Vanity and the Manger

God’s act of saving grace in Jesus is prefigured in many Hebrew saints and heroes. In Advent, the humble, self-sacrificing Ruth, becomes an ancestor to Jesus. Moving soon into the Epiphany portion of this sacred season, we lift up Esther, another woman totally dedicated to the salvation of God’s people, risking her life, as did Jesus.

Jesus the King is born. Contrast him with the extravagance and pride of Ahasuerus and the vanity of Queen Vashti. God is quietly working out salvation amid the decrees of emperors and kings.

Chapter 1 sets the stage for this powerful and beautiful story of salvation. What personal reflections come to you about vanity and where the center of your life rests? Is it in any place other than the humble manger of Jesus’s birth?

Esther 1

What are Bible Breaths? Learn More…
Examples:

Slow to anger, breathing peace v. 12

Vanity cleared from my heart

Gentle and tender to all

A servant’s heart before all

Tuesdays are dedicated to the Old Testament books of history
and the Hebrew “Writings.”
In the season of Advent to Epiphany this year, we read Ruth, Esther and Proverbs 7 to 9.

 

For all the Firestarters I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or tablet. Check the menu options at the site for more information

A New Consumerism

Christmas for the world, is over. The presents have been bought, wrapped, given, and now lie exhausted beneath the tree. The retail world is spent after its meal of consumerism. The comparisons with past years will soon be in.

Isaiah shakes us, provoking us to fix our attention on the promises of Isaiah realized in Jesus. Exult with joy and confidence in the power of the verse for the day. The final one also bears the promise of the fullness and constancy of the Spirit’s presence in your family for endless generations to come. Do you believe this promise? Memorize it until it is so soaked into you that unspeakable joy radiates from within, giving assurance to many others of a new consumerism—consumed by his Love!

Isaiah 59:15b–21

Mondays are dedicated to the reading of the Hebrew Prophets.
In the seasons of Advent through Epiphany this year we read Isaiah 56 to 66..

What are “Bible Breaths”? Learn More…
Example: Cloak of zeal wrapped around me v. 17

For all the Firestarters I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or tablet. Check the menu options at the site for more information.

The Gospel in Small Space

Artist Unknown

In Matthew, the Wise Men come to Jesus; in Luke, Jesus goes to the wise men! Luke’s story of “The Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple” gathers the whole of his Gospel into small space.

Picture this twelve-year-old lad in the midst of the throng approaching Jerusalem. Hear the singing of Psalms such as 122. It is Passover. Jesus, the paschal lamb, arrives in anticipation of his death. There is a hint of the resurrection as Jesus is found in the Temple “after three days.”

Invite the boy Jesus into the temple of your heart. He tells you about the plans the Father has for you. Ask him to give you a feeling of the totality of your life, even finding in things that you loved as a child, anticipations of what would later come to flower in your life. Is there something that you were called to do from your youth that you still long to have happen?

Luke 2:41–52

What are “Bible Breaths”? Learn More…
Example: Dwelling in my Father’s house v. 49

Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from the Revised Common Lectionary.
In year C, we generally read from the Gospel of Luke.

For all the Firestarters I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or tablet. Check the menu options at the site for more information.