December 21, 2016 § Leave a comment
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.–Genesis 1:1-4
God spoke—and where there was once nothing there was at once the heavens and the earth. It is must not escape our attention that the first thing God did with his creation as he began to form it was shine upon it with the light of his glory: “Let there be light.” This is not the light of the sun or stars—those were yet to be created. The Scripture tells us that God is light; not the light of luminescence, that is, the physical shining by which we see the physical things in our world, but the light by which we understand, the light that gives meaning to our world. God is with us by the light of his presence in his world.
It is God’s essence to shine his light, so that, even when sin came crashing into creation, his mercy shined a promise of redemption to those responsible for that sin. That shining promise to Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham—to all who would believe its unfolding glory—gave hope that the darkness could not overcome the light. It could not because he who is the light stepped into his creation as himself a creature. No wonder, then, he would make the promise that “the Sun of Righteousness would rise with healing in his wings”! In his becoming flesh and bone, the light of life who shines into the world, dawns.
December 21, 2016 § 2 Comments
This past Sunday the Sanctuary Choir of McIlwain Presbyterian Church presented its annual Christmas program. This year’s offering was entitled Glory to God! In addition to both classic carols and music by Keith and Kristyn Getty arranged by McIlwain Music Ministry Coordinator Donny Monk, I supplied a series of narrations designed to explore the glory of God in four progressive themes: the glory of God in creation, the glory of God in the promise of redemption, the glory of God in the Gospel, and the glory of God in the return and reign of Christ. Although these were summarized in the program, we explored the themes respectively each Sunday of Advent this year. « Read the rest of this entry »
December 17, 2012 § 3 Comments
“And they lived happily ever after.”
It’s amazing. No matter how cynical we become as a culture, no matter how jaded, we still flock to movies with happy endings. Some would call it wishful thinking, a simple and childish form of escapism that the more realistic among us (known by the rest as “pessimists”) know better than to embrace.
The Bible has another answer: “[God]…has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). « Read the rest of this entry »
December 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
Perhaps the most transfixing images of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina are those of the rescues. It is difficult to forget the hundreds of people huddling on rooftop islands, some having spelled out pleas for help with their own clothes, waiting for deliverance. Over the days that followed we saw the Coast Guard do what it does best; as their helicopters hovered, trained rescuers were lowered on cables with baskets and harnesses to deliver the trapped to safety. Their courage, bravery and strength were all necessary in the right combination for the rescue. « Read the rest of this entry »
December 13, 2012 § 4 Comments
We all want advice—but we are often afraid of seeking it. Studies show that, though more Americans than ever are seeking professional counseling of one kind or another, most seek help only as a last resort; ironically, most of the very same people do not want anyone else to know they are seeking counsel! Whenever I ask why those who come to me for counseling haven’t come sooner, the answer ultimately comes down to “I didn’t want to ask for help.” « Read the rest of this entry »