Best of the Week for December 11

In Best of the Week we link to a handful of the best articles, videos, books, etc. that we have come across in the last week. We hope this will point you to some of the right places and give you gospel-rich tools and thoughts for life and mission.

Why Jesus Came

“The reason he became man was to die. As God pure and simple, he could not die for sinners. But as man he could. His aim was to die. Therefore he had to be born human. He was born to die. Good Friday is the purpose of Christmas.”

This is an Advent devotional, so it’s not very long, but it’s powerful, AND it is centered around one of our main passages for this Sunday’s Advent message. So it’s a good read to prepare your heart.

Just Drop the Blanket

“In that climactic scene when Linus shares what “Christmas is all about,” he drops his security blanket, and I am now convinced that this is intentional. Most telling is the specific moment he drops it: when he utters the words ‘fear not.'”

If you’ve ever watched A Charlie Brown Christmas, you’ll enjoy this. It’s complete with a short clip from the movie, and it makes a profound observation about the birth of Christ.

What Our Children Will Remember About This Christmas

“I imagine, however, that what they’ll remember about this Christmas and all the Christmases of their childhood combined will not be coloring sheets or books or a lit candle on the Advent wreath, although these will certainly hover with warm connotations in the background of their minds. No, if they are like me, I imagine that what will have the most impact are the happy and enthusiastic adults in their lives, namely my husband and me, who have the story of Jesus joyfully tumbling around in their hearts throughout the year and the Christmas season.”

Advent means a lot to my family, but as good as all the traditions we’ve worked hard to establish are, this is a timely reminder about what our kids are likely to remember, and be the most impacted by. So stress a little less, and have a little fun.

Happiness Can Betray You

“Simply put, the devil often confuses us to think that our worldly contentment is spiritual satisfaction. We delightfully receive the new acquisition — a job, a relationship, a success — and we assume, often wrongly, that our joy automatically finds its source in God.”

This one stings a little. An excellent question for most of us, especially those in the affluent west, is, “What (or who) are our hearts glad in?” I fear for most of us, it is Jesus as much as we think.

The Wonder of Church Planting

“As you gather for corporate worship in a storefront, a home, a school, a secret location, or an old church building, remember that you are a microcosm of something greater, something diverse and beautiful, something global and glorious, something in the present that will extend to the future—and beyond to eternity.”

For those planting churches, both the leaders/”church planters” and the members of the team, this is a great article about who and what we really are, and why it’s SO worth persevering.

Have a good week.