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Recognizing the Reality of a Blue Christmas

I have known intellectually for a while now that not all Christmases are merry for all people. I have even preached that sermon on an occasion or two – to be sensitive to those who will have a hard time this Christmas. This is the time of year where a Christmas carol will make some cheery and some upset depending on what you associate with Christmas or what is going on in your life at this moment in time.

For me, this is the first Christmas I can remember that seems to have a dark cloud over it. Recognizing the reality of a blue Christmas is no longer an intellectual exercise nor is it a message for someone else. This year Christmas is leaning difficult as dad is in the hospital and the prognosis isn’t a good one. I wasn’t sure if he was going to make it through 2018. Now I am not sure if he is going to make it through 2017.

This isn’t a woe is me post as much as it is a recognition of the very real pain people experience this time of year and often every year after a difficult Christmas. They are reminded by the empty seat at the table, the person they no longer buy gifts for and the phone calls and texts that no longer come.

One of the greatest gifts you can give some people this time of year is encouragement an comfort because for some of us the passage of scripture most fitting this year is not Luke 2 or Matthew 2 but another 2…2 Corinthians 1:3-5,

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

The Jesus Jersey

“You are the Messiah.” – Peter (Mark 8:29) Peter knew this much but he didn’t understand what that meant. It seems Peter had something in mind other than what Jesus had in mind when it came to defining the role of the Messiah. The Jewish people had been looking for a deliverer…a king. When theContinue Reading

Illustrating Why Verses Dropped Out of Newer Translations

A few years ago I did a number of posts on translations and manuscripts that generated a lengthy discussion. Occassionally I still get comments on a number of those posts. One recent comment came from Chris who wrote this, “Plus the NIV comes from Textus sinaiticus….And the KJV comes from Textus Receptus So I poseContinue Reading

Psalm 118 and the Last Song Jesus Sang Before His Death

As Jesus concluded the Passover meal with his disciples there is a verse that is nearly always left out of the readings when this is read in sermons and at the Lord’s Supper. The verse right after Jesus finishes instituting the Lord’s Supper is this, “When they had sung a hymn, they went out toContinue Reading

Improving Theological Discourse – My Neighbor is Not an Object

There are some circles where theological discourse is as healthy as ever while in other places people are rabid and vicious. Paul addressed this among the Galatian Christians in Galatians 5, “If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.” (5:15). Right before that Paul wroteContinue Reading

Social Media and the New Responsibility

We live in the most technologically advanced time in the history of humanity. This is true of so many areas of life. It is especially true of communication.  It wasn’t that long ago when instantaneous communication was impossible. Before the telegraph you had to send a message via pigeon or horse or ship. Sailing coveredContinue Reading

Multiple Email Notifications for New Posts at Kingdom Living

This post serves two purposes. First, sorry about the multiple emails you have been receiving when new posts go up here at mattdabbs.com. I believe it is now fixed. The second purpose of the post is to test and see if it is actually fixed. Please bear with us! Thank you for your patience.

Enjoying Pepperdine Lectures 2016

The Pepperdine Lectures are over halfway over or maybe they are only halfway underway. I have been enriched by our time here so far. N.T Wright has done an amazing job. Fate Hagood’s keynote last night was timely and from my perspective was key in speaking into where Churches of Christ are today. I hopeContinue Reading

The Holy Spirit’s Role in Jesus’ Miracles

Throughout scripture the Holy Spirit has enabled people to do amazing things. The Spirit empowered several of the judges to do the mighty things God called them to do (Samson and Gideon to name a few). The Holy Spirit came on Saul and enabled him to prophesy (1 Sam 10:6-10). The Holy Spirit enabled theContinue Reading

Merry Christmas

I hope each one of you has a Merry Christmas and a great 2016. The birth of Jesus reminds us that God is interested in everyone from shepherds to kings and locals to those from distant lands. We are reminded that we are indeed loved by God and truly special in His sight.  So beContinue Reading

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