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Posts tagged with: Luke

The First Station: Jesus on the Mount of Olives

Today, as we prepare for Holy Week and Easter, I’m beginning a 14-part series of devotions based on the biblical Stations of the Cross. You may be familiar with the traditional Stations of the Cross, which are common in Catholic churches and retreat centers. But you may not know that in 1991, Pope John Paul II published another set of stations, each of these based on biblical passages related to the Passion of Jesus. These biblical stations take us through the last day of Jesus’s life, allowing us to contemplate what he experienced and why it matters so much.

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The horn of a gramophone.

Hearing God’s Voice (Part 1)

As Christian leaders, there is nothing more important than our ability to hear God. Instructions from God inform our journey as we lead others to a place of divine purpose. Without God’s direction, we are left to our own devices, which often prove futile. God’s voice brings direction, strategy, wisdom, correction, and even comfort. Hearing from God is important, yet how we hear him is critical.

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Figurines of Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus.

Christmas and Work: The Fruit of Ordinary Work

In yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion, we noted that, after the first Christmas was over, both Mary and the shepherds went back to work. Mary was devoted to the care of her infant while the shepherds gave themselves to the care of their sheep.

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A work desk with hints of Christmas scattered on it.

Christmas and Work: Taking Christmas Back to Work with Us

Is there a way to take Christmas back to work with us? I’m not thinking about playing Christmas music in January or greeting people with “Merry Christmas” throughout the year. Rather, I’m wondering how the reality of Christmas might transform our experience of our work.

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A Christmas tree ornament in the shape of a treble clef.

Christmas and Work: Is Your Work an Expression of Peace on Earth?

One of the most familiar and beloved of Christmas messages is “Peace on Earth.” You see this on Christmas cards, billboards, store windows, and church bulletins. Even people who don’t believe the basic story of Christmas can embrace “Peace on Earth.” It sounds wonderful, especially in a time of so much conflict in our world.

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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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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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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 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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