Since I took a vacation the last week in December, and so didn’t preach at Grace on Sunday, I don’t have a sermon summary for this week’s “From the Pastor’s Study.” Rather, I offer a scattershot of personal news and thoughts.
Our vacation was a “staycation,” which I think is my favorite kind. Or at least, the most relaxing. Our family enjoyed celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve together, and in the week between the two we visited with friends, went shopping in Anchorage, saw The Man Who Invented Christmas (a fantastic movie!), and went sledding at Hatcher Pass.
I also started re-reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring (the first of three volumes of The Lord of the Rings). So my thoughts lately alternate between the happenings of Middle-Earth and those of real earth. I’m amazed at the creative power of Tolkien who invented an entire world as the back-drop of an epic struggle between good and evil.
I’ve also thought that the power of the The Lord of the Rings lies in the fact that we actually do inhabit a world caught up in a cosmic war between the forces of light and darkness. If the story of Scripture were not a reality, Tolkien’s grand tale would lose all its compelling force. We hear in the pages of the The Lord of the Rings an echo of the triumphant message of Scripture, that though our world has come under the dark rule of Satan, and sin and death, God has won the decisive victory through Christ and will one day banish evil forever throughout all creation.
As for other recent reading, I read most of Michael Reeve’s Delighting in the Trinity as part of my preparation for my series of sermons for Advent. The book is a gem, and I’d happily put it into the hands of any Christian (not my copy, of course!). Reeves writing is as enjoyable as his explanation of the doctrine of the Trinity is insightful and profound.
This Lord’s Day I’ll preach on Psalm 85, “New Life for a New Year.” Then we’ll return to the Gospel of Luke. At the evening services we’ll continue our study of the Heidelberg Catechism.
Soli Deo Gloria!