Category Archives: Prayer Letter


In a sermon the late John Webster preached in July of 2001 as one of the pastors of Christ Church, in Oxford, UK, he took as his text Paul’s injunction to the church at Galatia, Galatians 6:1–3: Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of […]

‘Maranatha’ in Cross-Cultural Ministry

Has it ever surprised you that Christians incorporate ancient Hebrew words into their singing and praying? Amen and hallelujah occur in the Old Testament so it makes sense that Christians use them in worship. But what about the Aramaic word maranatha — “Our Lord, come!” — in 1 Corinthians 16:22?  Aramaic was the common language […]

The God Who Waits

I’ve stood on the corner of 7th Street and 13th Avenue many times, waiting to cross the road from my office to Bethlehem’s main building. I like to call it ‘sanctification corner’ since I sometimes stare for several minutes at the glowing red hand across the street and hear the command “WAIT” repeat over and […]

And There Was Evening

“And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” Genesis 1:5b Did you ever wonder why Genesis 1:5 mentions evening before morning? For years, as a young Christian, I wondered, “Since it is describing the first day, why doesn’t it say there was morning and there was evening? The day starts with morning, […]

Glory to God in the Lowest

Christianity is ultimately the story of one Grand Miracle. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Almighty God, the Eternal and Unchanging One, entering the world of change and turning, and taking on human nature for us and our salvation. It is the story of descent and re-ascent, of the highest descending to the […]

The Transforming Power of a Christmas Ghost

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, in either its original literary form or its various movie adaptations, has been one of the most beloved stories of Christmas since its initial publication in 1843. However, if someone were unfamiliar Dickens’ famous tale, a description of it might seem more like a Halloween story. A Christmas story about […]

The Light of the World

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12) During this advent season, my church has been preaching through Biblical texts that describe light. We have seen how light signifies revelation and purity, how […]

Powerless Gospel Preaching

Have you ever emptied the gospel of its power? Did you know that it is possible to preach, teach, or share the gospel in a way which nullifies its power? Don’t take my word for it. Look at what the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:17, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to […]

When We Remember

This week is American Thanksgiving. This is the moment we eat turkey and pumpkin pie. We gather with family we don’t see often. And, of course, we watch football. Thanksgiving is when we pause to remember the opportunities, liberty, and privileges we enjoy. In essence, Thanksgiving is the moment we pause to remember. We intentionally […]

Your Child’s Heart

At Bethlehem, we aim at Christian maturity. This means that by God’s grace we want our graduates to build strong, stable, and happy families that reflect the gospel in the world. Here is an exhortation from Dr. Rigney to his congregation on aiming for the heart in raising our children. The banner that flies over […]