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• Daniel Baker • Posted in Advent

This Sunday for Advent we’ll listen as John Donne’s “Annunciation” is read. As with all (good) poetry, the lines and phrases have a depth hard to take in at the speed of a reading. And when the poetry is exploring the Incarnation itself, this means the depth is unfathomable. For that reason we wanted to give you a chance to look at the poem before it’s read.

To give you just a little background, John Donne (1572–1631) was an Englishman who grew up in a Catholic family in a day when the Protestant Queen Elizabeth reigned in England.[1]

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Advent

Advent is a paradoxical season: a season of waiting and anticipation in which the waiting itself is strangely rich and fulfilling, a season that looks back at the people who waited in darkness for the coming light of Christ and yet forward to a fuller light still to come and illuminate our darkness.
Malcomb Guite

So begins Guite in the introduction of his Waiting on the Word, a compilation of poems about Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. This year for the four Advent Sundays, we’ll take one of the poems in his collection and incorporate it into our…

• Scott Moonen • Posted in Advent, Sermons

We invited Scott Moonen to reflect on the birth of Christ for this year's Christmas Eve service. Here are his comments in case you weren't able to attend.

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Advent, Sermons

We had a snafu Sunday so here are the sermon notes as a blog post, since there's no Podcast.

• Dorsey Jones • Posted in Advent, Devotions

Two years ago we ran a series of blog posts for Advent written by different members of our church. Please consider reading the series by yourself or as a family to help you remember once again the miracle of Christ coming to earth.

• Meredith Geldmeier • Posted in Advent, Devotions

In the European gallery at the art museum, I found myself alone in a silent maze of carpet and dimly-lit pictures. I was surrounded by depictions of Christ on every side, each one different. As I stood there in the stillness, I heard the words Jesus spoke to his disciples in Matthew 16:14, "Who do you say that I am?"

• Jeanne Hinds • Posted in Advent, Bible, Devotions, Discipleship

It was Christmas Eve in Decatur, Georgia, and my brothers and I had been tucked into bed. In the darkness of my room I opened the curtains on the window next to my bed and peered out into the dark night, my eyes scanning the skies expectantly. But I wasn’t looking for a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. I was hoping to see the star of Bethlehem appear.

• Aaron Kruse • Posted in Advent, Devotions

The birth of Christ takes up much space in story books, movies, Christmas pageants, songs, and poems. Certainly these advent readings cover many events in the Gospels surrounding the coming of Christ, such as the birth of John the Baptist, the visits of Gabriel to Mary and then to Joseph, the announcement to the shepherds, the visit of foreign wise men, and the blessing of Simeon. There are also all of the amazing prophecies fulfilled in the circumstances surrounding the advent of Jesus. Yet Luke here records the birth of Christ in a single, simple sentence. Mary gave birth, wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger.

• Benjamin Tangeman • Posted in Advent, Devotions

Redemption Has Come! At long last! Nine months had passed for Elizabeth. Nine months of solitude and anticipation in watchful care. She was waiting for redemption from the stigma of social pity and personal shame.

• Rachel Pannell • Posted in Advent, Devotions

The first time I heard the song "Mary, Did You Know," written by Mark Lowry (1984), Kenny Rogers was performing, and it made me cry and ponder what it must have been like for Mary. It's been one of my favorite Christmas songs ever since. Recently I heard/saw a CeeLo Green rendition put to video in 2012 (using clips from a mini-series on the History Channel). This time it didn't make me cry but, rather, provoked me to passionately love Jesus more, to want everyone to know Him, and to praise God for all He's done.

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