Tag Archives: Christ

Hearing the Word i

Luke 2:33-35 (CEV)

33 Jesus’ parents were surprised at what Simeon had said. 34 Then he blessed them and told Mary, “This child of yours will cause many people in Israel to fall and others to stand. The child will be like a warning sign. Many people will reject him, 35 and you, Mary, will suffer as though you had been stabbed by a dagger. But all this will show what people are really thinking.”

This Child,
here is God.

This Child,
so much more than a child.

This Child,
here with a purpose,
God’s purpose.

This Child,
will make people think,
ask questions,
and ultimately
have to make a decision.

This Child,
are we with him,
for him?
Or against him
and all he will show us?

This Child
will show us truth,
God’s truth,
ultimate reality.
Some will not like it.
For some
it will be exactly what they
have been longing for.

This Child.
God’s Child.
here amongst us.
Bringing God’s word.

How will I respond?

Come and See

Standing in the Way

It can be amazing the influence one person can have on someone else’s life.   Someone can be saved from themselves, or led entirely astray by one persons actions in their life.

Romans 5:12-19 (CEV)

Adam and Christ

12 Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die. 13 Sin was in the world before the Law came. But no record of sin was kept, because there was no Law. 14 Yet death still had power over all who lived from the time of Adam to the time of Moses. This happened, though not everyone disobeyed a direct command from God, as Adam did.

In some ways Adam is like Christ who came later. 15 But the gift that God was kind enough to give was very different from Adam’s sin. That one sin brought death to many others. Yet in an even greater way, Jesus Christ alone brought God’s gift of kindness to many people.

16 There is a lot of difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gift. That one sin led to punishment. But God’s gift made it possible for us to be acceptable to him, even though we have sinned many times. 17 Death ruled like a king because Adam had sinned. But that cannot compare with what Jesus Christ has done. God has been so kind to us, and he has accepted us because of Jesus. And so we will live and rule like kings.

18 Everyone was going to be punished because Adam sinned. But because of the good thing that Christ has done, God accepts us and gives us the gift of life. 19 Adam disobeyed God and caused many others to be sinners. But Jesus obeyed him and will make many people acceptable to God.

If we look at all the things we have got wrong, collectively and individually, then it would be fair to say that humanity is going to the dogs – or perhaps more appropriately going to hell in a handcart.  Basically and fundamentally, we are stuffed, in trouble.  As we read the action of one man and one woman, we see human beings stepping away from God’s intention and making the world something it was never meant to be – including going against God’s instructions.

God tried again to show his people what he wanted of them, the best ways to live – and that didn’t go any better.  Still people thought that it didn’t matter or that they knew better.  Some people got it, but generally, it was all going very wrong.

The actions of one man (and one woman), brought to the world the possibility of sin, disobeying God, and from that moment on every person who followed seized on it.

The total opposite of this was Jesus.  He was the one person who has ever managed to live out God’s instructions, because he understands them from the inside, he was part of their making.  He came to reverse what Adam did.  As Adam alone opened up the possibilities of evil, Jesus alone came to do away with the consequences.

We continue to get many things wrong, but Jesus continues to deal with that.  Jesus brings life and forgiveness to all who realise where they are and what they have done, and turn to him.  As Adam’s obedience made humanity unacceptable, so Jesus’ obedience makes us acceptable again.

This is quite complex to get our heads around (well mine anyway), but the bottom line is, Jesus brings the possibility of everything being OK.  He is making everything alright with God for us.  Like someone who comes along and pays a bill we can’t afford, or points us to the right road when we are lost.  Basically Jesus saves us – from ourselves, from our actions, when we get caught up in other people’s behaviour; he stands before God with us and vouches for us.  He gets rid of the things that stand in our way, if only we will let him.

Lord,
I have got so much wrong.

But I thank you
that Jesus got everything right.

Thank you
that can make a difference in my life,
that because of him
you accept me.

I come asking for forgiveness
and seeking your life,
for I know
that is the only way to live

And that makes me want to sing of such wonderful love

Christ the King

http://www.hymnal.net/hymn.php/h/151

The say that Elvis was the King.  It was before my time (honest!), but he brought Rock and Roll to the masses.  He was, and still is, the one to be emulated.  He attracted a huge following.  People want to be him and still flock to the places he lived.

This Sunday marks Christ the King.  Before we come next week to Advent, we remember who exactly it is that is being born in the humility of the stable.

One of my most meaningful pictures of God is of being cupped in his hands.  Shielded from the world.  Held safely and securely.

We have become very familiar with God.  “What a friend we have in Jesus”.  He is approachable and wants to share with us.  But if that is all we focus on, we miss so much of him.

There is another side to God, that we can sometimes neglect.  For as much as God is our friend, he is also our King.  Ruler over the world, creator of all that is.  Deserving of our awe and wonder; our worship and adoration; in whose awesome presence we kneel.

When Jesus appears before Pilate, just before his death, the question is, “Are you the King of the Jews?”  Jesus never quite answers the question, preferring as ever, that Pilate makes his own mind up about who and what Jesus is.  But what he does make clear is that his Kingdom is not of this world.  People had their ideas about what the Messiah should do.  Jesus has come to bring the truth to the world.

This is who Jesus is.  Our King.  King of the World.  The one who lives forever.  He has authority and royal power, deserving of our honour.  He has sacrificed himself, and freed us from  our sins.

With the words of these readings we are transported to the throne room of God.  What can we do but worship, adore, and serve?  So, before the busyness of Christmas overtakes us, perhaps we can spend some time in the presence of our mighty God, King of the world, and worship him, and let him become King of our world – every day.

I’ve always thought that ‘Christ the King’,and a picture of what that kingdom will be, is best summed up in the words of this hymn by Charles Silvester Horne, so I’ll leave the final word to him:

  1. Sing we the King who is coming to reign,
    Glory to Jesus, the Lamb that was slain;
    Righteousness, peace then His empire shall bring,
    Joy to the nations when Jesus is King.

    • Come let us sing: Praise to our King,
      Jesus our King, Jesus our King:
      This is our song, who to Jesus belong:
      Glory to Jesus, to Jesus our King.
  2. All men shall dwell in His marvelous light,
    Races long severed His love shall unite,
    Justice and truth from His scepter shall spring,
    Wrong shall be ended when Jesus is King.
  3. All shall be well in His kingdom of peace,
    Freedom shall flourish and wisdom increase,
    Foe shall be friend when His triumph we sing,
    Sword shall be sickle when Jesus is King.
  4. Knowledge and fear of the Lord then shall be
    As the deep waters that cover the sea;
    All things shall be in the splendor of spring
    And all harmonious when Jesus is King.
  5. Kingdom of Christ, for thy coming we pray,
    Hasten, O Father, the dawn of the day
    When this new song Thy creation shall sing,
    Satan is vanquished and Jesus is King.