Nine lessons and carols: a safe service to come to. Familiar fare wrapped in pleasant carols and ministry from the choir. Annual visit ticked off my Christmas list: now let’s get on with the real festivities!
Before the lessons began, we heard new dad Keith ask how far is it to Bethlehem: Bethlehem means House of Bread. In the time of Ruth and Naomi there was a famine in Bethlehem: no bread, then the famine broke and there was fresh bread in the House of Bread. A foretaste of the nativity of Jesus. This gives you the flavour of our lessons, for they tell of the Big Story that begins with the tale of a garden and ends with the city of Gold. These none lessons were not the result of some kind of ecclesiastical bingo: these are the lessons that create the Jesus DNA and call us to follow.
Christmas is a depressing time for many people, punctuated by greater emotional stress and more acts of violence than any other time of the year. For some, Christmas is a little more than an excuse to get drunk, to party, to visit the relatives, to get something, to give a little, to take time off work, to spend money, to overeat, and perhaps to indulge in other excesses.
Today for our nativity we will retell the Christmas story through Mary’s eyes as we step back through the pages of our storybook. Together with Mary we will remember the events of the Christmas story as she recalls them to her 3 year old son Jesus.
Before we start, let us pray together.
I KNOW WHO I AM
I am God’s child (John 1:12)
I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15 )
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ. (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil 3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31 -34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor 5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor 1:21-22 )
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28 )
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16 )
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12 )
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God’s temple (1 Cor. 3: 16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).. I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God’s co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected. (Phil. 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven ( Col 1:14). I have been adopted as God’s child (Eph1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know
Who you are?