Christmas

The Benefits of Gratitude: Self-Love and its Limitations for an Ethical Life

Christmas is six weeks behind us, yet a post on gratitude is probably appropriate for any season. In December, the “Gift Guide” of SF Chronicle published A Gift of Gratitude by Nancy Davis Kho. Kho is author of the “Thank-You Project,” whose objective is to inspire persons to compose one letter a week, expressing appreciation for those who’ve positively influenced their lives.…

“Sermon on the Afternoon of Christmas Day” by Martin Luther

This message, preached on December 25, 1530 is among the most poignant and well-known sermons by the German reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). The sermon focuses on the “trust” aspect of faith that leads a person to believe not only that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, but that Christ was born for them, yes even born for you. You have heard today…

Promises Made, Promises Kept

Christmas brings joy because God keeps his promises. In her Magnificant, upon being told that she will give birth to the Messiah, Mary jubilantly proclaims, “He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his offspring forever.”—Luke 1:54–55 The Father’s sending of his eternally begotten son to became incarnate in the…

Christmas in Psalm 72: An Advent Devotional

In an election year, expectations for future leadership are high. We desire that a president, governor or other elected official accomplish certain objectives. We also hope that our leaders act justly and with integrity. Yet, when a term-limit is complete, who among us isn’t disappointed? In the Old Testament, a line of Kings ruled Israel for nearly five centuries. There was anticipation…

Christmas in Psalm 65: An Advent Devotional

This post is the first of four advent devotionals from the book of Psalms For many of us, Thanksgiving and Christmas form a single month-long holiday. Maybe this is due in part, to retail. Stores try to persuade us that Black Friday is our last, and best chance for deals that will evaporate come Saturday morning. For Christians, Christmas and Thanksgiving are…

King Jesus and His Kingdom

The gospel centers on the Kingship of Jesus Christ. During the Christmas season, we celebrate the incarnation of our Lord. The magnificence and wonder of God taking on flesh can never fail to amaze us. The incarnation has profound theological significance for Christians. Because Jesus Christ became a man, we have an advocate before the Father (1 John 2:1), one who sympathizes…