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Advent 2014 with Peter and Martin

adventAdvent, 2014

This year for the Advent season, I will once again offer a daily blog. Some have used these blogs as seasonal devotionals that encourage them to remain focused in the appropriate, counter-cultural approach to the embrace of a classical Advent.

(…Which, by the way, is to enter into a season of preparation and hope. not carnal indulgence. Classically, Advent has been a season of elevated discipline and thoughtful preparation – “what would you do if you knew Jesus was returning on the 25th?” Our culture has taken the weeks before Christmas and turned them into a season of undisciplined license, particularly in terms of spending and diet. “When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the earth?” Perhaps not, if he comes during the holidays! So, rather than being duped to believe that unbridling our fleshly appetites is the path to happiness…believers in Christ, who know better, instead take the season to re-up their longing for lives well-lived – both in heaven to come, and on earth as it is in heaven.)

Luther TreeThis year, I’m going to spend time in a New Testament book that speaks much of our living hope in Christ, and to preparing one’s mind for action to live out the appropriate daily life as we await His coming. The book is 1 Peter. And, I’ll be walking through it with a commentary on that book from Martin Luther. You see, during the past year, I have sojourned over to the Lutheran tradition. So, to walk hand in hand with a newly-adopted spiritual father will be a real treat. And, knowing Dr. Luther, it will be quite challenging as well.

Welcome. And a blessed Advent season to you all.

Bill

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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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First Day of Christmastide ’13

Number 1

Merry Christmas!


“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” 
(Romans 12:1)

Jesus was orphaned. Though still in contact with His Father, He was placed in care of an earthly father, Joseph, who adopted Him as his own (with the urging of a very persuasive angel!). We don’t know what the family life was like in Joseph’s household – but we do know that Jesus always had an internal understanding that His true Father was someone else; a heavenly Father, in Whose house He would always be drawn, and always belong (Luke 2:49).

Cross over creche

On Christmas day, Jesus was born into this adoption. To think of what He gave up … “home” for Jesus included His perfect Father, the glories of untainted creation, a context of perfect sinlessness, and eternal, abundant provision for every desire. Instead, He was placed in a fallen world, riddled with sin, cursed in its yield, and destined to carry out His murder. Truly, on Christmas Day, Jesus presented His body as a living sacrifice. We celebrate the day because this sacrifice was truly holy, and pleasing to God. It was the great self-emptying of God, that would lead to the cross, and the ultimate victory over death and evil.

On the day we indulge the most, and sacrifice the least (ironically. we celebrate the deprivation of Jesus by gorging ourselves on food and presents!), let’s remember the orphanage of Jesus. Let’s remember that, when we are born again, we are orphaned in a similar way. We are enlivened to embrace the cross-drenched reality that in sacrificing ourselves true worship is offered, and abundant life is experienced.

 
 

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