He, the eternal Word, the one who spoke the galaxies into existence, was willing to become a little baby boy who could do nothing with words except jabber, and in that jabbering, make glad his mother and earthly father. He, the source of all life and all nourishment for that life, was willing to be breastfed. He, the same one who had separated the night from the day, and had shaped the sun to rule the day, and the moon to rule the night, was willing to have his diapers changed for a year or so. It is not disrespectful to speak this way; for Christians, it is disrespectful not to. We believe in the Incarnation, in the Word made flesh. This is our glory; this is our salvation. (Wilson, God Rest Ye Merry, 48)
As we continue to meditate on the meaning of Advent, we are not as much resisting attempts to make Christmas meaningless as we are fighting with alternative meanings. There is no such thing (in the last analysis) as a vacuum holiday, a celebration without a point. Attempts to neutralize Christmas are simply an intermediate step – and the alternative meanings are waiting in the wings. (Wilson, God Rest Ye Merry, 31)
This Christmas, remember you are learning how to open God’s gifts to us. And because He really knows how to shop for us, when we get the wrapping paper off, we are always surprised. (Wilson, God Rest Ye Merry, 21)
It’s easy to become sceptical of the build up to Christmas within our secular society. We know stores carry Christmas stock in September in order to make as much money as possible. But as Christians we need to be sure we’re planning far enough ahead if we want out own celebrations to be as Christ-centred as they should be. With that in mind, here are two lists from The Good Book Company to help.
1. Be more excited about presents than Jesus.
2. Leave the Carol and Christmas morning services straight away.
3. Leave it too late to invite someone to an event.
4. Make Christmas dinner the most important element in the day.
5. Send a Christian book to someone you didn’t make time to speak to throughout 2012.
6. Keep your family happy at all costs.
7. Don’t risk asking someone who comes to an event what they made of the message.
8. Don’t bother to make sure your church has some free evangelistic resources ready to give away
1. It’s Good News…
- Make Jesus part of Christmas conversations.
- Read, tell, and remember the Christmas story.
- Invite others to hear the Good News.
2. It’s for All people… invite, meet, gather …
3. It’s great joy! – Rejoice
An article in the The Telegraph expresses the incredulity and shock of both Johnathan Peralman, the Telegraph’s correspondent in Sydney and other Australian media at the recent decision of the Anglican Church in Sydney to include the words “Will you honour and submit to him, as the church submits to Christ?” in one of their recommended vows for wives to say to their husbands within marriage ceremonies.
Give thanks to God for Archbishop Peter Jensen and for the many evangelicals within the Anglican Church in Sydney. But what’s odd, yet sadly all too common about the article, is the snide, belittling, language and tone towards a teaching of the church that has been around since the Apostle Paul.
The move is described as the “controversial pledge,” there has been “furious public criticism,” against a section of the church that “is notorious for its staunch conservatism.” Then there’s the reference to 50 Shades of Grey, the recent trash lit fad, by which two millennia of Christian use of vocabulary is now apparently to be judged.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, – Ephesians 5:22-25
Paul wrote the book of Ephesians 2,000 years ago, much of western civilisation has been based upon a Judeo-Christian view of marriage for a great deal of that time, and yet when it’s affirmed by bible-believing Christians, it’s reported as though it’s a startling case of man bites dog rather than what it actually is.
Who get’s to decide what’s Caesar’s and what’s God’s?
Mike Ovey, Principal of Oak Hill Theological College, recently wrote an article on the challenges and contradictions of equality in Britain. Amongst his wise words is the following,
When it comes to “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s, Caesar is taking it on himself to work out which things belong to him and which belong to God. Not surprisingly, Caesar wants more and more.
Spend a few minutes thinking of all of the things God’s word is profitable for – teaching, reproof, correcting, training in righteousness, equipping, comforting, upbuilding, counselling, encouraging, …
But though we might be convinced God’s word is more to be desired than gold and that there is great reward in keeping it, the first step in doing that – actually knowing it, is something we can struggle with.
In her post over here, Jean Williams lists practical tips to help us memorise God’s Word under the following headings:
Prepare – survey it, visualise it, see it, carry it
Repeat – read it, say it, write it, hear it, walk it, sing it
Recall – reread and check it, reflect and pray it, use it
Reinforce – trace patterns, know why, learn with others, study it, teach it
Review – forget it, review it
Jean also gives ideas for memorising the whole of the Bible.I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. – Psalm 119:11 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! – Psalm 119:103
With thanks to Steve Jeffery
1. no1 b4 me. srsly.
2. dnt wrshp pix/idols
3. no omg’s
4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
5. pos ok – ur m&d r cool
6. dnt kill ppl
7. :-X only w/ m8
8. dnt steal
9. dnt lie re: bf
10. dnt ogle ur bf’s m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.
M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl.
Let’s just say this is the most ambitious in Tim Challies’ excellent series of visual theology charts. The phrase “one another” is used over 40 times in the New Testament to instruct Christians how to, and how not to treat one another. Apparently they are all displayed on this easy-to-read graphic!