Blog Archive - December 2013
The archives of The Sun Will Rise, organized by month.
Throughout this Advent season, I've been narrating the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus in several episodes of Opening Up the Gospels. Last year during Advent, I came across a fictional work that was deeply encouraging to me: a poem called The Innkeeper by Pastor John Piper. Though there is much uncertainty surrounding Mary and Joseph's arrival in Bethlehem, their place of residence, and if there was actually an "innkeeper" as we have typically imagined, I wanted to share Piper's poem again this year in hope that your holy imagination would be stirred to ponder the birth and life of Jesus.
A brief description of the poem:
Only two weeks from His crucifixion, Jesus has stopped in Bethlehem. He has returned to visit someone important--the innkeeper who made a place for Mary and Joseph the night He was born. But His greater purpose in coming is to pay a debt. What did it cost to house the Son of God?
Through this imaginative poem, John Piper shares a tale of what might have been. The story of an innkeeper whose life was forever altered by the arrival of the Son of God. Ponder the sacrifice that was made that night. Celebrate Christ's birth and the power of His resurrection. Rejoice in the life and light He brings to all. And encounter the hope His life gives you for today--and for eternity.
Over the past several years I've written, recorded, or published numerous resources to encourage the body of Christ during the winter holidays. As we are progressing through yet another Advent and Christmas season, I wanted to share them with you. I trust they will strengthen your faith and deepen your fellowship with Jesus as you ponder His birth this year.
- The Incarnation and the Life of Jesus - a series of articles looking at some of the familiar and not-so-familiar aspects of God becoming flesh. My personal favorites: The Judgment of God in the Incarnation, The Humility of God in the Incarnation, The Salvation of God in the Incarnation
- 2013 Advent Guide and Reading Plan - a brief guide for the 2013 Advent season (December 1-24) including daily readings from the Old and New Testaments and suggested Opening Up the Gospels videos.
- The Heavenly Armies at Jesus' Birth - an article that highlights the military and political dimension of the angels who were "sweetly singing o'er the plains" to the shepherds outside of Bethlehem.
- Opening Up the Gospels videos - a series of short videos from a larger series walking through the Christmas story, bringing unknown or misunderstood details to light. My favorites on the birth of Jesus: Zechariah and the Angel Gabriel, The Census and the Journey to Bethlehem, The Birth of Jesus, part 2
If any of these resources are a blessing to you, would you spread the word and share them with your friends through email or on social media?
Grace and peace to you this Advent and Christmas!