Advent

Why We Celebrate Christmas

When I was a young boy I heard a lot of things and I remember them from time to time. One of the statements that I remember hearing is: Jesus is the Reason for the Season. I remember hearing this and not really thinking anything of it other than what it clearly implied. That the reason we celebrate Christmas is ...

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Led by Angels and Magi

Led by Angels and Magi by Lori Richey Throughout the Nativity story, angels act as guides and messengers, harbingers of doom and purveyors of peace. They bring the word of God to Joseph, to Mary, to shepherds in the field. The angel Gabriel shares wisdom with Mary as she wonders how a virgin will bring God’s son into the world: ...

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Mary’s Treasure

Mary’s Treasure by Lori Richey The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth ...

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Shepherds in our Midst

Shepherds in our Midst by Lori Richey He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his ...

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Joseph – the Forgotten Father

Joseph – the Forgotten Father By Lori Richey When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must ...

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The Power of the Nativity

by Lori Richey The Power of the Nativity Even as a small child, I was fascinated with the nativity scenes that graced our home, church, and community. My parents made a large one that stood in the corner of our living room. With hand-painted ceramic figures and a manger filled with pine needles, it was topped with wooden shingles salvaged ...

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The Redemption of Egypt

“…And a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). Many of us are youth workers for very specific reasons. One of those is that we could never cut it as children’s ministers. The snotty noses, the incessant whining, the unending need for snacks – and that’s just in youth ministry! But the Advent season is a time for us to ...

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Where’s the Womb?

“I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:8) Matthew and Luke are the only two gospel writers who tell a nativity story. The other synoptic gospel, Mark, begins instead with the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan. Mark’s apparent neglect of the nativity story could leave some readers to exclaim, ...

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Translation and Incarnation

“He is the image of the invisible God…” (Col. 1:15). Nearly every aspect of life requires translation. We see a road sign or traffic light and we translate meaning almost instantly. We watch thousands of colorful pixels dance on screens and our brains translate this into moving images that communicate beautifully complex narratives. We observe a great piece of artwork ...

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The Bread of Heaven Come Down

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven.” (John 6:51). In John 6, Jesus Christ calls himself the “Living Bread.” It is interesting to me that Jesus identifies himself with such an ordinary image. After all, the doctrine of the incarnation is one of the most mysterious and complex confessions of the church. Bread, on the other hand,…well, ...

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