First Advent Candle

With Christians around the world, we use this light to help us prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of God’s Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we receive God’s light as we hear the words of the prophet Isaiah: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived [Read More…]

First Sunday of Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to [Read More…]

Bethlehem Space (John Frye)

Bethlehem Space, by John Frye. When the Magi asked King Herod where the new king of the Jews was to be born, Herod called the Bible scholars of the day together. Herod, too, wanted to know where. The scholars searched the Scriptures and came up with a location associated with the coming Messiah: Bethlehem (Matthew [Read More…]

Christmas Day Collect

O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now [Read More…]

The Christmas Gospel 4

In The King Jesus Gospel an argument is laid out that concludes the gospel is to declare that the Story of Israel (or the Bible) has been fulfilled in the Story of Jesus, who is King (Messiah) and Lord who saves. At the heart of this gospel then is a Story, a Story that begins [Read More…]

The Christmas Gospel 3

What is the good news, the gospel, at Christmas? Very simply there is one basic message we are invited to announce: Jesus, son of Mary and Joseph, is the King. Notice this text from Matthew 2:1-12; it is one of my favorite Christmas stories and I hope you take the time to read the whole: [Read More…]

The Christmas Gospel 2

Advent is when we proclaim the gospel. What we proclaim is that Jesus is born, and this Jesus is the Messiah, the King. We proclaim, in other words, the King Jesus gospel at Christmas. Yesterday we pondered briefly the genealogy of Matthew, and today we look at Matthew 1:18-25 (text after the jump). What do [Read More…]

The Christmas Gospel 1

I want to do a series of brief posts reflecting on the gospel that Christmas declares. I begin today where the New Testament begins with the gospel: the genealogy of Matthew (1:1-17). Here we find a list of names, but the names are ordered into a message. There are three major points in the geneaology: [Read More…]

From the Shepherd’s Nook: From Nazareth

Advent season provokes a question: why didn’t Jesus stay in Bethlehem after he was born? It would have been smarter for him to be raised there. Bethlehem had some proud history. Bethlehem could boast of Boaz, Ruth, and Jesse. David was anointed king by the prophet Samuel in Bethlehem. Bethlehem looked good on the resume. [Read More…]

Advent Story

From FB: Jennifer Foster of Florence, AZ was visiting Times Square with her husband Nov. 14 when they saw a shoeless man asking for change. She writes, “Right when I was about to approach, one of your officers came up behind him. The officer said, ‘I have these size 12 boots for you, they are [Read More…]