Paul wrote to the Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose” (Gal. 2:20, 21).Read More
A party where the featured guest denounces everyone probably wouldn’t last long. But, if the act of denouncing started to free people, a new entirely different type of party might begin–one with quite a future.Read More
John the Baptist is in prison. In prison, the dead pile up. People crowd against each other and fight for food. People crawl about, begging for something to eat. The dead pile up from hunger, from extreme beatings and from the executioner's sword.Read More
A common sight in the days leading up to Christmas are the signs that read, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” The message of these signs are twofold: to warn against the consumerism that has come to control Christmas, and to remind readers to replace that consumerism with the real reason we celebrate.Read More
In 1523, a bitter Cambridge don wrote in the margin of John Fisher’s Assertionis Lutheran Confutatio these words: “Luther wantonly attacks, and raves against, the Pontiff… He accuses a whole council of madness; it is he who is insane!.. oh, the arrogance of a most wicked man!”Read More
In the Northern Hemisphere December and January are months of darkness. Shadows lengthen. Light wains. Darkness deepens. But the night of the world is pierced by the birth of Jesus who is God of God and Light of Light. As John proclaims, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”Read More
The heart of the Christian faith can be expressed in one phrase: God justifies the ungodly. If someone were to ask us, “who says?” we can answer boldly, “God does!” How can we be so sure? Isn’t such a bold assertion about God out of place in the modern world? Today, we do not often look to the church for matters of truth, for that we trust science.
There are few things more frightening than the loss of memory. I have cried with many spouses who watch as their loved one slowly fails to remember important times in their lives, the names of their precious children, or even the identity of the one they’ve spent years with building these memories.Read More
The reality is, we're weak. We're not the smartest people in the room. We get emotional over stupid things. We eat the wrong foods. We waste time. We care too much about meaningless things, and not enough about meaningful things.Read More
Most traditional children’s Christmas plays present the first and the twelfth day of Christmas together. The Epiphany account of the Magi in Matthew 2 is blended into the Christmas Story in Luke 3. This is not a recent religious novelty. It follows a long iconographic tradition that has portrayed the Star of Bethlehem and the Wise Men joining the shepherds at the Nativity of Jesus.Read More
The Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas, or the Gentile Christmas as many have called it, is a festival rich in meaning. Many of our Christmas celebrations actually sprung from this day. We light Christmas lights and put stars on trees as a reminder of the light of the star that the Magi followed.Read More
On Thursday, January 4, 1934, a few hundred pastors and church-office holders congregated in the German town of Barmen. Together, they formed the Pastor’s Emergency League: an underground resistance group who opposed the Nazi movement.
Can you answer the most basic of all questions, one that will set the pattern for your life, your beliefs, your actions, and your choices? Answer this one, simple question and your inner fighting and turmoil will be put to rest. Answer this tiny little question and the path set before you will come into focus.
There are two lies we must be wary of, two that we must fight. These two lies are saboteurs. They want to bring us down. The first lie is that we deserve pity. We've done so much, doing the best we could, but nobody really appreciates how much we do for the church. The second lie is that we're too serious about being a Christian.Read More
Since today is New Year’s Day, you’ve probably already decided whether or not you were making any New Year’s resolutions. That you thought about it at all points to the powerful desire we fallen humans have for fresh starts and second chances.Read More
Tis the season to make promises, that you may or may not keep. We call them New Year’s Resolutions. These are traditions in which people resolve to change an undesired trait or behavior in order to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their lives.Read More
This blog is a part of our Advent series on the hope we find in, through and given by Christ. Each week’s installment will look at hope from a different perspective with special emphasis on corresponding passages of Scripture.Read More
Under the cold snow, life is hiding. Even though the black ice of winter seals in the colors of spring, we almost forget the roots that bear such beauty when the sun shines. Even in the deep, dark, death of the night, there is more than we can see right below our very own feet.Read More
When we think of Advent, we probably don’t think about whether or not we have a free will in spiritual matters. Actually, most Christians really don’t wrestle with that question at all, whatever the season of the church year.Read More
Santa Claus is a nice enough idea. A white-bearded, old man comes from the sky to reward good, little children but withholds his gifts from the naughty ones. This is also how most people envision God.Read More