Blessing the Nations

When God called Abraham in Genesis 12:3 he told him: “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” God didn’t save you to keep that blessing for yourself, he wants you to share it. There is no treasure greater than a relationship with the Living God! By sharing this treasure you lose nothing and those who receive the gift gain everything. We are called to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. What part is God calling you to play in his mission?

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What is Your Good News?

What brings a smile to your face when you read the newspaper? (I’m not talking about the comics!) I enjoy stories about exciting emerging technology, long-awaited justice, undeserved kindness, truth coming to light, and beauty. These are generally seen as “good news” to me. You might get excited by different stories. In the Gospel today, Jesus brings good news to the region of Galilee. Even though he spoke of this news 2,000 years ago, the news is just as good and exciting as the day he first spoke of it.

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Hearing God

It is easy to take hearing God for granted, forgetting that in the days of the Prophet Samuel, the word of God was “rare” (1 Samuel 3:1). Today, every believer has the ability to hear directly from God through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. How often do we take the time to listen? Some may have never learned how to hear God’s voice at all.

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How Does God’s Kingdom Come?

The Kingdom of God is not a place, it is not the same thing as any of the nations of the world, it is not even precisely the same as the Church. The Kingdom of God is wherever Jesus reigns as King, chiefly in the hearts of believers. In a post-Christendom world we are to do what we should have been doing all along, focus on bearing the light of Christ.

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The Heavens Declare

Did you see the “Christmas Star” a few days before Christmas? Some have speculated that a similar astronomical event may have been what the wise men saw after the birth of Jesus. Is this possible? Probably not. I like to think that God caused whatever it was as a supernatural event to announce the birth of his Son! “The Messiah is here!” was literally written in the sky!

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Meet the Word

John designed his Gospel to introduce people to Jesus and to help them “believe that [he] is the Christ, the Son of God” so that they can “have life in his name” (John 20:31). To really know someone, you have to know their story. How do you introduce yourself to someone you have never met before? What do you say about yourself? What do you want to know about that new person? What is their name? Where do they come from? Who are their people? What are their interests? The prologue to the Gospel of John answers these kinds of questions as it introduces us to Jesus, the Word.

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The Weary World Rejoices!

When things feel hopeless, we need a source of hope. I don’t mean simply saying, “I wish things were better.” Rather, we need something that makes us say “things will be better.” We can find this hope in something that has happened which points to something that will happen. One night, more than 2,000 years ago, hope entered the world in the form of a baby.

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God’s Favor

When a new president chooses his cabinet members, he has to consider the experience of the candidate, their reputation in the political community, their background and any scandal that might result from their selection, and the likelihood that Congress will confirm their appointment! This is now how God chose King David, nor is it how he chose Mary to be the mother of his Son Jesus.

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Preparing a Highway

In Isaiah 40:3-4 the prophet declares “make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” What does this preparation look like? What is the highway for? It turns out that preparing the way of the Lord is not about highway construction at all but about the inward preparation of repentance.

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Awake and Alert

The Gospel readings over the last three weeks have all dealt with the return of the Son of Man. In connection with these passages, we have talked about how we should behave right now to prepare for the return of Jesus. It is important to grow in holiness and discipleship, be diligent in telling others and spreading the kingdom, and care for the poor, the outcast, and the marginalized. Today the instruction is not about something to do, instead, it is a way of being. In the Gospel of Mark (13:33), Jesus says that we should stay awake waiting for the return of the Master. This is attentive waiting, like a watchman or a door keeper.

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