Christmas and the gospel

On Christmas Eve we sang “Once in Royal David’s City.” Our music director, Wendell Kimbrough, has an amazing ability, as a psalmist, musician, and composer, to put together a rendition that is beautiful to sing. I couldn’t find anything like it on the internet, so chose the King’s College Choir rendition. It’s very formal, but it’s lovely to take in. The powerful words of the hymn (three of the four verses we sang at our church) are below the video.

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The notes in my Bible

I use digital and print combinations of the Bible. I appreciate both and I simply love having a physical Bible (or several).

Recently I was flipping through my physical Bible looking up a passage and stopped on a couple of notes I had made in Lamentations not that long ago (2018). I was thankful I had dated them.

The relevance is more clear to me today and causes me to pray more fervently.

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Holy isn’t comfort

We come to the place of Christmas. We sing with gentleness, “O Holy Night.”

Holy is not comfortable. It is not even predictable. We want a sweet song to sweep away our problems and lavish us in comfort. But what is holy does not avoid pain or difficulty. Holy makes way for the good, but that is not always comfortable.

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Our misunderstanding of the Kingdom of God

I truly wish I could articulate better what I truly believe in the deepest part of my soul about the Kingdom of God. N.T. Wright helps me. He articulates the vision of the Kingdom in a way I understand… but then I try to repeat it… and… ugh.

There is so much to “undo” in my old truncated view of “salvation” and the “kingdom of God.” There is so much to unpack in understanding what the Kingdom of God truly is in this world. Compounding all of this is the desire to unpack it not only in my life but in the lives of believers around me so we don’t keep limping along in the American church.

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Our misunderstanding of salvation

I have been rekindled in my thoughts concerning “salvation” the past few years. We have such a truncated version of “gospel” that we try to keep it reduced to something like, “Jesus came to save you so when you repent you can know you go to heaven when you die.”

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Face the darkness and see a great light

I am reading an Advent devotional put out by Christianity Today and Rich Villodas reflects on Isaiah 9:1-2 in a powerful way.

Villodas pastors in New York City and is a native New Yorker. He admits he’s never been to the 9/11 Memorial. He hasn’t gone because it is a reminder of intense darkness.

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