Saturday, December 17, 2011

Advent Giveaway: Day 17

 This weekend's sponsor for our Advent Giveaway is InterVarsity Press.

Publisher's Description of Authentic Church by Vaughn Roberts:

The church today faces challenges on every front. Christians are captivated by consumerism, seduced by celebrity, distracted by technology and overwhelmed by media. Religious and secular rivals are increasingly prominent, vying for our allegiance and worship. What does authentic Christian spirituality look like in such an era?

Vaughan Roberts finds direction for today's church in Paul's prophetic letter of 1 Corinthians. Ancient Corinth was a similarly confusing cultural landscape, and the Corinthian church likewise struggled to remain true to Christ in a world of many idols. Paul's vision is clear--Christians must choose certain things and not others. We must focus on the cross of Christ, not on human wisdom. Our leaders should be faithful, not flashy. And in contrast to lives of moral permissiveness, we must live lives of holiness and love.

Following the way of Christ may look like foolishness to the world, but therein is the path of true wisdom. Here is a book that will help you choose the true spirituality of the gospel of Christ, and become the authentic church God intends you to be.

Publisher's Description of The Cost of Community by Jamie Arpin-Ricci:

Blessed are the poor in spirit . . .

So begins the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus' great message to everyone with ears to hear. St. Francis of Assisi heard its message and challenged the church and empire of his day by ordering his life around it--giving up his power, wealth and privileges; claiming the poor and powerful alike as his brothers and sisters; and loving Islamic neighbors even as his church and state waged war on them.

Centuries later, Jamie Arpin-Ricci and his friends and neighbors in the new monastic community of Little Flowers in urban Winnipeg likewise heard Jesus' message and ordered their lives around it. This book is Jamie's field report, offering surprising insights about what life together in the spirit of Jesus' teachings offers us, and what it demands of us.

The sermon still rings out today, offering perplexing encouragement and at times daunting challenges to us and our neighbors. Will you hear what Jesus has to say?

For a complete list of prizes and rules, click here. You can enter using the PunchTab app below. RSS readers will need to click through to the post to see the widget. Good luck!    


Advent Reflection

    Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
        shout, O Israel!
    Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
        O daughter of Jerusalem!
    The LORD has taken away the judgments against you;
        he has cleared away your enemies.
    The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
        you shall never again fear evil.
    On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
    “Fear not, O Zion;
        let not your hands grow weak.
    The LORD your God is in your midst,
        a mighty one who will save;
    he will rejoice over you with gladness;
        he will quiet you by his love;
    he will exult over you with loud singing.
    I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
        so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
    Behold, at that time I will deal
        with all your oppressors.
    And I will save the lame
        and gather the outcast,
    and I will change their shame into praise
        and renown in all the earth.
    At that time I will bring you in,
        at the time when I gather you together;
    for I will make you renowned and praised
        among all the peoples of the earth,
    when I restore your fortunes
        before your eyes,” says the LORD.
(Zephaniah 3:14-20 ESV)


Anonymous said...

The depth of biblical and theological understanding such a young girl had back then.

Unknown said...

v.54-55 with the reference to covenant promises being remembered.

BRPadmin said...

v. 46-53. The exaltation of the lowly and the humbling of the proud.

David said...

I really enjoy v. 51-53 as all of the roles that had been set by man are reversed by God.

Jason Gardner said...

The statement "Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors."

Sarah Abigail Kuriakos said...

I like the series of contrasts in verses 51 through 53.

Justin Boulmay said...

That she chose to glorify God instead of dwelling on the unique position she was in as the Mother of Jesus.