Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: Christmas (page 1 of 8)

Care for the Poor

Read Amos 8:4-12.

Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30″

One of the aspects of Advent and Christmas we often forget is how God’s birth and reign turned the world on its head.  We want to think of Christ as bringing love and happiness which he certainly does.  But Advent is also a time of repentance, a time to consider the ways in which we have not acted in holy and just ways.  In passages like the Magnificat, we hear that the hungry will be filled and the rich sent away empty (Luke 1: 53).  At this time of year, we also hear words from the prophets who warn us what will happen if we refuse to take care of the poor.

Amos warns us what will happen if we “trample on the needy” (v. 4).

Continue reading

Book Review: Down to Earth

Down to EarthDown to Earth: The Hopes & Fears of All the Years Are Met in Thee Tonight, Mike Slaughter & Rachel Billups, Abingdon Press, 2016.

In this book for the Advent season, pastors Mike Slaughter and Rachel Billups explore what it means for love, joy, peace, and hope to come down to Earth. The book accompanies a four-week Advent study that opens up Christmas to examine how one helpless baby changed everything.

What makes this a great read during Advent this year, is how relevant it is to current events. While it was written before we had two primary presidential candidates or even an election, reading it post-election is food for the soul. Slaughter and Billups acknowledge that we put too much attention on the wrong things. They write, “Or in arguing about things such as red cups, sexual identity issues, who we voted for, and where refugees should go, are we allowing these issues to create dividing lines between us?”

Continue reading

YouTubevotional: Mary Knew

crafts_14816bc

YouTubevotionals are designed to be used in personal devotion time, with small groups, youth groups, or Sunday school classes. To see other YouTubevotionals, click here

Introduction

In 1996 the song “Mary, Did You Know?” written by Mark Lowry, was released. Since then, it has become a Christmas standard, sung by various artists and church choirs. Lowry had pondered questions he would ask Mary if he had the chance to sit down and talk to her. Buddy Greene put music to those questions. It is hard to find a version of the song that is different. In the video below, the Singing Contractors stop their work to sing.

Continue reading

“Believe” and the Meaning of Christmas

believe_keyart_49bEmmy-nominated director Billy Dickson has written an endless number of family-based, faith-based scripts. Most them, however, have only collected dust.  Dickson told Jacob Sahms for ChristianCinema.com, “I had been writing family-based, faith-based scripts but they were collecting dust because people wouldn’t take a look at them. They were too soft; there weren’t enough gun fights.” His new project, Believe, seeks to be the faith-based film that crosses barriers. It has a little bit of everything. And promises to be a new Christmas classic.

The small town of Grundy, Virginia looks forward to one thing every year – the annual Christian pageant provided by the Peyton family. Matthew Peyton (Ryan O’Quinn) has inherited his family’s business, and the responsibility for the Christmas pageant. The family business, however, has fallen on financial hardship, with implications of the same happening to the whole town.

Continue reading

YouTubevotional: No Toys?

YouTubevotionals are designed to be used in personal devotion time, with small groups, youth groups, or Sunday school classes. To see other YouTubevotionals, click here

Introduction

It is that time of year. We have given thanks for the blessings of life, gathered around a table full of food, family, and friends. Now, we are putting up Christmas trees, lights, and stockings . . .with care. We have made lists (and checked them twice) of the things we want for Christmas. In this classic clip from The Brady Bunch, Cindy waits to tell Santa what we wants for Christmas.

Continue reading

Older posts

© 2019 Jason C. Stanley

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑