When the shepherds saw the angel, and when God’s glory shone around them, “they were terrified” (Luke 2:9). Literally it says that “they feared a great fear.” No kidding! But then the angel tells them to not be afraid. After all, he’s about to give them good news, not bad: “I bring you good news … Continue reading Fear vs. joy and peace
Pondering the nativity
The season of Advent and Christmas can be such a blur. As a result, we can easily leap-frog the biblical story of Jesus’ birth as we mad-dash to the mall, or attend to a dozen other dizzying responsibilities. 'But don’t we hear that story on Christmas Eve?' Yes, but Christmas Eve sermons tend to be … Continue reading Pondering the nativity
Christmas approaches. With it the angel’s announcement: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Let’s zero-in on that word “Saviour.” Yes, Jesus saves. But what does he save us from? Certainly estrangement from God, from death, from the consequences of sin, … Continue reading Admitting desperation
It exploded, but praise continued
A monk shared an experience with theologian Karl Barth: “One evening, being choirmaster of his monastery, he was chanting the Magnificat with his confrères, when suddenly a French shell crashed through the roof and exploded in the nave of the church. But the smoke thinned away and the Magnifcat continued.”* Even the violence and chaos … Continue reading It exploded, but praise continued
Our Father’s business
Mary, Joseph and Jesus went with a caravan of other people to Jerusalem for the annual Passover festival. On the way back, Mary and Joseph discovered that Jesus wasn’t with them. They broke from the group and headed back to Jerusalem to find him. “After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting … Continue reading Our Father’s business
Full of yourself, or the Spirit?
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them…” (Luke 2:8-9) Have you ever wondered, “Why shepherds?” Why did the angel come to them of all people while they were actively watching against thieves and prey? There are probably … Continue reading Full of yourself, or the Spirit?
When we hear it so much we stop hearing it
It’s one of the most famous stories ever told: The birth of Jesus. We’re about to celebrate it in a few days. Shepherds, angels, and hostile Inn-keepers have appeared in thousands of Christmas pageants for hundreds of years. But when we hear something so much, we stop hearing it. Instead of paying more attention, we … Continue reading When we hear it so much we stop hearing it
Your life and legacy
Welcome to Christmas Eve! It’s a special time. After the presents have been bought, we gather to sing carols and ponder the significance of Christ’s birth. [If you’re close to Barrie and are looking for somewhere to worship tonight check out the links below.] But we live in a world of skepticism. Many people ask … Continue reading Your life and legacy