Priests, Kings and Wise Men

Matthew records that the wise men came in search of the new-born King following a star. (Matthew 2:1-12) In the narrative, we can see three kinds of responses: 1) Apathetic religious leaders: The Wise men reached Jerusalem unannounced and unscheduled, creating a commotion in Jerusalem.  When Herod heard that a special or unique child was

Prepare, Partner and Partake

In the Christmas narrative in the gospels, angels appeared at least three times. The first one was a private appearance to Zachariah that became public immediately (Luke 1:11-17), the second was also private and to Mary (Luke 1:26-38) and it was not disclosed immediately, the third was public and it was acted upon immediately by

No Room!

Humanity had perpetually rejected the God who created, sustained and loved them. It was abundantly clear in Bethlehem when Joseph and Mary arrived with the baby imminent (Luke 2:7). Joseph did not have a room booking app on his smartphone to reserve a place in advance in a hotel. Hospitality to strangers was a noble

All needs met

The Prophet Isaiah foretold the birth of Lord Jesus around 700 BC. The five names he mentioned meet the five most important needs of human beings. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty

From Tradition to Truth

Tradition is like a wrapper, under which there could be a truth or a myth or a mixture of both. Unpacking tradition is helpful to understand the reason for the birth of a tradition. Santa Claus is one such tradition. St. Nicholas is believed to be a monk born around 280 AD in Patara, near

A Celebration of Love

I have been thinking about the beauty of Christmas time and what wonderful traditions we have built up around Christmas. Christmas traditions are a bit like the petals on a rose. A rose is beautiful because it has many, many layers of soft, velvety petals, and Christmas is beautiful because it has so many layers

Don’t be a Commentary Junkie

By Ryan Higginbottom Darren Larson (2006),?Creative Commons License Let?s be honest: a good Bible commentary is?awesome. A scholar spends years studying a book of the Bible, gathering wisdom both from centuries of Christian history and from his own encounters with God in his Word. Then?you?get a chance to peek over his shoulder! Commentaries can be

Give Thanks!

My family and I had an opportunity to spend two Thanksgiving Holidays in the United States while we lived there as a family for almost two years. After returning to Finland, I have missed this great holiday. So to all our North American friends; “Happy Thanksgiving!” The Bible encourages us to be thankful: Oh give