Every family has changes in their regular routines in the four seasons of life. A boat may come out of storage for summer or skis unpacked for winter. A summer vacation can include a trip to Europe where 1000’s of churches hold history in stained glass and wonderful sacred art work.
We actually do have to PA– USE for a minute or two to reflect on the changing seasons. Well some church traditions have very carefully provided seasons to help us reflect or pause on the vast beauty of God in weeks before the time we celebrate Christs Resurrection . We call that Lent. The other very important item of year to celebrate and devotionally meditate on the birth of Christ is called Advent.
Many children grew up waiting each November to get an advent calendar that included stories about the celebration of the Baby in the Manger coming. The tradition can include giving presents or candy to children during the four or six weeks prior to Christmas. Dr Jean McLachlan Hess provides a great family devotional book to start a new tradition in your family. Stories and prayers to follow to be sure we get some new glimpses of the Journey to the Manger.
Dr. Jean and Dr Rick Hess Pastor a local church is Denver. www.316denver.com
Dr. Jean McLachlan Hess
Jean is a native of Glasgow, Scotland. Her first career was in Business Management, followed by a fulfilling career as a stay at home mom. Jean was ordained by the Church of Scotland, and she has ministered nationally and internationally as a pastor and a speaker. Jean has spoken at general retreats, Spiritual Leadership retreats, workshops on Prayer and Spiritual Direction, and at many churches. She is a graduate of International Christian College and of Trinity College, Glasgow University. In 2007 she gained a Doctor of Ministry from Denver Seminary. Her project thesis was on Prayer, with an emphasis on physical and inner healing prayer. Jean has just completed a manuscript for a Devotional book that will be published in 2013. She will begin work on a second book early in the New Year.
Dr. Rick Hess
Rick teaches Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern languages at Denver Seminary. He earned a PhD from Hebrew Union College, an MDiv and a ThM from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a BA from Wheaton College. He has preached and taught at a variety of churches and universities in America, Great Britain, Korea, China and India, to name a few. Rick has published a dozen books, including commentaries and studies on the biblical books of Genesis, Leviticus, Joshua, and the Song of Solomon. At present, he is an editor for the New International Version Study Bible, and is also working on commentaries on the books of Genesis and Kings, an Introduction to the Old Testament, and the study of ancient Near Eastern texts related to the Old Testament.
Rick and Jean have two sons, two daughters in law, one daughter, one soon to be son in law, and five, almost six, grandchildren all of whom live in the Denver area.
You may be saying how would St Patrick have anything to do with the birth of Christ. Well here is some fresh new ideas about how to live among other people without boundaries established that separate us. Dr. Jean Hess spoke in 2016 on our show Going Deeper With God about Evangelism the Celtic way. The podcast is available on this site in archives.
Please enjoy this fresh inspirational truth about St Patrick and how different cultures relate to one another. Buy the book on Amazon today and tune in to our show on www.1220kldc.com 9:30 AM MST and midnight to get a real treat for our two shows on November 19 and 26. Tune in live around the world.
The old saying that, “Christianity is more caught than taught” could very well be the banner statement for Celtic evangelism, as the Celtic model is based on helping people belong so that they can believe. John Finney, writing in his book, Recovering the Past: Celtic and Roman Mission, contrasts the Roman way of doing evangelism and mission and the Celtic way. Finney shows us this simple chart to highlight what he means:
Ministry and Conversations
Belief, Invitation to Commitment
Finney contends that the Celtic way is more effective with postmodern Western populations than the American evangelical Roman way. He states that:
“The Roman Model for reaching people says: 1) Present the Christian message; 2) Invite them to decide to believe in Christ and become Christians; and 3) If they decide positively, welcome them into the Church and its fellowship. The Roman model seems very logical to us because most American evangelicals are scripted by it! Presentation, Decision, Assimilation. Extremely logical.
The Celtic model for reaching people says: 1) you first establish community with people, or bring them into the fellowship, you engage in conversation, ministry, prayer, and worship. 3) In time, as they discover that they now believe, you invite them to baptism and discipleship.”
Finney reports that most people experience faith through relationships; that they encounter the Gospel through a community of faith; and that becoming a Christian involves a process that takes time.
The Celts lived a life of faith that showed those around them that Christ made a difference in their lives. The compassion and love of Christ was evident in their day-to-day living. Life was hard! Pain and suffering were all too often their reality, yet their lives were a witness and testimony to their God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). This ‘living’ testimony caused countless people to befriend them and then, in God’s perfect timing, become a follower of Jesus Christ.
The outreach and evangelism of 316 will have a strong Celtic flavor. We will always be ready to share our faith, but first and foremost we will seek to evangelize through Ceilidhs, Scottish and Irish culture events, and concerts.
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