers who seem to be acting like our stereotype of the Old Testament God."
It was obvious they had a vague notion that ...
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.—Isaiah 55:6
Time is the enemy of teachers, speakers and preachers—we are always battling with the clock. In the context of formal church services, this battle goes back to the so-called olden days when preachers walked up and took their place behind the pulpit. At the beginning of the sermon an hour glass of sand was turned on its end. The passing of time was determined as small quantities of sand passed from the upper chamber, which at the beginning of the hour was full, to the lower ...
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light ...
Jonah started out thinking he was on the same page as God, but as his ministry continued, he found out that he and God were more like two ships passing in the night.