An infographic for use in your ministry inspired by Drew’s blog post, Material Matters.
The God who comes on Christmas morning created unfathomable amounts of stuff that scientists help us to see and appreciate. This is an unexpected way we can prepare for Christmas—to delight in all that God created.
This Christmas, think about how our wise, loving, patient God entered the ancient Middle East—“Taking the very nature of a servant”—and trusted himself to the developmental processes that had been created through him.
Maybe you are thinking that in a world of Cindy-Lou Whos you just feel like the Grinch. But things can change. Last week Drew highlighted how mental health is more than wishful thinking and a prayer. In fact, dealing effectively with the Christmas blues requires proactive steps.
In a sense, Mary and Joseph are outliers. God chose them alone to bear and raise God’s only son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. In another way, they are just like us. Life can hand anyone trials and tribulations that will bring the strongest of us to our knees. We all have mental health needs; it is only the details of our need that differ.
We need hope grounded in God. I’m willing to call it theological hope. It’s the conviction that God is active when we don’t see it. It’s the promise that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose
Author Gayle Boss gifts us with 25 devotionals that draw on the lives of animals to call us into patient waiting and quiet preparation for the arrival of Jesus. She writes, “The animals show us in twenty-five different ways the deep mystery and abiding truth at the heart of the Christ story: The dark is not an end, but the way a new beginning comes.”
Many people have proposed different theories about the astronomical events that led the Magi to Jesus. While we might not ever definitely know the scientific event itself, there is enough scientific data to support the idea of a God that can use physical phenomena to accomplish his salvific purposes.
We’ve had this remarkable evening, year after year, on which we come together for a little while to sing songs, to pray in hopes of feeling connected, to hear a story of a little place that comes out big, of a fleeting moment that turns out to be eternal, of an event that seems insignificance in a world of big plans and big ideas and big struggles, but that becomes the beginning of the most potent, meaningful, and world-changing story of all.
We were not left alone to navigate the disagreements between those gifted in recognizing the workings of the Spirit and others inclined toward materialism. God knew there are doubting Thomases among us who need to see, touch, and even be touched.