Daniel Darling, author, pastor, speaker / Posts tagged "Christmas"

Repeat the Sounding Joy

Have you noticed lately that it's the Christians who are often most cranky during the Christmas season? Complaining has almost become required. We hear sermons on how to deal with the stress of Christmas. We read ominous-sounding emails and Facebook posts on the so-called "War on Christmas." And of course, cable news shows ramp up the debates on whether an elderly greeter in Dinkytown, USA, articulated her "Merry Christmas" greeting in a way that satisfies the Westminster Confession. And let's not even get into the tiresome annual debate about the chubby guy with the beard decked out in red from head-to-toe. Pastors, as part of their sober calling, are often summoned to decide whether using Santa wrapping paper is grounds for church discipline. Is it just me, or have we Christians - the ones who know and believe God visited this sin soaked world in the form of a baby so He...

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What Advent is and Why We Should Celebrate

There is something really wonderful about the word, advent. When you Google the word, one of the definitions you get is: the arrival of a notable person, thing or event. We know this word from other contexts besides religions. We say things like, "Since the advent of the automobile . . . ." Or "Since the advent of the modern era . . . " Advent means something new is coming. The dawn of a new and better era. This is really what Christmas is about, isn't it? It's the celebration of the advent of a new era. God broke into time and space and entered our world. He is Immanuel, God with us. He broke in the midst of the sin and clamor and the fallenness. He came as a vulnerable baby in a poverty-stricken town to ordinary people, in a time of great political unrest. Advent--Christ's Advent--means that God...

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Finding Christmas Joy

I've always loved the Christmas season. When I was a kid, my parents always made the season great. Our traditions were simple, but wonderful. I especially enjoyed the two weeks off of school. Usually we chilled out at home or would go to a Christmas party or two at friends' homes. When I was in high-school, I'd join with some other friends and go caroling in our neighborhood. Then we had to take care of our last minute Christmas shopping. My parents gave each of us some allowance and let us choose gifts for the family. On Christmas Eve, we typically chilled out at home, then, after some cajoling from all of us kids and my mom, my father would relent and let us open our gifts that night, before we went to the Christmas Eve service at church. My Dad enjoyed being the position of deciding when the gifts would be open...

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Return to Christmas Joy

I had the privilege of writing a piece on Christmas Joy for New Hope Digital. There is a tendency to either be cranky about commercialism or be caught up in it at Christmastime. Here's an excerpt: I think both approaches miss the majesty of Christmas. Yes, the Western world is increasingly secularized and dismissive of Jesus. But that’s why we are still here. We are the ones who have been eternally transformed by the Incarnation. And we are to bless others in His name.If we want the guy at the checkout to be excited about the real story of Christmas, why not let the gospel pour from us so he visibly sees Christ in us? If the message of Christmas is getting obscured, let’s shout it joyfully from our own little platforms. Maybe, just maybe, the secular world would take notice. Read the rest here: Return to Christmas Joy :: New Hope Digital....

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