All posts by emcmessenger

Advent: A Promise of Light and Freedom  

by Terry M. Smith

God is at work in human history even if his ways are confusing—this is one lesson of Advent.

The prophet Isaiah said that God, who had made a covenant with Israel, was at work even though the nation had sinned and would enter exile. He who had created the heavens and earth, and gave breath to people, would bring forth his Servant: “My servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1-5). Continue reading Advent: A Promise of Light and Freedom  

The Most Critical Text for Today’s Disciples

SBC Leadership Conference March 20-21, 2020

by Dr. Darrell Johnson

There are a number of critical texts in which disciples of Jesus in our time would do well to inhabit. Like Matthew 5-7 where we hear Jesus preach His now famous, but not yet fully understood, Sermon on the Mount, developing what entering into and living the Kingdom of God looks like is this world. And like John 13-17, where Jesus prepares His disciples to go on living in the absence of His physical presence, doing so through the person and ministry of His Spirit. And like Romans 5-8 where the apostle of Paul, who clearly has the mind of Christ, opens up for us, and takes us into the heart of Christian living and discipleship, calling us to die to the flesh and live to and in the Spirit. Continue reading The Most Critical Text for Today’s Disciples

When Christmas Feels Like a Barren Desert

By Mark von Kampen

Back in the early 1990s, when I began serving as a youth and young adult minister, a young woman from the congregation told me that she was dreading the approaching Christmas season. All the glitter, all the songs of joy and peace, all the smiling faces—she just couldn’t get into it. “I hate Christmas,” she said. Continue reading When Christmas Feels Like a Barren Desert

Awe-Full: Remembering a Catholic Service from 29 Years Ago

By Rod Friesen

As I worked this morning (drywall taper), I had a question on my mind. Or, to sound more spiritual, it was on my heart.

Am I Awe-Full? As in, am I full of a sense of reverence and awe? My mind, as I worked, was questioning the word awful, and I was confused as to its origin and how it came to mean, in common use, something terrible. That is a bit off track, but it led me to this place: Do I live in a sense of reverence of our Creator and Sustainer? Continue reading Awe-Full: Remembering a Catholic Service from 29 Years Ago

The Spider Web of Scripture and Politics

by Terry M. Smith

A cartoon of years ago pictured a man seated in a pastor’s office. The pastor looked at him and said, “Give up your life of crime. Quit politics.” The Bible is the inspired Word of God; it is also a library of books written across many years in varied cultures, countries, and political contexts—which affects what political lessons we can take from it today. Continue reading The Spider Web of Scripture and Politics