Submitted by Andy McIlvain.
You and I have a unique and singular face. We have been seeing it in a mirror since we were young. We have watched it change as we age. Continue reading
“If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by his birth he was made like us in all respects [Heb 2:17] that he might learn to feel our pain [cf. Heb 5:2]. If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross [Gal 3:13]; if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood; if reconciliation, in his descent to hell; if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; if newness of life, in his resurrection; if immortality, in the same; if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in his entrance into heaven; if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in his Kingdom; if untroubled expectation of judgement, in the power given to him to judge.” These are the words of the sixteenth century reformer John Calvin. Continue reading
Submitted by Andy McIlvain.
I like to fix things. Most people do. It is a facet of our humanity that we create and repair. Life is short. And in our short sinful imperfect lives we are called by God to be co-regents, to participate in the restoration of the Kingdom of God in the here and now. So how do you and I repair/restore the world together; how do we repair ourselves, the people in the complex and paradoxical world in which we live? Continue reading
The Apostle Paul said, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace (Colossians 3:15a).”
We often think of peace as the absence of conflict and the presence of harmony. This is true. However, how is such peace secured? For the first century Jew, peace would come through the end-time Messiah, who would usher in God’s kingdom on earth. Such peace was thought to come through a warrior king, who would defeat the enemies of the Jews. For the first century Roman, peace would come through imperial proclamation and military pacification. In a phrase, it would come through the “Pax Romana,” the Roman Peace. Continue reading
In the town of Wellsboro, Pa, where I live, we reached record-breaking rain fall. Water was overflowing everywhere. Every stream roared with rushing water. Every hollow was filled. Every depression in our yards seemed fit for an ant’s kayak. The apostle Paul identified overflowing with thankfulness as one mark of the Christian life (Colossians 2:7). Continue reading
I can’t think of a person today who would want the words “alienated and hostile toward God” applied to them. Yet, the Apostle Paul refers to the Colossian Christians in this way, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior (Colossians 1:21).” Continue reading