Life and Death and Life

annunciationToday is Friday, March 25. On the Western Christian calendar, today is Good Friday, the day that the church remembers the death of Jesus on the cross. It is an interesting coincidence of the church calendar that today is also the Feast of the Annunciation. The Annunciation recalls the announcement made by the angel Gabriel to Mary that she would conceive the Christ child.

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The timing of the Annunciation is a logical extension of when Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. At Christmas, we are reminded of and celebrate the birth of Christ. Nine months earlier, on March 25th, the church remembers the conception of Christ as a human.

In European culture, for centuries, March 25th was celebrated as new year’s day since that day commemorates the beginning of Christ’s humanity, which in their understanding, did not start at His birth but at His conception.

This merge of these two church feasts on a single day is a very rare occurrence. It happened only three times in the 20th century (the last time being 1932). It happens only twice in the 21st century (in 2005 and this year). The next time it happens will be in the mid 22nd century in the year 2157.

Please take time to reflect on the two biblical events being remembered today. The start of Jesus’ life as a human being. Though being God throughout all eternity, He started His existence at the Annunciation. Decades later, He would fulfill His calling to die a sacrificial death on behalf of His people. With that death and the resurrection that happened only days later, the Lord Jesus brought new life to those who would trust in Him.

Truly, this is a day for us to consider God’s gifting of life and death and life.

Christian Spiritual Formation – Horizontal and Vertical Fellowship

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In Episode 79, we explore the horizontal and vertical fellowship we have in the Lord’s Table.

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Christian Spiritual Formation – Fellowship In the Future Tense

Harajuku-Protestant-ChurchIn Episode 78, we will explore some ideas concerning how to have Christian fellowship with those who come after us in the future.

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Christian Spiritual Formation – Fellowship In the Past Tense

westminster-abbey-interior-1197241954In Episode 77, we explore the concept of Christian fellowship in the past tense. We discuss the role which those who have died in the faith of Christ before us have played and the legacy which they have left us.

Link to an image of Rembrandt’s Supper at Emmaus from the Louvre can be found here

Link to a podcast episode featuring A.W. Tozer and a brief audio recording of him can be found here

Link to a podcast episode on Leonard Ravenhill can be found here 

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The Central Importance of Prayer in Christian Spiritual Formation

Woman-praying-at-churchIn Episode 75, we will be discussing the central importance of prayer in Christian Spiritual Formation as well as some suggestions about starting or deepening a life of prayer in Christ.

Link to Episode 15 of the Finding Hidden Treasure which discusses the Puritan Practice of Meditation can be found here

Link to Amazon for hardcopy version of the official 1662 Book of Common Prayer can be found here

Link to Ligonier Ministries for a hardcopy of a collection of Puritan prayers known as “The Valley of Vision” can be found here.¬†

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