Monday, December 15, 2014

Pastoral Prayer, Sunday, December 14, 2014 (brief)

Our Father in Heaven,

We give thanks that you have gathered us together on this Advent morning to worship you for the gift of your Son, given to us so long ago. We thank you that your love for the world was such that you embodied that love, taking on flesh and blood and walking among us. We praise you that your way with us was so intensely personal, that you did not deal with us from afar, but that you came to deal with us face to face.

And so we come this morning to reflect on and celebrate the coming of our Savior. We come celebrating the Word made flesh. We come celebrating the one through whom all things were made, the one who is the light of the world, the one in whom we find our life. He came that we might know you.

That he came showed that you had a plan, a plan to deal with sin in the world. Through him you would bring life to what was dead. Through him you would bring about a new creation. And you have made us into a new creation. The old has passed away. He has made all things new.

And so, as we remember this morning, as we sing and pray and hear again this redemptive story of old, help us to praise you with full and glad hearts. Help us to celebrate your Son’s birth with all we are. And equip us to go and bring glory to you in heaven by bringing peace to your people on earth.

We pray all of this in the name of the one who taught us when we pray together to say:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

We in him, he in us

“When God’s Son took on flesh, he truly and bodily took on, out of pure grace, our being, our nature, ourselves… Now we are in him. Where he is, there we are too, in the incarnation, on the Cross, and in his resurrection” [Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, p. 24].

Monday, November 24, 2014

You First

"God has ordained that the universe resist its human ruler until that ruler stops resisting God" [John Frame, Systematic Theology, p. 283].

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

For the Life of the World

Earlier this evening, I announced to my home group (aka small group) that when we resume our meetings after the Christmas holiday, we will begin using For the Life of the World: Letters to the Exiles. I purchased my copy early in its release, and I can't say enough about it. Every time I watch it, I walk away with something new and find myself encouraged in my vocation in fresh ways. After I showed the trailer (see below), several in the group mumbled, "This looks really good." It is. So, if you want to be part of the coolest home group at Westminster Presbyterian Church, we resume our meetings on January 21 in room 105.

On Christian Masculinity (whatever that is)

I came across this blog post about Christian masculinity, which seems to be all over the place in evangelical circles. This is a good contribution to what has become an on-going conversation.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Perfect Gift

Christmas decorations have been in the stores since September, and my neighbor began putting up his outdoor Christmas display last week. So I do not feel it premature to post this new Christmas video by JJ Heller. If you haven't come across her music yet, do so. Go on YouTube and look up her videos, especially I Dream of You, a song for the kiddos in your life.

Her Christmas video - The Perfect Gift - debuted this week, so have a watch and a listen.

Monday, November 3, 2014

A good sermon

"[A] good sermon is like a good movie. And for me, both must have three things: great content, flawless structure and some kind of engaging style."

Ralph Winter in his introduction to Brian Godawa's Hollywood Worldviews.