Scripture Aesthetics: Christmas Edition, Part 1

Every once in a while, I let my imagination run wild with characters found in Scripture, blending earthy elements from the original historical setting with some modern twists, to get an idea of what they might have been like. Which sensations and experiences could capture each individual’s essence? Adam and Eve, Esther, Samson and Delilah, Ruth, Mary and Martha—all of these have taken a turn. It’s time for a seasonal spin, don’t you think? With eggnog in hand and twinkle lights as a backdrop, let’s view the main cast of Christmas through creative lenses.

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Seeking Jesus in the Old Testament

Hide-and-seek was one of my favorite games growing up. I’d crouch under tables, behind bulky clothing items in closets, and pretty much anywhere else I could cram myself in the space of a minute. I wasn’t great at it, but I was seldom the first one spotted.

When I learned that the entire Bible (rather than just the second half) is about Jesus, reading the Old Testament began to feel a bit like my beloved game. If I take my time and pay attention to funny shadows or the sound of breathing, spotting the Savior—even millennia before His incarnation—might not be the hardest thing ever.

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A Few of My Favorite Things

A thousand December wishes for you all! May you be overcome by the Lord’s goodness every time you turn around—in the wrapping of presents, the baking of treats, the singing of carols, the brewing of beverages, the writing of cards, and the clearing of snow. And when you put pen to paper for a fresh year’s hopes, take a deep breath: that’s the smell of God’s faithfulness in ways yet to be discovered, just waiting for you.

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A Different Kind of Meal Prep

Step right up, ladies and gents! Today only, we’re showing you how to make a month’s worth of freezer-friendly dinners in only two hours!

Meal prep is a fairly recent phenomenon consisting of planning, purchasing, cooking, and assembling large amounts of grub at once so that meals throughout the week lose the meltdown quotient for everyone involved. It’s not a complicated concept, but it can get pretty crazy.

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God Moves in a Mysterious Way

It used to bug me that I couldn’t wrap my mind around God’s mind. Now it’s one of the most comforting and hope-filled facts of my existence. Why?

Imagine a toddler who can fully comprehend everything her parents think, a tiny child with adult understanding. Not only does she realize she can’t have cookies for breakfast; it’s also clear to her what role nutrition plays in each level of her physical and cognitive development, which ingredients make up the cookies in question, and how to cook a gourmet version of the much more practical option of oatmeal.

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Mourning and Dancing in Ministry Life

(This post was originally published on the Baptist Convention of New England’s blog on November 7, 2019. You can find it here.)

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4)

One thing very few people prioritize when preparing to enter the realm of full-time service is the necessity of emotional engagement. Many ministers consider solid theology and practical know-how the two mighty pillars on which a lifetime of shepherding can be built, but without a practical theology of suffering and celebration, a pastor (and his family) can easily crumble from the inside out. 

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