Luke 1:67-79: The Benedictus

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The people of Israel suffered from amnesia.  So do we.  When life goes well, we forget our rescue and become complacent.  The psalms remind us: “Our fathers in Egypt failed to understand [God’s] miraculous deeds or remember [His] many acts of faithful love” (Psalm 106:7). Former slaves found themselves trapped—with the Red Sea in front […]

Malachi 3:1-4: Jesus the Refiner

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Advent is a season highlighted by holy living.  By the Spirit’s help, we meditate on the Word, Jesus Christ, understanding the life He calls us to live.  In Advent, we prepare for someone’s arrival, not of this figure we call “Santa Claus,” but for the coming of Jesus.  His first coming and His second. Our […]

Luke 1:46-55: The Magnificat

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How did Mary remember what she never experienced?  She is young, a teenager when the angel appears before her.  He announces: You will become the mother of the Messiah, the Savior of the world, God in human flesh. The angel’s presence and greeting catches her by surprise; his message does not.  Mary wonders how she […]

Deuteronomy 26:1-11: Thanksgiving and Thanks-living

Desiccated lips become the desert land, cracking under the unrelenting sky.  Her skin begins to blister, stinging red from the blazing sun.  The Autumn day scorches the farm field, baking it as the heat of Summer.  Her head swims, woozy, waves of distorted air rising from the ground, altering the shape of the wheat. She […]

Isaiah 26:19: All Saints

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Unless Christ returns first, we will all face death.  Experience teaches us this truth.  Death is even more certain than taxes.  Our experience on earth, however, cannot tell us what follows death.  Here’s where faith comes in, for faith believes to be true what your experience cannot tell you.  Beyond death, God reveals little. God […]

Luke 8:9-17: Becoming the Infant

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How can you spot a saint?  What makes him different from everyone else?  For starters, the word “saint” means “holy person.”  So, what do you do?  You examine how someone lives, looking for holiness in his life. Find someone who doesn’t cheat, steal, or defile marriage.  A saint studies the Bible and may set aside […]

Luke 18:1-8: Persistence in Prayer

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Oh, how discouragement settles in our bones.  We quit when details don’t go our way.  We leave when life gets uncomfortable.  The pain stabs us, our lungs burn, our legs become a lead weight, and we stop running the race.  We pray, but when God doesn’t deliver on our terms, we pout and quit talking […]

Ruth 1:1-19a: A Faith Within is a Faith Without

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“In those days, there was no king in Israel.  Each did whatever looked right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).  So reveals the last verse in the book of Judges, before the book of Ruth begins.  Why?  Famine struck the land, and the pangs of hunger controlled too many a man.  Life became chaotic, and […]

Luke 17:1-10, Acts 2:42-47: Faith

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What is faith?  What is its source?  How does faith become yours?  Do you create it within yourself, or does someone give it to you? How we answer changes the way we worship.  Our understanding of faith affects the how we tell others of Jesus and shapes the way we live.  Our understanding of faith […]

1 King 17:7-16, Mark 12:38-44, 1 Timothy 6:17-19: Christ’s Stewardship for Us

The problem with the money in our lives is not the money, but how we handle it.  We think, “Now if only we had more money, we could live!”  We believe wealth can make us “take hold of the life that is real.” But we leave God out of the picture.  We turn gold into […]