Here’s a sensational video and a thought for the new year from Ephesians 4: You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds;and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Archive for December, 2013
Tags: A Better Way, change, followers of Jesus, New Year
Here’s a beautiful video out of New Zealand, that tells the Christmas story from the point of view of children. You’ll love it. I played it at church yesterday and it was a great introduction to my talk about the unexpected visit of the angels to the shepherds on the outskirts of Bethlehem, announcing the birth of Jesus.
Tags: Christmas, Jesus, John the Baptist
It’s not too often in the 21st century that people choose names because of their meaning. I looked up the meaning of my name. Robert apparently means “bright fame”, but those two words don’t seem to go together, after all, it’s not a sentence and the words don’t describe anything, so I think naming me Robert had more to do with family history than the meaning of the name.
Prior to the birth of Jesus another baby was born, and his parents called him John. Now that’s a name that has some meaning. At the time of his birth, John meant the Lord is Merciful, or Gracious Gift of God.
There was a bit of a dispute at the time because everyone thought that the baby should be named after his father – don’t you love the way everyone’s got an opinion! But John’s father, Zechariah, had been told by an angel that his baby was to be called John, and Zechariah had the insight to know that John was going to be the person who would prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus.
It’s interesting to me that Jesus didn’t just appear on the scene unannounced, but that his cousin, John, was born before him, with the role of preparing the way. As we prepare for Christmas; buying presents, decorating the Christmas tree, and buying the ham, it’s worth remembering that Jesus didn’t come without preparation, and his arrival was not unexpected.
Ken Duncan has brought us this beautiful Christmas reflection with some of his amazing photographs. Take a look.
We get to open presents that, sometimes, are just what we wanted, and while there may be some predictable presents, it’s always good to get a surprise.
As a child I used to spend a lot of time wrapping presents in such a way that no matter how much you looked at it under the Christmas tree, or felt it or shook it, you still couldn’t guess what it was.
Christmas is a time when families get together and sometimes that produces surprises. Look how much the baby has grown … when did the children turn into teenagers? … Isn’t Aunty May looking old?
There are a whole lot of surprises in the Christmas story as it’s told in the Bible.
It was a massive surprise to a young teenage girl, by the name of Mary when an angel popped into her little village of Nazareth and told her that she would have a child who would be the saviour of the world.
It was one mighty surprise for a group of shepherds in the paddocks outside Bethlehem, when a whole band of angels appeared and told them about the birth of a baby.
The wise men, or astrologers, who travelled from Iran, or even as far as China, would have been very surprised that their search for a king led them to a baby in a manger.
And, to be honest, it’s a huge surprise to me that almighty God, the creator of heaven and earth, should consider little old me worthy of his love, such that he would send his son to earth so that I could be made right with him.
That’s the message of Christmas, and that’s a surprise that doesn’t need to be disguised by fancy wrapping.
Here’s another great song to get you into the Christmas Spirit!