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Thin Places

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,[a] and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of[b] the joy that was set before him endured the ...

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Because Science: Taking the Fear out of Faith for Youth Ministry

Because Science: Taking the Fear out of Faith for Youth Ministry by Kevin Alton “It bothers me that somewhere on the other side of the world there’s a kid pretty much just like me that grew up believing something completely different about God just because of where he was born and who raised him in whatever religion. It bothers me ...

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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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