Posts from December 2018

Posts from December 2018

Interrupted by Jesus

I imagine a woman peering out of her window as two people meander through the streets of Bethlehem. One of them appears to be pregnant and riding on a donkey led by the other. She doesn’t recognize them. One of her children pulls at the hem of her robe and, picking him up, turns away from the window. She sings a song and bounces him, forgetting about the two wayfarers. I imagine a man standing outside his home one evening…

A Declaration of Faithful Disobedience from a Chinese Pastor

Over 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, were arrested beginning Sunday, December 9. At the time of publication of this translation, arrests are still being made. Among those taken away were Pastor Wang Yi, senior pastor of Early Rain, and his wife, Jiang Rong, who have not been heard from since Sunday. Foreseeing this circumstance, Pastor Wang Yi wrote the declaration below to be published by his church should he be detained for more than 48…

The Mystery of the Gospel

“To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6:18-20, emphasis added) In a few short days, we will celebrate the birth of Jesus, who is “God with us.” Somehow, we can…

Know Who You Are Not

If you are in Christ, you are not who you were. As John Newton, a slavetrader turned pastor, once wrote, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.” https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/know-who-you-are-not

Cast in Darkness

In her autobiographical account of bipolar disorder, Kathryn Green-McCreight describes her writing as an engagement with “the darkness that was often my only perceived companion.” She is not alone in identifying darkness as a place of great suffering – Jesus himself did so too (Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 25:30). Here there is nothing to illuminate that which threatens and assails. There is no light of life nor warmth of companionship. In darkness, we cannot see behind us to remember from where…

Waiting

Adam and Eve had long since fallen, though sin remained. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had ceased their seeking and wandering, though Israel hadn’t yet found what it was looking for. Joseph’s dreams had faded away into history, though a dream of shalom persisted. The thunder of Mount Sinai had become a distant memory, though the law remained steadfast. The walls of Jerusalem were toppled, though God remained sovereign. The voices of the prophets had been silenced, though their words echoed…