Podcast: Aching for Presence – In the Wilderness

adventpodWe continue our Advent journey with the sermon series, ‘Aching for Presence,’ about aching for the presence of God. This message is from the second Sunday of Advent using the scripture of Isaiah 40:1-11. This scripture tells of God coming into the wilderness.

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Podcast: Aching for Presence – Come Down

adventpodWe are now into Advent!  This message is from the first Sunday of Advent using the scripture of Isaiah 64:1-9.  It is a plea for God to come and appear.  It is important in Advent for us to foster a hunger for the presence of God.

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Advent readings with children

I’ve tried to stress Advent season for our church this year, which may be a new thing for some folks. One question that may come up is how to observe this as a family – and with that, how do you include children?

One thing we have done this year is to use one of my favorite children’s books, “The Jesus Storybook Bible” at bedtime. I begin by asking the kids what season we are in, and then asking what we do during Advent. The answer, by the way, is that we prepare and watch for Jesus. Then we read a story from the Jesus storybook bible.

Anne found a great little resource to help with this on the blog of Adriel Booker, where she lays out a schedule matching a reading from the Jesus Storybook Bible with each day in December leading up to Christmas. She even has a pdf file you can open and print out (as we did).

If you have young children, or even if you don’t, the Jesus Storybook Bible is a terrific resource. It intentionally shows how the stories of scripture point towards Christ. The subtitle of the book is “Every story whispers his name,” and the power of this particular storybook bible is that it does this in a powerful way. This easily leads to a few simple questions you can have with your children in order to both teach and anticipate together the coming of Christ.

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name

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Podcast: Christ is King

growingpodThis sermon is from the third Sunday in November, Christ the King Sunday. The passage is from Ephesians 1:15-23, and has a great deal of exalted language about Christ.  Christ is King.

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Childs on Isaiah 40

In studying Isaiah 40 for this week’s message, I found this brilliant passage in one of my commentaries on Isaiah. In this section, Dr. Child’s goes to great lengths to show the profound connections between what is known as first Isaiah (ch. 1-39) and second Isaiah (ch. 40-55). In doing so, he also picks up themes that find their fulfillment in Christ. I always find this sort of thing fascinating as I live in a society that does not seem to know what to do with the Old Testament and what it says about God.

When John the Baptist linked the appearance of Jesus with the prophet’s call to ‘prepare the way of the Lord,’ he was not making a mechanical connection with an ancient prediction of Isaiah. Rather, the reality of God’s salvation was manifest in Jesus Christ in such a way that his advent provided a perfect morphological fit according to its redemptive substance with the Old Testament promise. In a word, the salvific significance of Jesus Christ was understood in the light of the Old Testament prophecy, while, conversely, the Old Testament promise gained its true meaning from the revelation of the Christ in the fullness of God’s time.

Brevard Childs commentary on Isaiah in the Old Testament Library series (p.303)

Isaiah (2000): A Commentary (Old Testament Library)

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