Information, celebration, and a devotional on the coming of Jesus Christ for families, Bible study groups, and anyone else who wants to add truth and richness to the Christmas season. Enjoy this foray into advent wreath history.
By Mark D. Harris
Advent (Latin adventus) refers to the coming of Jesus Christ. On the first Sunday of Advent, we remember God’s love for us, exemplified in the first candle…hope. We also reflect on the symbolism of the wreath itself. On the second Sunday, we think about the peace that He gives us, especially in this season, through His Son. On the third Sunday of Advent, we consider the third candle, joy. On the fourth Sunday, we focus on love. Finally, on Christmas Eve, the Christ candle reminds us of how Jesus Christ is the source of each of these.
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A 15 minute (or so) play about a good and faithful but worn-out pastor who needs to be reminded about what really matters at Christmas.
By Mark Harris
- Pastor Tim – male, mid 40s
- Cindy – female, late 30s, Pastor Tim’s wife
- Michael – son of Pastor Tim, 12-13 yo
- Candali – daughter of Pastor Tim, 9-10 yo
- Rinna – daughter of Pastor Tim, 7-8 yo
- Jenny – Church secretary, female, 50s to 60s
- Jose – male, mid 30s
- Mariana – female, late 20s
- Joshua – infant
Setting – A Baptist church in Detley, South Virginia. Pastor Tim and Jenny the secretary are the only paid staff. Tim’s 4th grade daughter Candali and 2nd grade daughter Rinna are doing homeschool work in his office. The roof is leaking, with drops falling into a bucket on the floor.
Time – late Tuesday morning
Continue reading “Remembering What Counts at Christmas – Play 15 minutes”
A Christian look at William Ernest Henley’s famous poem, Invictus.
By Mark D. Harris
Julie fumbled with the lock of her dorm room. Laying her purse, nursing notebook, deli croissant sandwich, and coffee on the floor in the hall, she finally opened the door. My biology quiz didn’t go well this morning, and my anatomy project is late. At least I’ll get English right. I’ve got 30 minutes before I have to leave for work.
Sitting at her desk a few moments later, Julie began reading the poem her English professor was expecting an analysis of on Monday morning.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley, Britain, 1875
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We often buy not to enjoy our purchase or meet a physical need, but to fill a hole in our hearts, a lack in who we are.
By Mark D. Harris
The Christmas season has just ended, and people worldwide have been evaluating the effects of the holiday. Some people do not celebrate Christmas, and so whatever effect the holiday has on them is indirect. A Buddhist in China, for example, may not believe in Jesus Christ, but may be employed manufacturing toys or clothes given as gifts by those who do believe. A Muslim in the Islamic State may hate the very idea of Jesus Christ, but realize that his American and Western foes are less likely to attack him on December 25th. A Western secularist may scoff at Christianity, but still take advantage of Black Friday shopping bargains and deal with holiday traffic. For many in the West, and in other parts of the world, Christmas is a social rather than a religious holiday.
Continue reading “Why We Buy”