His Name is Desire of Nations

Advent sings of Emmanuel: God With Us, the very Son of God in our very midst, Jesus. As early-winter skies croon with reds, pinks, blues, and purples, Advent further carols the Dayspring, the morning dawn of daily mercies potent and fertile with the fresh possibilities of heaven. This morning, lyrics of Advent chant another nameContinue reading “His Name is Desire of Nations”

His Name Is Dayspring

In his salad days, Croatian theologian Miroslav Volf served as a draftee in the Yugoslavian army. But his hitch brought him no honor. Mr. Volf mustered in with two strikes against him already on the board: He was married to American; worse yet, he was a Christian. Thus, the communist army suspected him a traitor,Continue reading “His Name Is Dayspring”

His Name Is Son of God

Jesus. Immanuel. Immanuel. Jesus. You cannot speak of one without invoking the other. Jesus equals Immanuel. Immanuel equals God with us. Thus, Jesus equals God with Us. Your middle school algebra teacher was correct: A=B, and B=C, therefore A=C. Indeed, the math adds up: Amid profound brokenness and paralyzing fear, you can count on God’sContinue reading “His Name Is Son of God”

His Name is Immanuel

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign – daily living is full of signs. Two black digits painted on white, metal rectangle display a highway’s legal speed limit. A pair of arches signals the availability of fast food ahead. And hopefully you’re not too hungry, because bold lettering on an orange diamond shape warns of road workContinue reading “His Name is Immanuel”

All the Lonely People

Way back in 1966, The Beatles released a hit song titled “Eleanor Rigby.” The classic tune paints a sad picture of lonely people who live on the remote edges of the wider world. As the lyrics go, Eleanor Rigby is the caretaker of a ramshackle country church – the one who sweeps up the riceContinue reading “All the Lonely People”

A Soldier, an Athlete, and a Farmer

The apostle Paul, for more than a month of Sundays, has been serving as our explainer-in-chief of any and all matters related to becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. Here’s where we’ve been: First to the Romans and now to us, Paul weaves a stunning daisy chain of faith and belief: We can rejoice inContinue reading “A Soldier, an Athlete, and a Farmer”

Seeing with Kingdom Eyes

The Lord’s persuasive invitations to discipleship are the common threads woven into our Scripture lessons over the past couple Sundays. Those gracious, open invitations to be counted among Jesus’s followers immediately compel a tax collector named Matthew to quit his lucrative job raking in big bucks for his Roman bosses and to join the communityContinue reading “Seeing with Kingdom Eyes”

My Word Is Flexibility

The intimidating thought of being known for who you really and truly are as a person cuts like a double-edged sword of bane and blessing. On the one hand, 94 percent of respondents to a recent poll agreed with the statement, “Nobody really knows me.” While some folks might take clandestine comfort in such anonymity,Continue reading “My Word Is Flexibility”

Heart health

Old Testament prophets have miserable, unenviable jobs. God taps these individuals – mostly men but also a few women – to proclaim bracing messages of doom and gloom to wayward souls who’ve strayed far from the fold of God. Over the past few Sundays, in our exploration of the story of God with us, we’veContinue reading “Heart health”

A Heart Transplant

Dire warnings from a couple Old Testament prophets have given us reasons to grit our teeth these past few Sundays. First it was Amos, whose voice speaks for the Lord in declaring that God’s people are crooked and out of plumb. Then last Sunday came Jeremiah with an equally harsh indictment that minces no words:Continue reading “A Heart Transplant”