Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thinking about Santa

Advent: Waiting for Jesus #6

We have always tried to help our children understand as much about God as they are able at whatever age they are.

So what about Santa? How does he affect the way children understand Christmas? At the Desiring God blog, you can read some of my thoughts.

Monday, December 14, 2009

If not Santa, what?

Advent: Waiting for Jesus #7

Christmas past

My family in 1957. I'm at the top of the "stairsteps."

Jesus Tree

Advent: Waiting for Jesus #5

Over the years, during Advent we've used a Bethlehem Tree, a Jesse Tree, and now what we call a Jesus Tree.

At the Desiring God blog, you can read about them, and how in the world a disco ball is related.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A newish Christmas Eve tradition

We went to see
The Nativity Story in 2006 when it was released in theaters. Since then, it has become a new tradition at our house to watch it together on Christmas Eve.

I agree with Justin Taylor's appreciation of the film:

I thought it was an excellent film—great production values and excellent acting. The reconstructions of the architecture, clothing, and landscape seemed especially well-researched. Of course a movie like this has to take some imaginative liberties, but on the whole it was pretty restrained. I’m not sure I’ve seen a better job of portraying Joseph, an oft-neglected character in nativity plays and movies.

Christianbook.com is offering the video for only $4.99 for a limited time.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Abraham Christian Piper

We met you face to face 30 years ago
on December 12, 1979.

You've come a long way, baby.
And we love you more every year.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Looking forward: Preparing to meet Jesus face to face

Advent: waiting for Jesus # 4

The word advent means coming.

Jesus has come and he will come again. The season of Advent is a time of looking back and remembering the first coming.

But it is also a time of looking forward. There will be another advent of Christ; he will come again. This makes Advent a season for introspection. . . .

You can read the rest at the Desiring God Blog.

(This Advent series begins here.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Looking back: Advent Candles

Advent: waiting for Jesus # 3

Advent Candles probably are the most common Advent symbolism of looking back to the days of waiting for the Messiah God had promised. . . .

My advent series continues at the Desiring God blog.

(This series begins here.)

Next: Advent #4

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Taking care of Baby Jesus

"Look, Grandmama. I'm Joseph taking care of Baby Jesus!"

God doesn't leave anything to chance. So when he chose Mary to be the mother of his son, he was also choosing Joseph, her betrothed, as the right man to be Jesus's earthly father.

Joseph was a just man, who wanted to protect Mary from the public shame of being pregnant before she was married. He was obedient to God, apparently without question, even though it would mean sharing her embarrassment (Matthew 1:19-25).

Knowing that Joseph was that sort of man, I wouldn't be surprised if he did actually crawl into the manger to care for their baby.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Advent: Standing in the Middle

Advent: Waiting for Jesus #2

During Advent, it’s as if we are re-enacting the thousands of years God’s people were anticipating and longing for the coming of God’s salvation, for Jesus. Then at the end of the four weeks of Advent, Christmas is a heartfelt celebration because that ancient waiting is done.

And yet we are still waiting. . . .

At the Desiring God blog, you can read the rest of this, adapted from my book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions.

(This series begins here.)

Advent: waiting for Jesus #3

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What is Advent?

Advent: Waiting for Jesus #1

Here is the first of some holiday thoughts I'll be posting at the Desiring God Blog during this holiday season.

We are a people of promise. For centuries, God prepared people for the coming of his Son, our only hope for life. At Christmas we celebrate the fulfillment of the promises God made—that he would give a way to draw near to him.

Advent is what we call the season leading up to Christmas. . . . (Read the rest).

Advent: Waiting for Jesus #2