Mary Magdalene ran. She had worn prostitution on her sleeve, on the top of her mind and in her face, always. Since she was 13, since the men first wanted her, since she first learned to know that her body was to be used up, since she knew the contempt […]

Mary Magdalene ran

2018 Advent Series – Day 24 This is the last day of our advent, which means that tomorrow is Christmas, our figurative feasting day, the day of his coming, the day of our rejoicing. But we all know that today is not the last day of our advent. We have […]

Day 24 – A Feast on a Mountain

(Note from Justin: this piece was delivered as a meditation at the Lord’s Supper for my church on December 10, 2017. I have chosen to leave the style and address unaltered.) For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night […]

Waiting for Advent at the Lord’s Supper

2018 Advent Series – Day 20 We’re so familiar with nativity story told in Matthew and Luke. A full inn. A swaddled babe in a manger. Shepherds in their fields by night. Wise men coming from afar. These images have impressed themselves forever in our minds as The Christmas Story. […]

Day 20 – Nativity in the Book of John

2018 Advent Series – Day 18 This morning, be blessed by this excerpt of J.I. Packer’s Knowing God, from a chapter entitled “God Incarnate”:   The Incarnation] is the real stumbling block in Christianity. It is here that Jews, Muslims, Unitarians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and many of those who feel the […]

Day 18 – God Incarnate

2018 Advent Series – Day 21 I love Christmas. But Christmas also makes me uncomfortable. The presents make me uncomfortable. The giving and receiving of presents, both/and. I haven’t yet worked out my feelings for stuff: Is it good? Does God intend for us to enjoy ourselves at Christmas? How […]

Day 21 – Embarrassed by Blessing

  2018 Advent Series – Day 17   At our annual ladies Christmas party, the women of my church gather in someone’s home to dip hot chocolate out of a slow cooker and share prayer requests for the coming year. One of the women among us has walked very slowly […]

Day 17 – Am I worth this?

2018 Advent Series – Day 13 Today, be blessed by this excerpt of an advent devotional by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:   We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should […]

Day 13 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer on the Coming of Jesus

2018 Advent Series – Day 12 To spend time in any part of Isaiah during the Christmas season is to eventually find ourselves meditating on verses that are sweet and familiar to our souls. Jesus is here. The hints of him whisper and shout from between passages that describe wrecked […]

Day 12 – We’ve Seen a Great Light

2018 Advent Series – Day 11 The book of Isaiah opens with lament. It is a list of charges, a compilation of personal affronts, and the list is given by God himself. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and […]

Day 11 – Jesus didn’t stop regarding man