Advent II: Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

The repeated refrain of our texts today is this: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord!” In biblical times, when a ruler came to town, they would send a messenger ahead of them to announce their coming, in order to receive a fitting welcome and then bestow favor on the people. This ancient custom captures a basic human impulse. When someone is coming over to your house, you straighten up! But here’s the incredible question raised by today’s texts: How do you get ready for when God comes? What’s the right way to prepare for the Lord?In Luke 3:1-6, the…

Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 by CJ Bowen

Advent I: When Righteousness Comes

Jeremiah 33 establishes the mood of Advent when he gives us God’s declaration: “The days are coming,” God says, “when I will fulfill my promise.” Advent is about expectant hope, eager anticipation, waiting excitedly on the edge of your seat. God’s promises are about to come true!But as the Christmas season draws near, how can we really embrace this mood when the promises Jeremiah speaks of are fulfilled in the past? It’s because of the new promise found in 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, where Paul says: “May the Lord Jesus establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father,…

Posted on Wednesday, December 05, 2018 by CJ Bowen

The Open Home: Ten Suggestions - Romans 12:13

Here are ten ideas that will help you live out God’s call from Romans 12:13 to seek to show hospitality, beginning with five ideas for cultivating a hospitable home full of hospitable hearts, and then five suggestions for the practice of showing hospitality.Number 1: put out an extra chair at the table at each meal. Set the expectation that your home is not just for you.Number 2: Make hospitality a line item in the family budget. Hospitality is costly, and trying to do it with dollars that aren’t there won’t work.Number 3: Surround hospitality with gratitude: when you…

Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2018 by CJ Bowen