​Names say something special about us. Last names tell which family we belong to, either born into or welcomed into. First names often express a hope that our parents had for us or a link with some other person of the same name. As we celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus this year, let us reflect on some of the names he was given, so that we might understand more of his significance for us.
More than 700 years before the birth of Jesus, God promised that a son would be born to a virgin, who would call him Immanuel, which means ‘God with us’. The child would be a sign of God’s commitment to rescue and keep his people.
Matthew proclaims the fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy and the coming of God in the person of Jesus. As well as being Immanuel, he was called Jesus, because he came to ‘save his people from their sins’.
Angels announced to a group of shepherds that the baby Jesus would be the Christ, the promised king of Israel, who would rule the nations and bring people from everywhere into his eternal kingdom.
Christmas is about HOPE!

This life is full of pain, and sorrow, and trouble. We have accidents. People hurt us. We get sick . Ultimately, we pass from this world.
Jesus came to give us HOPE! Not the kind of hope that is wishful thinking, pie in the sky stuff of fairy tales.
Rather, a hope that is built on the foundation of God’s love.
A hope that can weather all the storms of life and still say, “God cares about me”.
A hope that says, “because He loves me, I can love others, no matter what they’ve done to me”.
A hope that knows that when all is said and done, this earthly life is but a pale reflection of the REAL life that is to come.
A hope that I have already begun to LIVE that real life now, because the life giver is here.
Jesus, ONLY Jesus can fulfill that Hope.
May you be filled with the wonder of Mary, the obedience of Joseph, the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the determination of the magi, and the peace of the Christ child. Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless you now and forever.

Adapted from material found at bettergatherings.com

Twelve Words

Some say understanding Christianity is difficult.


Here are twelve words that outline the faith. 

1. Creation – God made all things good. 

2. Rebellion – Man chose himself above God thus destroying the perfect creation and his relationship with God. 

3. Sacrifice – God requires a sacrifice to heal the broken relationship. 

4. Jesus – The ultimate and final sacrifice. 

5. Faith – Believing and accepting Jesus’ sacrifice.

6. Washing – Repentance (abandoning our rebellion) symbolized by baptism. 

7. Holiness – A life changed and now lived for God. 

8. Remembrance – Celebration at the Lord’s Table of Jesus’ sacrifice.

9. Love – Love God and follow His decrees, and love other people as you love yourself. 

10. Proclamation – Telling others who God is and what Jesus has done. 

11. Hope – Looking forward to the day that all will be made right. 

12. Mystery – We will never fully understand who God is and what He has done and is doing.

These are so simple even a child can grasp them. Of course, to fully understand each of them would require years of study. And therein is the beauty. From the cradle to the grave we never stop exploring His word and discovering new insights that draw us inevitably closer to Him.