On a Family Regathered for Christmas

 

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The reigning King of Christmas looks anything but joyful here. I’m not sure why, really. I think I was just very focused on framing the selife “just so” in order to get the background festivities in the shot. Those festivities — a sumptuous Christmas Eve-Eve feast prepared by my amazing bride — included “Christmas crackers,” the British holiday tradition that invariably contains a riddle or joke, a prize and a paper crown. (Thus the headgear.)

The fact is, the last couple of weeks have indeed been filled with joy. And life. And good friends. And laughter around tables heaped with delicious foods encircled by all my favorite faces. All of them.

Christmas Girls

 

That’s no small thing when two of your favorite faces reside half a world away. It has been roughly a year since I had seen the Aussie Lassies. And we said goodbye to one of them a couple of days ago with the knowledge that it would probably be another year before we’d see her again.

In another week or so it will be just me and the Mrs. once again. And that’s just fine. We’re good together—and much living remains to be done.

But even the happiest empty nest needs to be refilled from time to time.

 

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On the Reign of the King

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My previous post made the case that Jesus was born to be a king. Of course, there is nothing controversial about that assertion. Jesus’ kingly-ness is affirmed and taught in every corner of Christendom. However . . .

. . . within the Protestant world, there are two very different understandings about when that king’s reign begins in earnest.

Much of the Evangelical world views “the kingdom”—i.e., Jesus’ rule on earth—as primarily a future prospect. The position held (in varying forms) is that, although Jesus is currently recognized and honored as “King” throughout heaven, His kingdom will not be present and active on earth until He physically returns. Upon returning, Jesus basically kicks tail; takes names; sets everything in order; and sets up His throne in Jerusalem from whence He reigns for precisely 1,000 years.

There is another view. This one views Jesus’ reign as rightful, ruling King of Earth (as well as Heaven) as beginning when he “sat down at the right hand of the Father” (Mark 16:19). In other words, the rule of King Jesus is primarily a present prospect.

Which view does the witness of Scripture support? And what difference does it make which view one holds?

I’ll be addressing these questions in a series of blog posts to come. (An exciting promise, I know. Try to contain yourself.)