For a time, Cain was the only child on the face of the earth. Life was good - until he had to share with his brother Abel. We're all descendants of Cain. Envy and anger is part of our daily struggle. How do we tame this tiger?
New years are for beginnings. As we set goals and make plans, there is no better starting point than the first one. The one true beginning is what theologians call ex nihilo—God’s creation, out of nothing. God owns it all because He made it all. Nothing we create could ever be as much ours as this creation is God’s. The implications include every area of life.
We're made for connection, and one way God gave us for being connected is through sex. But the fallen world twists God's gift by mixing sexuality with hurt and insecurity. The good news is that Christ can restore us to the purity of Eden.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 2
It's been said that sin is the only empirically verifiable Christian doctrine. It's the thing in us that leads us do the thing we don't want to do. Sin isn't rule breaking as much as a form of disordered love. It's the same old story - but there's more to the story.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 3
The seven-day work week has become a familiar part of contemporary life. But in Creation, God models a different sort of work week, in which the seventh day is for rest. What if a space for grace allowed us to be both more balanced and more productive at the same time?
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 2:2-3
Today there is remarkable consensus among scientists that human action is determining the quality of future life on the planet, and it isn't pretty. Some blame the Bible for this mess, but the Bible tells the story of a God who created from nothing. This truth — that God made ex nihilo — has huge implications for how we should live.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1
Authors like to reveal as little as possible at the beginning of their story in order to build the suspense. God, as the author, does the opposite. So much is revealed in the beginning of God’s story that we cannot help but want to see where the story will end.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:1-5
The Magi have been slandered throughout history: “Had they been women, they would have asked direction, shown up on time, helped with the birth, and brought useful gifts, like casseroles and diapers.” In reality, these men showed up on God’s timetable, and brought gifts with meaning and purpose.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 2:1-12
If you've ever put a baby into a 4-year-old's arms, you've seen something magical. The 4-year-old looks down with awe, reverence, and even a little fear. At Christmas, we're the 4-year-old, and God is placing the baby Jesus, the Prince of Peace, in our arms.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:2-7
The final paragraphs of A Christmas Carol report that Scrooge “knew how to keep Christmas well.” Simeon kept Christmas well, too, by seeing God's promise through to the day of its fulfillment.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:2–7
At Christmas, we long to transcend typical consumer trappings. The Christmas story is based on such an experience - the appearance of the angel, bringing good news of a great joy. The catch is that an angel's appearance is but a glimpse of the ultimate experience, God made flesh in a baby.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:8–15