Each of us lives with things we’d rather keep hidden. We exhaust ourselves with our efforts to keep our secrets secret and our skeletons hidden neatly in the closet. But, as Matthew 1 shows us, the God has some good news — he has come die for all our skeletons in the closet.
Nativity scenes are strange to me. They’re strange because we’ve decided, against all evidence to the contrary, that we have to have the wise men from the east in attendance at Jesus’s birth. And, as Matthew 2 tells us, our stubborn insistence to include them at the nativity exposes our lack of understanding why we remember the wise men in the first place.
All the uncanny glory of the gospel is found in the business of the Incarnation. All its majesty is there, too. For it’s not just that the Christ child was born where beasts dwell, it’s that after he was born he was placed where beasts feed. The manger where Jesus was laid is, in fact, a signpost heralding the wideness of God’s mercy
The Gospel of Mark is known for its rapid pace. The book moves quickly from scene to scene as the author strives to get to his main point, which is, Jesus is the heaven-sent servant. Mark’s endeavor to show Jesus as “one who serves” serves to underscore the entire theme of the Gospel, namely, that Jesus is the unexpected Lord who comes to serve, who comes to give himself to us.
King Solomon doesn’t pain a very pretty picture of life “under the sun.” In fact, his representation of the church, let alone life itself, is rather bleak. But in the midst of his commentary on what life is all about comes a good picture of what the church should be like. Namely, it should serve as a reminder, a beacon to the world, that God hasn’t abandoned us “under the sun.”
Psalm 18 is one of David’s most recognized psalms. It is a highly regarded piece of poetry, not only for its biblical weight but for its lyrical beauty. Yet, the true weight and glory of Psalm 18 is unfolded once you are taken captive by that which captivated the psalmist himself. Namely, the all-surpassing, never-stopping deliverance of his God.
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is a comprehensive letter encompassing the entirety of the Christian life. The apostle’s adamant representation of the gospel of grace is what leads him to write about what this grace does in the life of a believer. In chapter 5, then, Paul moves and strives to show that it is this same grace of God that delivers us that also makes us different.
A sermon from Ephesians 5.