Wishing you a very happy Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour. I hope you can make it to one of our Christmas services.
Even though Christmas comes around every year, I never tire of the narrative and continue to be amazed at God’s love and the lengths he went to, to send a Saviour to all humankind.
This week, I am reflecting on the virgin birth. I understand why it can be an obstacle for some people in coming to faith, but studying it has actually strengthened mine. In my studies I’ve learned that humans have been laying claim to virgin births since time began. A virgin rollcall might include Romulus and Remus, twin founders of Rome, born of the virgin Rhea Silvia. In ancient Egypt, Ra (the Sun) was born of a virgin mother, Net; Horus was the son of the virgin Isis. The Phrygo-Roman god, Attis, was born of a virgin, Nana, on December 25. It resonates because he went on to be killed and was resurrected. In ancient Greece, Persephone was the virgin mother of Jason. And Plato’s mother, Perictione, was a virgin. The list goes on. Hinduism, Buddhism and ancient China all have their share of them.
Regardless, the virgin Mary giving birth to the saviour of the world is different. It’s a historical fact known all over the world and celebrated over 2000 years after it happened. This was part of God’s plan for Salvation through faith in Jesus and I pray many more will come to saving faith in him this Christmas.
I’m not deterred by some people’s lack of faith, because we have a God who is able to bring something out of nothing. He calls things into being by his mighty word, and he creates new life even in the most barren and unlikely places. Remember God made Sarai to conceive in her old age, and Elizabeth also. It was not too hard for the Holy Spirit to come upon Mary and create new life in her.
May he do that for us in a spiritual sense. May the Holy Spirit come upon you afresh this Christmas and fill you with new life and hope. May you rejoice that Christ is in you.
May God bless you this Christmas and always.
We had a wonderful gathering yesterday at our Community Carols and Lunch event. About 30 guests were waited on and served by about 30 Peninsula Grammar staff participating in their “Hands for the Community” initiative. After collecting Roast Chickens which Woolworths Mount Eliza generously donated, the staff prepared a lunch fit for Kings and Queens. Big thanks to John Welsh who organised the food for this event, including puddings donated by Lions Club. We give sincere thanks to all who came along, and especially thank the Peninsula staff who served above and beyond expectations and put on a great concert. It was a great day for all.
This Sunday, I hope you will join us for worship. We will reflect on Jesus as being the light of the world. He was sent into the world to cast out darkness: to point people to God, to call people to repentance for their sins, and to empower his followers to do good works that bring glory to God.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to live in accordance with God’s standards. As we do so, we too become the light of the world, pointing others to God’s greatness.
This week, I hope we will be encouraged to confront spiritual darkness through faith in Jesus, and shine brightly for him as we go about our daily lives. May we “Arise, and shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you." (Isaiah 60:1).
Love and Light,
Christmas is approaching fast! It’s a hectic time of year. I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it hard to fit it all in! I chose to wake up extra early today to try fit more into my day. Before getting out of bed I asked the Lord what he wanted to say to me today. He said, “Be Still”. He didn't mean for me to lay in bed longer, rather, I am to trust him with the things I'm pushing to make happen.
In Hebrew "be still" means to let go, stop striving, slacken and let drop. It was a reminder for me to loosen my grip on some circumstances and outcomes and trust God who is sovereign over both. The last time he gave me that instruction was earlier this year when I sold my family home. Today God is reminding me to trust him in the purchase of the new one. As I wait for the loan approval, I will “Be Still”, and trust God to bring about his good plans. If you are waiting for something, I encourage you to trust in God as you wait for him.
Advent is a time for waiting. We remember how God's people awaited Christ's first coming and now we await his second. This Sunday we look back and see how all God's promises were fulfilled in the past. We remember that Isaiah prophesied that one would come as a "voice crying in the wilderness; “Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight”. John the Baptist fulfilled that prophecy. (See Isaiah 40, Matthew 3). John’s role was to prepare the way for the King’s advent. He preached a call to repentance from sin and baptised with water. He said the one coming would baptise with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was the one prophesied to come after John and he fulfilled all the prophecies written about the long-awaited Messiah; the Son of God. Jesus said, he would send the Holy Spirit to continue on his work and we know he did that in a powerful way on the day of Pentecost. This was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies such as Joel 2:28, 29 which says “After all of this I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your elderly will have revelatory dreams; your young men will see prophetic visions. Even on male and female servants I will pour out my Spirit in those days”.
As we look back and see God's words fulfilled in the past, we can trust him for our now and future. We can choose to bring our lives under his reign, and receive the promised Holy Spirit to help us hear from God, speak and live his truth, and continue his work in his way, and his time. He will bring his good plans to pass. We can trust in him for that.
Have a great week.
Hope to see you at Munchies.