There is a field located just outside of Bethlehem. It is known as the Shepherd’s Field. It is more of … Continue reading The Nativity: Shepherds
December is a season full of busyness. There is a lot going on, both at the church and in our lives, as we prepare for the celebration of Christmas. It can be a stressful season even though we are seeking to announce a time of joy and hope. Maybe you’re like me and, as a result, you look for ways to bring a little laughter and fun into the month.
For the last few years, bringing in an element of laughter and fun during December has meant debating people on what constitutes a true Christmas movie. You may not know this, but people are really attached to their ideas of what counts as a Christmas movie and are willing to debate you nonstop on the topic. I’ve taken joy in putting up mock debates, especially on social media, about how I do not believe “Elf” is that funny or that “Die Hard” cannot count as a Christmas film. That last one really gets people going. Just because something takes place around Christmas doesn’t make it a Christmas movie. I’m sorry, John McClane.
I love these discussions, because I always laugh at where the conversation goes and the lengths people will undertake in order to convince me that Die Hard is, in fact, a Christmas movie.
If you’re wondering, it is not Christmas in my family until I have seen Clark Griswald have a major meltdown after receiving a 12-month subscription to the “jelly of the month” club. Nor is it Christmas until I’ve watched “It’s a Wonderful Life.” True story: I’m the only person in our family who loves the movie. I cannot help its story of George Bailey as the down-on-his-luck family man who believes there is nothing for him in the world. That is until he encounters a unique individual by the name of Clarence. Continue reading “The Nativity: Angels”
Every nation and people group have formative stories that describe the lives and rise to influence of some of their most influential leaders. Some of our greatest leaders, such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, have as part of their narratives stories from their childhoods, such as chopping down a cherry tree or living in a log cabin. They are as much a part of their legacy as their individual achievements.
Such is the case for many of the stories we will look at from 1-2 Samuel during this sermon series looking at the Life of David. They are the collection of the formative stories for Israel that were assembled in its present form around the time of the Exile. The stories of 1-2 Samuel describe how Israel moved from a group of tribes into a nation led by a king. They tell how David, a shepherd from Bethlehem, became the great military, political, and spiritual leader of his people. Continue reading “Sunday Sermon: Samuel’s Call”