Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
She was just a rural teenager.
He was just a young carpenter.
Just in love.
Their situation was just like millions before it.
But an angelic announcement made it more than just a betrothal.
More than just a conception.
It was just a census.
And they would arrive to the City of David just a little late.
The crowd in this small town, just outside of Jerusalem, was overflowing.
There just wasn’t any room.
It was just a stable, but it would do.
It was just big enough, and it was out of the cold.
It was just about time, but where would he lay?
This feeding trough was just about right. Fill it with hay.
We’ll just lay him there.
Crying, just like any baby, he was now in the world he had made.
Just two people, alone with God.
It was just a star. But it marked where He lay.
They were just shepherds, but they were his first guests.
The gifts brought from afar, an expression of just how precious this Child is.
Just a silent night…but a night that would divide kingdoms, and families, and history.
They were just 12 ordinary men.
She was just a Samaritan woman.
It was just five barley loaves and two fish.
It was just a tree.
They were just nails.
It is just bread and wine.
Just the ordinary made extraordinary.
-Jay Risner (12.09)
Friday, December 18, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
George Marsden, in his Jonathan Edwards: A Life, refers to Edwards’ belief in “the great end of creation, God’s redemptive love” (page 479). He sums up Edwards’ thought this way:
“God’s trinitarian essence is love. God’s purpose in creating a universe in which sin is permitted must be to communicate that love to creatures. The highest or most beautiful love is sacrificial love for the undeserving” (page 505).
If Edwards is right, and he is, then sacrificial love for undeserving people is not a problem for pastoral ministry; it is even more than an opportunity for pastoral ministry. Sacrificial love for undeserving people is the reason why the universe exists.
“To the praise of the glory of his grace.”