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Showing posts from December, 2016

A Fresh Start

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Every New Year's Eve, thousands of people flock into Times Square and elbow-to-elbow, wait for the dropping of the ball. When the ball drops, confetti rains from the sky, noisemakers raise a din, and couples kiss enthusiastically.

Why does everyone love the New Year so much? Why all the hoopla?

I think it has something to do with starting fresh. Whether we want to do something better, or break a bad habit, the beginning of the year is a dividing line; we put away yesterday and look toward a new, and better tomorrow.

There is something within the heart of man that wants a fresh start. I think it has something to do with how hopelessly flawed all of us are. As Jeremiah put it, "the heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful,
a puzzle that no one can figure out." (Jeremiah 17:9, The Message)

Even one of the greatest giants of the new testament struggled with human weakness. "I do not understand what I do," the Apostle Paul said. "For what I want to do I do not d…

A Quiet Christmas

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Into a Spiritual Winter
The first prophecy that Jesus would come to save mankind was given way back in Genesis, right after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. God did not wait long to tell them that a rescue would be coming. Right after He dealt with Adam and Eve about their sin, He told the serpent:
"And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel." (Genesis 3:15)

Jesus was the promised offspring of the woman, who would "strike the head" of the serpent.
Although there had been many prophecies about the coming Messiah, it had been 400 years since a prophet had spoken in Israel. God had been silent.  It was a spiritual winter. Almost like the Narnia of C.S. Lewis, where it was always winter but never Christmas.

Into this silence, a messenger arrived with a startling announcement for a young, Jewish girl.
Mary
Mary was young, probably between 12 and 14 years old. Th…