Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Greetings

As I have internet access in Abingdon Public Library (which is shortly to close for the Christmas break)  I am able to chirp out a very happy Christmas to all my loyal blog readers. This is the time for marvelling at the miracle as God identified with us at the fullest - the Word made flesh.  Unbelievable!  Max Lucado summed it up:
He who was larger than the universe became an embryo...God was given eyebrows, elbows, two kidneys and a spleen.  He stretched against the walls and floated in the amniotic fluids of his mother.
All this so that God could identify with us while revealing the truth about who the Father is, and by Jesus' dying and rising make it possible for us to live truly as humans in eternal fellowship with God.  We should never get over this wonder.  Let's celebrate again and again these next few days.

On a personal note - our time in England has the old combination of bad/good news.  The bad is that shortly after arriving I contracted a vicious fever/cold/fluey bug.  The curious expression 'feeling like death warmed up' seems about appropriate.  11 days on I am still struggling and to compound misery Carol has now gone down with it.  Most of our plans have been cancelled....but there is always the New Year!

The good news is that we have benefitted from Christian fellowship in spectacular ways.  Our brief visit to Suffolk was blessed as we stayed with a Christian friend - completely new to me and yet immediately she became a sister.  Even more wonderfully, in our temporary home in Histon another new friend has exceeded all our hopes by giving such support and care making a potentially (very) frustrating time into rich fellowship.  We are truly grateful.  This is the outcome of the Christmas miracle when friends show love like this.

Wherever you are and however you feel may you know the joy of celebrating Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Advent scurry

The recent absence of postings is easily explained!  Both my sets of students in  Master of Divinity and Doctor of Divinity programs have needed grading of final papers.  It has been a spectacular single-minded task from dawn well beyond dusk, day-after-day (though I say it myself).   Some friends have supposed me to be exaggerating (one even claiming it was to be expected since I am a Baptist preacher...ouch!)  but in the last twelve days I have graded 60 sermons!  Six were preached in the preaching lab and details of 54 were sent as part of the DMin assignment.  You can imagine how much good it has done me?

Tomorrow we leave for England with all hopes that our fixer-upper new home in Cambridge would be ready, firmly dashed.  Oh, no! Instead of beginning much needed rooting and nesting we shall need to be pilgrim people for several weeks.  Hopefully, we shall be able to put on a fresh change of clothes (presently stored in a closed container somewhere in Norfolk) before returning to the US on February 15th to present the Beeson Preaching Series at Asbury Seminary, Kentucky.

So, please do not expect much blogging as we scurry on through Advent.  In the busyness, however, we shall try to keep focused on the great news that Advent prepares for in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  May you know strength and joy this season.