The Power of Escalating Fo...

Practically everyone believes that violence is wrong, it is evil, and it is a huge problem all around the world. We long for peace that is real, that is lasting, and that is more than just an oasis in a desert of violence. We just can’t agree on what to do about it. Nor can we agree with what the Bible says about it. Or what Jesus’ stance on it is. Since I spend so much of my time writing about and...

“His Name Is John&rd...

When the Bible makes a big deal about a baby’s name, you better pay attention. No, I’m not talking about Jesus, though his name is significant. It means, “Yahweh saves,” and is also the name of the man (Joshua) who led the Israelites into the Promised Land, which is not without its own significance. But for now I’m talking about John. John was born to an old priest named Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth,...

Census, Cradles, and the C...

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. (Luke 2:1-4) There...

Presence, Not Presents

  Larry L. Eubanks, First Baptist Church, Frederick, Maryland, December 4, 2016 Today is the second Sunday in Advent, and the second in my Advent message series, A Cinematic Christmas, where we are looking at the biblical themes of the birth of Christ through the lens of some popular Christmas movies. Today it’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Now when we laid out this message series we decided to...

If Jesus Hadn’t Been...

Larry L. Eubanks, First Baptist Church, Frederick, Maryland, November 27, 2016 In the modern age, Christmas movies and TV shows are as much a part of Christmas as Christmas trees and Christmas carols. When I was growing up, my brothers and I would carefully scan the TV guide every week to make sure we didn’t miss “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Those were the prehistoric...

Advent Waiting

Waiting always has a future tense. Something is going to happen, but not yet. Without this sense of something approaching there is no waiting. The thing that is on the way could be bad; this kind of waiting is called dread. When my brothers and I were acting up and wouldn’t listen to Mom she would say, “Just wait until your father gets home.” Way to ruin a kid’s afternoon. We’d then spend the rest of the...

The Birth Narratives Don&r...

One of the things that I frequently encounter as a teacher of the Bible is that people believe the birth narratives of Jesus, particularly the miraculous parts of them, prove his divinity. That is so typical of us Moderns, with our need to have our beliefs based on provable facts. The truth is, however, that the birth narratives, particularly the miraculous parts, were never written to prove anything. The...
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