Sunday 1st December Luke 1:1-4
God wants us to be certain.
Monday 2nd December Luke 1:5-17
Breaking Heaven’s silence.
Tuesday 3rd December Luke 1:18-25
Help my unbelief.
Wednesday 4th December Luke 1:26-38
Thursday 5th December Luke 1:26-38
Son of Mary, Son of God.
Friday 6th December Luke 1:26-38
Saturday 7th December Luke 1:39-45
Faith: Confirmed, Inspired, Sustained.
Sunday 8th December Luke 1:46-56
What does your soul magnify?
Monday 9th December Luke 1:46-56
With kind regards, from God most high.
Tuesday 10th December Luke 1:46-56
The Great Reversal.
Wednesday 11th December Luke 1:57-66
When God’s ways are different to ours.
Thursday 12th December Luke 1:67-80
Friday 13th December Luke 1:67-80
The Radiant Dawn.
Saturday 14th December Luke 2:1-7
Sunday 15th December Luke 2:1-7
Can this be right?
Monday 16th December Luke 2:8-20
A Saviour for Christmas.
Tuesday 17th December Luke 2:8-20
An unlikely harmony.
Wednesday 18th December Luke 2:8-20
The event that lives through a message.
Thursday 19th December Luke 2:8-20
A heart that holds its treasure.
Friday 20th December Luke 2:21-24
Saturday 21st December Luke 2:25-40
The rare jewel of Christian contentment.
Sunday 22nd December Luke 2:25-40
Monday 23rd December Luke 2:25-40
Old woman, new era.
Tuesday 24th December Luke 2:41-52
In his own words.
Wednesday 25th December Luke 2:8-20
For the last couple of days of this Christmas week we shall be reflecting on two highly significant events in the life of Jesus.
First, the coming of the Wise Men and the family’s escape to Egypt.
Then Jesus’ baptism, which marked the beginning of his public ministry.
Thursday 26th December Matthew 2:1–15
V 6. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel’.
The current plight of refugees is well-documented. Some are on the move because of war, or persecution; others to escape famine or floods. Joseph, with Mary and Jesus, was escaping State-sponsored murder. The arrival at court of these foreign dignitaries with news of the birth of a new King presented Herod with a definite challenge to his authority. So determined was he to eliminate any potential rival as Governor that the mass murder of infants was, for him, both logical and necessary.
So if you have any lingering thoughts about Jesus having a quiet and comfortable early childhood in Nazareth, forget it. The life of a Jewish refugee family in Egypt was unlikely to have been pleasant or carefree.
Two great Old Testament stories converge at this point. King David spent his early life in Bethlehem; how appropriate that ‘Great David’s greater Son’ should be born there. And then we are drawn back to the story of the Exodus – the whole nation escaping from being refugees and slaves in Egypt to re-settle in their own land. So Jesus comes back to the promised land after also being a refugee in Egypt. The events of the Old Testament foreshadow the circumstances of the story of Jesus.
Friday 27th December Matthew 3:1-17
V 17. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
John the Baptist was a popular, and yet disturbing, preacher as the whole of this chapter shows. He called people to repent of sin and then to be baptised as the outward sign of their inner change of heart. Did Jesus need to repent of sin and be baptised? No – He lived a life of beautiful purity and was without sin. Jesus explained the reason for his baptism in verse 15, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” Jesus wholly identified with our humanity, sharing our every experience except sin. As Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 5:21 ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’ Submitting to baptism was an element of sharing our humanity and standing where we stand. It enabled him to be the sin-bearer on our behalf so that we might then share his righteousness.
It was this submission to becoming fully human that is at the heart of the Christmas message – and this pleased the Father who had planned it as the way of reconciling sinful humanity to Himself.