David’s line – what makes Jesus special?

Just some musings whilst preparing to preach on Matthew 2. Continue reading

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The Greatest Gift (Christmas Day Message 2017)

Presents

Presents carefully chosen weeks or even months ago, presents quickly bought at the last minute before the shops closed on Christmas Eve, presents searched for that will be just right for a loved one, presents hastily bought for the person who surprised you with a gift, presents hidden away in cupboards, presents wrapped and sitting under the Christmas Tree, Continue reading

Welcome to the Mess: “My hands are dirty” … “He doesn’t mind”

Glen Scrivener has put together a beautiful little set of short films imagining the scene where a time portal opens between a 21st century British home and Bethlehem on the first Christmas night.

In the story so far,Will and Claire have gone to stay with Claire’s parents for Christmas. It’s not been an easy time for Will the awkward boyfriend but he has been the first to “meet the Nativity~” whilst the rest of the family head off to the midnight service.  On Christmas Day , he shows Claire too. Continue reading

#HomeForChristmas: Finding Jesus and Finding God (Matthew 2)

Where do you expect to find God?  Some people look to church buildings as special holy places where they feel closer to God, especially if the building is old and beautiful with lots of stained glass windows. For others, God is felt in the countryside as they enjoy the beauty of nature. But is that really any closer to God than in your front room at home. Continue reading

His law is love and his Gospel is peace (O Holy Night)

“O Holy Night” was originally a French carol and is based on Placede Cappeau’s poem “Minuit, Chretians!” (Midnight! Christians).  Adolph Adam composed the music in 1847. It was written to celebrate the renovation of the church organ in Roquemare.[1]

There are at least three English language versions of this now, including a recent version by Sovereign Grace Music.

I love the words in the third verse of perhaps the most familiar version by John Dwight Sullivan . Continue reading

#HomeForChristmas – No Room?

I was at the airport in good time, ready for the long-haul flight to Hong Kong.  There was just one snag. I got to the front of the queue only to be told “You’re not on this flight.”  That was strange because I had my ticket ready and everything. But you see, the airline had over-booked the flight.  So I had to wait around to see if there was a spare seat if someone didn’t show up. Continue reading

#HomeForChristmas Mary’s story

Ask most people to tell you the Nativity story and they’ll start with the Angel Gabriel appearing to Mary.

In Luke 1:30, we have Gabriel’s greeting:

30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favour with God!”

Over the centuries that has been a tendency to venerate Mary and put her on a high pedestal, in some traditions even to pray through her and in effect worship her.  I think there are two reasons for this. Continue reading