Christmas Advent: The Thirteenth Day

THE GENEALOGICAL LINE OF JUDAH’S DESCENDANTS given in Matthew’s Gospel follows the history of the nation all the way from its father, Abraham, to the birth of Jesus, the fulfillment of all messianic prophecy, the One “who is called Christ.” This grand finale is what we celebrate in the weeks of Advent. The planting of the male “seed,” which was to germinate and ripen in the furrows of successive generations, was a vital responsibility as

Christmas Advent: The Sixth Day

GOD, THE SUPREME AUTHORITY, has spoken since the beginning of Creation, and continues to speak, in thunder and flood, in light and darkness, in seasons of rain or drought, in war and peace. We are bound to listen to his voice, for there is no other. And because he sent us his Word, and there is no other, our ears must be open to hear it. When God speaks the entire world must answer. Some

Christmas Advent: The Fifth Day

CONSIDER THE WORDS “SOILED, DEFILED, OPPRESSING”—spoken of God’s people—and the human character qualities that follow them in the book of Zephaniah—deaf, obstinate, untrusting, distant. These words express the Almighty’s disgust and disappointment that his chosen ones, given multiple opportunities to live in the realm of his blessing, have ignored or despised him. Now listen to the exuberant contrasts uttered a few verses later about the same people by the same prophet: “The LORD . .

Christmas Advent: The First Day

ANTICIPATION LIFTS THE HEART. Desire is created to be fulfilled— perhaps not all at once, more likely in slow stages. Isaiah uttered his prophetic words about the renewal of the natural Creation into a wilderness of spiritual barrenness and thirst. For him, and for many other Old Testament seers, the vacuum of dry indifference into which he spoke was not yet a place of fulfillment. Yet the promise of God through this human mouthpiece (and