Posts tagged with: Christmas

The shepherds and company of our Nativity set.

Christmas and Work: Work and Our Identity

When we read about the shepherds in Luke 2, it would be tempting to project onto the story our own experience of Nativity scene shepherds. In reality, though, shepherding was hard, gritty work.

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My mom, in a Christmas sweater, and me, last Christmas, with a couple of Christmas “socks” in between us.

Christmas Good News!

Today is, as you know, Christmas day. For millions of people around the world, it is a day of celebration and rejoicing.

It is for me, too, though this will be an unusual Christmas for my family and me.

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A Christmas Eve service at Irvine Presbyterian Church. My daughter is the shepherd with the light blue shawl.

Christmas and Work: When God Interrupts Our Work, Yet Again

Today is Christmas Eve. If you go to church this evening, chances are you may see an enactment of the Christmas story, complete with shepherds and maybe even sheep. This is especially true if you attend a service meant for younger children and families. (The photo comes from a Christmas Eve service at Irvine Presbyterian Church. My daughter is the shepherd with the light blue shawl.)

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A child decorating a Christmas tree.

Advent Reminds Us to Find Hope in God

On this last day of Advent, I want to point our attention back to Mary, who has journeyed for 9 months knowing that she is carrying the Son of God, whose reign will be eternal (Luke 1:26-38).

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A child receiving Christmas gifts from their mother.

Advent Reminds Us To Protect The Vulnerable

Advent is a time for us to find the courage to protect the vulnerable as Joseph did with Mary and Mary did with Jesus. Advent offers an invitation to all of us to individually and corporately protect the vulnerable.

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The Adoration of the Shepherds, 1622. Color on Canvas; by Gerard van Honthorst.

Christmas and Work: A Tribute to My Mom, the Worker

When I laid out my plan for Life for Leaders in December, I was not expecting to write this particular devotion. But, between yesterday’s writing (on December 2) and today (December 3), something happened to encourage me to add something unexpected.

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Mark Roberts holding his daughter.

Christmas and Work: Women’s Work Revisited

Okay, here I go again, talking about women’s work. You may recall that the devotion from last Friday focused on this theme. As we examined Luke 1:57-58, we considered the implications of Elizabeth’s giving birth to John (who will come to be known as John the Baptist)

In Luke 2:7, once again a woman gives birth in the Christmas narrative.

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Statue of an angel blowing a horn.

Christmas and Work: Saved to Serve

In this hymn of praise to God, Zechariah proclaims that God “has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David” (1:69).

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A quiet street with a church peacefully lit at night.

The Grace to Lead, The Grace to Feed

Next Sunday we will reflect upon the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The prophet Isaiah proclaims that “the government would be upon his shoulders” and that there would be no end to the increase of peace and his government (Isaiah 9:6-7).

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Vocational Gratitude: Consummation

The Christian narrative reminds us that God is the ultimate authority in the universe. As the first half of today’s text declares, “The Lord is King!” But what kind of power figure is this God?

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A mother and child lit by a string of Christmas lights

Christmas and Work: Women’s Work

I realize that using the phrase “women’s work” might get me in some trouble. There was a time when this expression was used for activities like cooking and cleaning, chores usually assigned to women in the traditional American family. If women worked “outside of the home,” typically they were nurses, teachers, secretaries, and such. But, in the last fifty years, many women have discovered that they are capable of doing much more, including jobs that once were reserved for men. The gap between “women’s work” and “men’s work,” if you will, has narrowed considerably. Women now excel in many roles that were once filled mainly if not exclusively by men.

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The word Joy in lights.

Christmas and Work: Celebrating God the Worker

In the Christmas narrative of Luke, Mary was visited by an angel who revealed that she would give birth to “the Son of the Most High” (1:32), even though she had not been sexually intimate with a man. Mary received this revelation by offering herself as “the Lord’s servant” (1:38). In yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion, we reflected on how Mary’s response can inspire us. Today, we continue on in the story.

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The angel speaking to Mary.

Christmas and Work: Imitating Mary in our Attitude Toward Our Work

In yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion, we considered how God interrupted Zechariah in the context of his work. Today, we encounter another interruption, though the text does not inform us of the context. In Luke 1:26-38, the angel Gabriel appeared to a young woman named Mary, informing her that she would give birth to a son and that he would be the messianic king of Israel (1:26-28).

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People sitting around a simple Christmas meal.

Christmas and Work: When God Interrupts Our Work

If you have been following Life for Leaders for a while, you know that we often highlight the biblically based truth that our daily work matters greatly to God. This perspective is revealed, first of all, in the opening chapters of Genesis. It is reaffirmed time and again throughout Scripture.

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Children dressed up in a Christmas play.

Christmas and Work: Work in the Christmas Story of Luke

Christmas and Work. I’d like to take several days to reflect on some connections between these two realities. I’m going to take my cue, not from the experiences I’ve noted above, but rather from the Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke. My plan is to read slowly through this narrative, pausing to consider with you how what we’re reading relates to our work.

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