The Incarnation as God’s Tabernacling (John 1:1-18)

The Incarnation as God’s Tabernacling (John 1:1-18)
CrossWay Community Church
December 19th, 2021

Podcast link.

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God’s Word Enfleshed (John 1:1-18)

God’s Word Enfleshed (John 1:1-18)
CrossWay Community Church
December 5th, 2021

Podcast link.

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Ancestry of Redemption: Tamar (Mt 1:1-17; Gen 38:1-30)

Ancestry of Redemption: Tamar (Mt 1:1-17; Gen 38:1-30)
CrossWay Community Church
December 6th, 2020

Podcast link.

God is on a mission to save a people from their sin, even becoming a man, Jesus of Nazareth, in order to do so.

But not only does Jesus’ incarnation tell us this; his very ancestry even reflects it as well. In God’s grace, Jesus’ genealogy includes broken people and broken stories, just like those of the people he came to save. In Jesus’ genealogy (Matthew 1:1-17), we see that God deals with actual people, not ideal ones. He gets down in the dirt with us, with all of our mess. And this of course comes to a climax in Jesus himself, when God actually comes to live among us.

As theologian Stanely Hauerwas says, “Jesus did not belong to the nice clean world of middle-class respectability, but rather he belonged to a family of murders, cheats, cowards, adulterers and liars—he belonged to us and came to help us…”

This year for our Advent series at CrossWay Community Church, we will be looking at the scandalous portraits of the four women mentioned in Jesus’ ancestry (or genealogy) as found in Matthew 1 — Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and “the wife of Uriah” (i.e., Bathsheba). Tomorrow we will look specifically at the account of Tamar (Genesis 38).

Tamar represents the mistreated, the victim, the abused. Her first husband was so evil that God put him to death. Her brother-in-law failed to care for her, but instead utilized his position to sexually abuse her, until God put him to death as well. Her father-in-law, Judah, shirked his responsibilities to care for her, leaving her destitute and vulnerable. After it all, she was not only a widow (in fact, doubly so), but a barren one at that, and in a society where women did not have standing to care for themselves. She was “damaged goods,” probably even carrying a stigma within her community of being cursed by God.

But in Christ, we see God coming to rescue such people — people whose lives are not clean and tidy, people who have been mistreated, people whose lives feel irreparably ruined and broken. People who are “damaged goods” by the world’s standards. In the story of Tamar, we see God’s concern for Tamar, and concern for people like her.

In fact, in Christ God comes to know the very experience of being abused himself, thereby identifying himself with the abused. God becomes one who is “abused” for us—the quintessential victim: facing wrongdoing that is not deserved, having committed no wrongs himself. Abused by us—our sin being what put him on the cross.

And, not only so, but through Tamar’s presence in Christ’s genealogy, we see God even including and using her for his larger redemptive purposes. He redeems such situations.

A Better Name: “Son of God” (Hebrews 1:1-14)

A Better Name: “Son of God”
CrossWay Community Church
December 15th, 2019

Podcast link.

Christmas Playlist (Spotify)

Linked below is a playlist of Christmas music I created on Spotify. It’s your guide to some of the — in my opinion — best Christmas music, free of the not-so-great sentimental hymns, as well as the incarnationally void “holiday songs” like Jingle Bells and Let It Snow (…not that there’s anything wrong with that #Seinfeld).

Let’s cut to the chase though: there’s a lot of really good Christmas songs out there (which frankly I’d sing year round); but there’s also a lot of not-so-great Christmas stuff. And then, of course, there’s all the whatev- non-religious festive-type songs, which are at best occasionally sentimental and nice, but at worse annualized overkill and cumulatively annoying.

This playlist avoids the host of non-religous holiday songs, to give a pure Advent-themed playlist, but also cuts out all those — in my opinion — mediocre Christmas hymns. (If I didn’t include your favorite song, I’ll take suggestions; but if denied, #SorryNotSorry). What can I say? I’m kind of a Christmas song snob…

Most of the songs here are hymns, or the more “traditional” Christmas songs, although occasionally I’ll include something written more recently. Most of the stuff though is performed in a more contemporary fashion, with even some occasional modified renditions.

So… without further ado, here is your Kirk Miller approved Spotify Christmas playlist.