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Now it's been my experience that Christmas has an often unexpected way of exposing our vulnerabilities. As we work so very hard to make all our days merry and bright, the inconvenient limitations of our natures keep showing up, sometimes all the more starkly against the mandatory cheerfulness of the season. We feel less permission, don't we, than usual to mourn absent loved ones. And yet their absence...

Well, be that as it may, when news reached Joseph that Mary, his fiancee, was pregnant, there really was no possibility that the Bethlehem & District Hospital had made a mistake that day. In fact, poor Joseph was facing a nightmare scenario, wasn't he? In those days and in that culture, betrothal was about as serious and as inviolable as marriage itself, which is why verse 19 makes...

So what's in a name? A whole lot as it turns out. Names actually get me in trouble around here all the time. Let me give you an example. A few Sundays ago, I was preaching and I wanted to emphasize the fact that a previous generation here in our church has left a legacy for a new generation to follow. And so I spoke about the passing...

Wonderful Counselor. Wonderful is a word we use a lot at Christmas time. “It’s A Wonderful Life” will doubtless air for the thousandth time. “The most wonderful time of the year” will play in every cafe in the land. On the radio this week I heard a hardware store that has, “A wonder-inducing array of Christmas trees for sale.” Wonder. And then there’s the word, Counselor. Wonderful Counselor...

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