A Light Shining in a Great Darkness, Dethroning Illegitimate Kings, and Bible Reading for 2022
Weekend Newsletter: December 25, 2021
Here are two articles I have written on the incarnation, one that I published this week, and one I wrote a few years ago:
This Christmas, as we meditate on the birth of Christ, we remember that Christ’s coming marked the entrance of great light into a darkened world: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone” (Isa. 9:2).
It is worth meditating, then, on the depth of the spiritual darkness out of which Christ has saved us:
It was into this oppressive spiritual darkness that our Savior came and conquered: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4–5).
This Week’s Sermon
As wise men leave behind their country and their culture to worship the one born king of the Jews, the current king of Judea, Herod the Great, recognizes that Jesus’ own claims to the throne may be stronger than his. Rather than responding to the announcement of Jesus’ birth with faith, Herod plots and schemes to do away with Jesus. In the contest between a powerful king and a powerless baby, however, Herod’s plans will be thwarted until the day of his death. Matthew is continuing to prove to us Jesus’ kingship, but here he is also giving us a glimpse into the consequences of Jesus’ kingship: namely, that Jesus dethrones illegitimate kings.
Bible Reading Plans for 2022
As we approach a new year, let me encourage you to make a plan for reading the Bible in 2022. I have used the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan for nearly two decades now, and it has been such a blessing to take me regularly and consistently through the whole Bible every year, year after year. (See the full plan here.) There are a number of good plans, but I’d strongly recommend this one to you.
To help you work through each day’s reading, I’ve published one year's worth of free meditations to go along with one of the tracks of Bible readings for the M’Cheyne Plan, from Genesis through 2 Chronicles. You can access those on another website, Free Daily Bible Study. You can either subscribe by email to receive each meditation every day, or you can get these meditations read aloud each day by podcast.
There are, however, many other Bible reading plans as well. Here are two resources that may help:
18 Possible Bible Bible Reading Plans (Ligonier): If you’d like to find a new plan for this year, this page offers a number of possibilities. For any of the plans, you can download a convenient PDF to see each day’s reading assignment.
Bible Reading Plan Generator: If none of those out-of-the-box options work for you, this is the last item on Ligonier’s list. The Bible Reading Plan Generator is an amazing tool to let you get really specific about building your own plan to read through the Bible.
The main thing is to find a plan, and to stick with it. Get in the Word in 2022!
May the Lord bless and keep you and your family, as you remember the great truth announced by the angels: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10–11).