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Showing posts from December, 2017

The Christmas Story Began with a Forerunner

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Alternate Title: Why Did We Hear from John the Baptist Before We Heard from Jesus?

As I enjoyed Thanksgiving, I looked forward to Christmas and I couldn’t stop wondering:  Why did the man we call John the Baptist need to tell the Jews that Jesus was coming?  I’d never thought about it before.  Why is he part of biblical history?  And why did God lay out such an integrated and impossible duo of supernatural pregnancies for Baby John and Baby Jesus?  The Christmas story began with the pregnancy of John, who was selected by God to be a forerunner to Jesus.  He was precursor both in birth and in ministry.  So, the Christmas story is not complete without the birth of John the Baptist.

So, why did the Jews need a forerunner? Wouldn’t they still have their Messiah, and wouldn’t we still have the Gospel, without John the Baptist?

Let’s consider their situation…


The Jews expected a Messiah as promised from God.  They expected a King who would rescue them from their misery and oppression; a Redeeme…

John 1, a Rhyming Paraphrase

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To help ring in Christmas, I hope you enjoy this paraphrase of John 1.  I wrote it in Seuss-like meter so it might help engage the kids in your life (including the big ones).  The first chapter of John introduces Jesus as the Savior for all - the Son of God, and the Messiah for which the Jews waited so long.  We also get to know John the Baptist, God's chosen messenger who explained the good news of Jesus to the Jews.  Read about how it all plays out...

The Gospel of John Chapter 1 - He Who's the Word
There is a He, who is also the Word. This He who's the Word, spoke before He was heard. He spoke before ears Were on heads that could hear, With nothing around, Not even the ground.
This He who's the Word, is also the Maker, He's with God, and is God, but no, not a faker. He surely made all, Like trees, short and tall. There's nothing, for sure, That's not made by the Word.
Now, John was a man who the Maker made later, To speak of this Word across the equator. He spoke of a Li…

Whiter than Snow

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Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Psalms 51:7b
Many of us love snow, at least visiting and enjoying it for a while.
It offers a variety of good, clean fun. I enjoy a white Christmas every year.  To me, the more snow, the better.
It makes me smile. So I hope you enjoy this post about what snow is
and how God wants to make every one of us "whiter than snow."
(What follows can be read aloud to a group.  It is a Gospel presentation and a celebration of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, our Savior.  If you want to share this with a group, you have my permission to read it.  That’s why I wrote it.  Or, feel free to make it more interactive.  Ask questions.  Solicit thoughts to get listeners engaged.  And pray that they will understand, appreciate, and accept the cleansing blood of Christ and His Gospel.)
Whiter than Snow

Fresh snow on a calm day brightens us with a special purity.  It’s as white as we can imagine, and it captivates us as it dances from the sky in gentle brilliance…