No Low Too Low

No one expected that the Messiah would come how he came. Yes, the people knew that at some point God would send a Savior, but they could hardly have expected that he would be born to unknown parents and that he would enter this world in a barn. They would hardly have expected that their Messiah would be born in the lowest possible circumstances. Why was it important to God’s purpose that Jesus be born so low? There are many …

A Christmas Prayer

I am looking forward to Christmas this year. Though I have no great affection for the Christmas season and all its commercialization, I do love the day, and I love to celebrate it with my family. I have also been able to preach for the past couple of Sundays which has helped me focus on the unfathomable wonder of God made man. Yet of all I read and all I pondered, the sweetest might be this simple prayer by Robert …

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Please Don’t Give Them Porn for Christmas

This Christmas a lot of children will receive porn from under the tree. It’s not what they wanted, and not what their parents intended for them to have. But they will get it anyway. The first iPod, the first tablet, the first laptop—these are today’s coming of age rituals. We give our daughter her first iPod and she responds with joy. While we know there is lots of bad stuff out there on the Internet, we never imagine that she—our …

Moroni From the Realms of Glory

You’ve got to be careful what you share online. Over the weekend Facebook and Twitter were suddenly inundated with links to a new recording of the Christmas hymn “Angels From the Realms of Glory” mashed up with “Angels We Have Heard on High.” It was recorded by The Piano Guys and features David Archuleta, a one-time runner up on American Idol. It is a creative recording that intersperses shots of the musicians with video taken to record the world’s largest …

Merry Christmas

It is a stay-at-home kind of Christmas this year. I always find it fun to run back through the blog posts from December 25ths of the past to see where my family was and what we were doing that day. Some years we head down to Chattanooga to join my parents and siblings, while other years we stay here in Toronto and meet up with my in-laws. This year we are right here at home. The kids were pounding down …

How the Incarnation Humbles Me

Christmas is fast approaching and, as I so often do at this time of the year, I feel tension between Christmas as a day to commemorate the birth of Jesus and Christmas as a day to exchange gifts and spend time with family. I don’t think there is any good reason to feel this tension, as if these things cannot co-exist, and yet it is there year after year. As Christmas draws near, my church is spending four Sundays looking …

A Bethlehem in Your Heart

I went looking for what Charles Spurgeon believed about Christmas and was kind of amused at the energy he brought to the discussion (e.g. “the greatest absurdities under heaven…”). Suffice it to say he did not mark Christmas day. And yet he celebrated the incarnation and all it means to the believer. Here’s the opening and closing of a sermon preached on December 23, 1855. This is the season of the year when, whether we wish it or not, we …

Why Is Christmas the 25th?

Back in 2005 I wrote about the seeming arbitrariness (but not the unimportance) of celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25. But even if that date wasn’t the actual calendar day of Jesus’ birth, it’s still interesting to understand why we have come to commemorate it then. A few years ago Elisha Coffman posted a short article on Christianity Today’s Christian History site about how December 25th became the day. Here’s a good summary of what determined it: December …

Unique Christmas Gift Ideas

Last year I put together a list of unique Christmas gift ideas. This year I wanted to reprise that post while adding and taking away a couple of items. Here are 9 unique gifts you might offer someone for Christmas this year–things that may not be on your radar but would still make a good and thoughtful gift for a loved one. Here they are, in no particular order: Tabletalk – Ligonier Ministries’ Tabletalk magazine makes a great gift. Every …

Prayer at the Closing of Another Year

Happy new year! Here is a prayer I found in Heart Cries to Heaven by David Campbell. It seemed very appropriate for the start of a new year. Our great and Gracious God, As we come to the close of another year, we would indeed make it the prayer of our hearts that you would abide with us. We thank you that you have been with us through the days of this past year. Perhaps many a day we have …