Shepherd_dark

I chalk it up to an interruption. God tapped humanity on the shoulder, and interrupted the earth in the form of a baby. Christmas. Think about it…Christianity was born in one big heavenly interruption.  Just ask the Bethlehem shepherds. I’m sure they wanted a calm night. A silent night. But they didn’t get it. You know, just because you want a calm life, don’t bank on having one. The financial aid office says “no.” A doctor says “pregnant.” The auto mechanic says “totaled.” And our typical response is the same as the shepherds. Fear. Funny that we often assume the … Read More

MaxGeneric_Generic

As Christmas draws near, it often seems the world is anything but peaceful. Lengthy travel. Tight budgets. Family feuds. Not too unlike the first Christmas two-thousand years ago. And yet, God broke through the chaos with a bold proclamation: peace! Peace on earth. Good will to men. The Christmas story reminds us that in the midst of noise, interruptions, lengthy travel, and family reunions, God gives us peace. When your world is at war… peace. When the stock market crashes… peace. When a promise is broken… peace. Are your nights not-so-silent? Then I encourage you to remember the angel’s words … Read More

MaxGeneric_Generic

Santa Claus. Over the centuries, he’s become the culmination of what we need in a hero. A friend who cares enough to travel far to bring us gifts. A sage who rewards the good and overlooks the bad. A father who lets you sit on his lap and share your deepest hopes.  And, I might add…a betrayal of our meager expectations. What? You say. Let me explain.. You see, Santa can’t provide what we really need.  He’s only around once a year. When January winds chill our souls, he’s history. When April demands taxes or May brings final exams, Santa … Read More

MaxGeneric_Generic

Holiday time is highway time. Since Joseph and Mary packed their bags for Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus has caused people to hit the road.  After all, we love to be with the ones we love! May I remind you? So does God. How else do you explain what he did? Between him and us there was a great distance–a great span. And he couldn’t bear it. So he did something about it.  He travelled far. He was born to be a man and became like a servant. He took on our face, our disfigurement. He became like us. Just … Read More

MaxGeneric_Generic

We all enjoy a good love story…a first meeting…a budding romance.  And when inevitable obstacles arise, our heroes put everything on the line to overcome them… to be together. Like every great story, love is demonstrated through action. Through sacrifice. Can you think of a better love story than Christmas? God looked upon us, his children. In desperate need of redemption, of a savior.  And He gave His most precious gift…Jesus, His own son. Do you ever feel outside of God’s love?  That you’ve committed an act which makes you eternally undeserving? A treason…a betrayal…an aborted promise?  Maybe, just maybe if … Read More

MaxGeneric_Generic

Two thousand years ago, on what probably wasn’t a very silent night, Jesus was born.  The God who created the universe had arrived in the small town of Bethlehem. Meanwhile…the city hummed along.  The innkeeper might never believe that he had just sent God into the cold.  Merchants were too busy selling to their customers.  The people in town might scoff at anyone who said the Messiah lay in the arms of a teenage girl.  They were all just too busy to notice. In the midst of the busyness of the Christmas season, I encourage you to pause; listen; and … Read More

MaxGeneric_Generic

God fights for you. Is that news to you? Have you forgotten this following the heartbreaking events in San Bernardino? Has the threat of ISIS made God seem powerless? Do you wonder why God isn’t fixing the world? During this Christmas season, you’ve almost certainly been reminded of Immanuel, which means God is with us. Maybe you’ve heard about the God who made you, watches you, directs you, knows you . . . but the God who fights for you? Who blazes the trail ahead of you? Who defends you? Who collapses walls and defeats kings? Did you know that … Read More

MaxGeneric_Generic

Winter. It’s the darkest of seasons. The coldest of seasons. The trees don’t have as many leaves, the grass isn’t nearly as green.  In fact, it may even look like everything is dying.  And yet…in the midst of such gloominess, we wait with great expectation for the happiest season of all… Christmas. Are you in a season of winter?  A lost job…A doctor’s report…A broken marriage?  Maybe you feel stuck in winter, like Christmas may never come. As scripture says, God rewards those who diligently seek him.  So just like the wise men of the Christmas story…search for the Lord. … Read More

MaxGeneric_Generic

The images are startling: bodies strewn on Parisian streets, blood stains on restaurant floors, a pregnant woman dangling from a second-story window. Reminded, yet again, that we live in a violent world. Every news program asks the same question of terrorism experts: “What can be done?” “What is the source of such evil?” “How long before we see more attacks?” “Will it ever end?” Experts trace the source of violence to a violent ideologue. They point their fingers at radicalized Muslims. While their answers have merit, we’d make a mistake not to go even further. Here is what the Bible … Read More