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A La Carte (December 24)

thursday

We learned recently that here in Ontario we are headed into another lockdown. It will begin December 26 and continue for four weeks—an inauspicious ending to one year and beginning to the next…

Today’s Kindle deals include a pretty good collection. There are some deals from Crossway, one of the “God’s Word For You” books, and even one of my books.

(Yesterday on the blog: The Death of My Son and the Birth of My Savior)

Real Darkness Requires Real Hope

This article strikes some of the same chords as the one I wrote yesterday. Peter Mead offers “four reasons that the birth of Jesus can give us a hope bright enough to counter the darkness of 2020.”

Don’t Just Long For A Return To Normality But Long For The Glory To Come

This is important to remember. “Christmas 2020 will be far from normal. Yet the message of Christmas promises not a return to normality, but a glory that is to come.”

A Tale of Two Advents

Harry Reeder: “Early in my pastoral ministry, a thoughtful young man came with an interesting question while our congregation was in the midst of celebrating the Advent season. The question arose from a hymn sung during a Lord’s Day worship service: the Isaac Watts classic, ‘Joy to the World.’ The question was, ‘Pastor, why are we singing a hymn during Christmas containing lyrics that refer to the 2nd coming of Christ?’ My response was twofold…”

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Joe Holland gives us good reason to sing a classic carol. “Christian, this Christmas, sing this great hymn of the church, this great Christmas carol, with a recognition that, as you do, you stand in three distinct periods—in the Old Testament looking forward to Christ’s first coming, in the New Testament church rejoicing in the first coming of Christ, and with the expectancy of those who are waiting for the final advent of Christ at the end of all things. O come, O come, Lord Jesus. Come soon.”

Christmas Comfort For Families With An Empty Chair

Jesse Johnson has written an article for those needing comfort as they consider an empty chair at the table this Christmas.

Working Faith In Us

“The world, it seems, cannot wait to turn the calendar to 2021 and bury the year 2020 as a bad memory. The past year has been full of more hardship than most. Before we turn the page, however, we should ask what God has been doing in us through the vicissitudes of 2020. One answer to that question is this: the Lord has been working faith in his people.”

Flashback: Why We Know So Little About Jesus’ Birth

When it comes to the birth of Jesus, we get all the details we need to understand one thing with the utmost clarity: Jesus comes as the least.

The Word became flesh! God became human! The invisible became visible! The untouchable became touchable! Eternal life experienced temporal death! The transcendent one descended and drew near!

—Sam Storms

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