christmas

The Second Sunday of Advent

Rachel Chimits

As Christmas quickly approaches, many of us harbor hopes for a better, brighter holiday than ever filled with joy, but how do we hold on to that hope through the holidays and beyond? 

The holidays seem to herald their approach these days through the Hallmark channel.

The First Sunday of Advent

Rachel Chimits

Known as the ‘hope of the prophets,’ this first marker of Advent is a reminder that God does not ignore our world’s darkness and that we strain toward a future hope not yet realized.

Most people in the U.S. are at least vaguely acquainted with the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, if only from popular culture references or the cult classic movie Tombstone.

The Bridge Between Earth and Heaven

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

As the shepherds gazed on the Babe in the manger, they saw a Savior who would redeem all of humankind. When the wise men beheld him, they saw a King who would conquer death. And when the prophets looked ahead, they saw an Emancipator who would open prison doors, unlock chains, and set captives free. They all had their vision of who Jesus was and why he came.

Celebrating Christmas in India

Rachel Chimits

Believers around the world are gathering together not only to remember the Savior’s birth and his promise of eternal redemption but also to care for the widow and orphan.

In preparation for Christmas, our partners in India hold skits where children in their orphanage, and any from the neighborhood who want to participate, have the chance to act out the Christmas story.

Taking St. Nick Off the Naughty List

Rachel Chimits

Santa is a potentially controversial figure among Christians, but perhaps there’s a better perspective we could take on his story.

Perhaps no Christmas figure is more maligned that Saint Nicholas.

The man who began as a generous church leader, trying to inspire others to care for the poor, evolved into a magical sprite in a reindeer-drawn sled used by parents to bribe children into obedience.

Grief, Loss and Death at Christmastime

Rachel Chimits

While this time of year is traditionally considered to be one of great joy, it also can be the one where the broken pieces of our hearts and lives most clearly show up.

My uncle, my father’s baby brother, died suddenly before the holidays.

At 28 years old, he had moved back in with the family and was working his way through some personal issues, when a complication with a hereditary illness caused his heart to stop one night.

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.