A Tale of Two Advents

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“Christmas is coming!” Children and adults alike express their excitement at this wonderful time of the year with all of its activities, decorations, goodies, and gifts. Far from the hearts and minds of most people at this time of year is yet another exclamation: “Christ is coming!” Yet, the believers living in those last few centuries before the First Advent of Jesus Christ did look forward and think, “The Messiah (Christ) is coming!”

“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord.” (Zechariah 2:10 ESV)

“Behold, I come” literally says, “I am about to come!” A special Hebrew construction (sometimes referred to as the imminent future) expresses that concept..… Continue reading

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A Meditation on Giving Thanks

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Thanksgiving occurs every day and has since creation itself. Setting aside one special day as our American Thanksgiving merely formalizes a national observance. Unfortunately, many people merely use the time as a means of feasting and celebrating without giving true thanksgiving and praise to the Creator Himself. In order to expand true thanksgiving within any group (as small as one’s family or as great as one’s community), at least one person of true faith must call others to the highest giving of thanks there can ever be: offering heartfelt praise and worship to the Lord of heaven and earth.

Universal Call to Giving Thanks Based on a Universal Cause

One of the most well known of psalms closes by focusing on the universal cause for giving thanks to the Creator and King of all creation.Continue reading

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My Pilgrim Songs: A Birthday Meditation

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billbarrick1948January 5 comes around right regularly—every year—on my birthday. Yes, my parents were among the “Greatest Generation” who fought and lived during World War II. My birth took place in the first year of the “Baby Boomers.” January 5 marks the traditional twelfth day of Christmas—“twelve drummers drumming,” according to the popular Christmas song. I share my birthday with a number of friends and acquaintances (at least two others in our church family). Famous people also populate the birthday list: Diane Keaton (same day and year; actress), Elena Barrick (my grand-daughter), Robert Duvall (actor), Jim Otto (NFL; his son was one of my students at The Master’s Seminary), Mercury Morris (NFL), Juan Carlos I (king of Spain), Konrad Adenauer (German chancellor), Walter Mondale (American politician), Charlie Rose (TV anchor, host), Carrie Ann Inaba (“Dancing with the Stars”), Umberto Eco (semanticist and one of my favorite authors), Jane Wyman (actress, President Reagan’s first wife), George Reeves (actor—Superman), Kathleen Kenyon (British archaeologist who excavated in Israel), Stephen Decatur (US naval officer in the American Revolution), and many others.… Continue reading

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