Salt & Light is featuring excerpts from various sources each week this December to share a taste of fresh perspectives on the familiar accounts about the coming of Jesus Christ.

In The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, John Piper meditates on 1 John 3:8, that the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.

“The coming of the eternal Son of God into the world as the God-man, Jesus Christ, is a fact of history. Yet thousands of people say they believe this fact but then live just like everybody else. They have the same anxieties that good things will be lost and the same frustrations that crummy things can’t be changed.

Piper points out the Christ’s coming was more than an historical fact, that it was a message of hope:

“…sent by God to teenagers and single parents and crabby husbands and sullen wives and overweight women and impotent men and disabled neighbours and people with same sex attraction and preachers and lovers—and you.

And since the Son of God lived, died, rose, reigns, and is coming again, God’s message through him is more than a historical fact. It is a Christmas gift to you from the voice of the living God.

Thus says the Lord: the meaning of Christmas is that what is good and precious in your life need never be lost, and what is evil and undesirable in your life can be changed. The fear that the few good things that make you happy are slipping through your fingers, and the frustrations that the bad things you hate about yourself or your situation can’t be changed—these fears and these frustrations are what Christmas came to destroy.

It is God’s message of hope this Advent that what is good need never be lost and what is bad can be changed. The Devil works to take the good and bring the bad. And Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil.”

 

One Day at a Time

A Charge and a Blessing based on 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

In Jesus Christ, God’s grace has been given to us;
therefore, let us live for God,
one day at a time.

In every way we have been enriched in Christ,
in spiritual gifts,
through the witness of those who showed us Christ,
and in speech and knowledge of every kind,
therefore, let us give thanks to God,
one day at a time.

God is faithful and will strengthen us to the end,
as we look for signs of Christ’s presence,
one day at a time.

Till all is ended, all begun,
we live in hope and worship God,
one day at a time.

In the name of the Three who are One,
the Author, the Word, and the Breath,
go in peace.

 

Brian Wren,  Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, Liturgies and Prayers for Public Worship  (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008)

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