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Scholarship with a Shepherd’s Heart

Have you ever prayed for something that didn’t happen? You poured out your soul before God, begging him to come through, and your prayers seemed to go unanswered? I think that’s the experience of a lot of Christians. There are some today who would even teach that if you have enough faith and you pray,…

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It’s funny to me when high school students think they’re free thinkers because they act like their friends and not like their parents. Adults who think of themselves as free thinkers are not any less silly. There are no free thinkers; there are simply persons animated by either the Spirit of God or the spirit…

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On the first Sunday of every month, our local church, Christ Covenant Church in Atlanta, Georgia, offers a class we call, “First Sunday.” It’s an orientation to our church. Like a new member’s class, it’s required to join our church, but our hope is that the class would help everyone who attends—even those who don’t…

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For many people, opening up the Bible can feel like a daunting task. A person might open up God’s Word and begin to read through Genesis and this goes fine. But then when reading through Leviticus or the prophets, things begin to get more confusing. It’s important for us to have a frame of reference…

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Advent is a delicious thirst. We remember the Incarnation, when God became flesh to become one flesh with us—a mystery the fourth Gospel calls “abiding.” This love began in the Father (John 3:16) and was completed by the Son on the cross (13:1). John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” reclined on the chest of the…

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In his famous poem, “Christmas Bells,” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow captures his despair and hope as he wrestles with “peace on earth” or the lack thereof in the final two stanzas: And in despair I bowed my head; “There is no peace on earth,” I said; “For hate is strong, And mocks the song Of peace…

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The church father Tertullian (fl. AD 200) once remarked, “Hope is patience with the lamp lit.” The reason hope requires patience is because we only hope for things we do not have. Paul made this point in Romans 5: “hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if…

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Selection of Simeon in the Temple, by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1631

Luke has given us three prayers for Advent—the Magnificat, the Benedictus, and the Nunc Dimittis. This meditation focuses on the third; I intend to offer context for the focus (kavanah) we bring to the prayer. This section in Luke’s birth narrative of Jesus has four chiastic subunits: A         Piety of Parents (2:21–24) B          Simeon’s Piety…

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