In Mark 10:25, Jesus said that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God. This distressed his disciples, who wondered who could be saved. When Jesus said that everything is possible with God, Peter wanted to make sure his place in the kingdom was secure. So he said, “We have left everything to follow you!” (10:28). Peter was probably hoping for a word of reassurance, something like, “Don’t worry, Peter, you’re in. You’ve earned your spot by your sacrifice.” But what he heard from Jesus must have been both comforting and perplexing.
Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Mark 10:21 Mark 10:17-27 is one of those passages in the Gospels that makes most of us terribly uncomfortable. Like … Read More
In yesterday’s devotion I suggested that in our world of instant-gratification, we need a season like Advent to teach us how to wait. Advent is a season of longing for a Savior to touch our lives and heal our hurting world. Today, on this first Sunday of Advent, the prophet speaks of a longing for change — the desire for God to shape our lives amidst a world that often seems like it’s out to crush and derail us from following the One who came in the flesh to show us the way home.
With tomorrow being the first Sunday of Advent, I want to suggest this season of intentional waiting is a perfect context for leaders to grow in this discipline.
If my memory serves me correctly, there is one thing that Scrooge never does in any of these films. He does not go to church on Christmas. Yet, according to Dickens’ story, Scrooge does in fact go to church as he walks the streets on Christmas morning.
In the opening stave of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is the archetypal miser. Not a spark of generosity warmed the heart of this selfish man….
For decades, Scrooge had missed the wonders and joys of life. But, with his heart renewed, he could perceive and enjoy the wonders of Christmas morning: ringing bells, crisp air, bright sunlight. For Ebenezer Scrooge, all of this was glorious, glorious!
Today, we continue in our special devotional series for Advent and Christmas. Last week, we began to examine the transformed life of the fictional character Ebenezer Scrooge, the protagonist of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. He who once considered Christmas to be a “humbug” came to treasure it. As Dickens writes about the transformed Scrooge, he “knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.”
Our Advent season of preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ is drawing to a close. Today we focus on our waiting for the Son, the Son of God who will save his people and, indeed, the whole world. Isaiah 9 gives us a prophetic glimpse of this saving, ruling, divine Son.
Ebenezer Scrooge kept Christmas well by laughing, and so can we. In fact, we have more cause for laughter than Scrooge because it is one of the most obvious and sensible responses to grace.