This Christmas will still afford the best opportunities for people to visit our churches. What do we do when they come? How can we connect them to Christ? How do you preach so they’ll want to come back next year?
WHAT’S HIS NAME? Any Josephs in the place tonight? Mary? Carol!? Anyone called Jesus? No, it used to be common – but he’s pretty unique… he kind of cornered the market on that name. It means ‘God to the rescue.’ Does your name mean something? Do you know what it means? Years ago I asked a bunch of school kids who Christmas was really all about. Someone said Father Christmas of course. Then, a little boy put his hand up…’Oh, It’s… it’s wassisname!’ I want to start by telling you about a vision a man called Isaiah had, we heard something of the words he wrote earlier. By the way the Jewish people made sure their names meant something. Isaiah means, ‘God is salvation.’ He was a prophet, he spoke & wrote around the C8th years BC – what does BC mean? Before Christmas! Every time you write a date it’s saying something about that event that spilt time in two halves forever; the birth of Jesus Christ. But centuries before he was born…. the nation of Israel was living through […]
Bob Ekbald. At @wtctheology Residential Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that […]
If you are reflecting back on Christmas, feeling like another one came and went – and ‘What was it all about?’ Well it wasn’t about presents, grub and booze – and if that’s all it was to you, you missed out big time and no wonder you feel empty right about now.
The story can tell us a lot about the company we keep and how that can make or break us, it can warn us about who we should listen to as we head into our future, too.
But as the year closes out and a new one gets ready to start, I’m thinking about various wise people I know and those I have read about and how they finish an old year really well, to start a New Year better – and what they do and say lines up well with what these wise guys did too.
Because there are many ways to Jesus – and He’s the One way to God.
What do you give him? Three gifts fit for the King of Kings.
This is the Ivy Grow Group Notes for this week. I rounded off the Colossians series last night but only spoke on one verse of it so not really much point in me going over that again… Well what an amazing day yesterday was at Ivy MCR Here are a few highlights from the things I personally witnessed, and I’m sure Ivy Fallowfield was great as always; 1030am service at Kingsway – I had more than a few people come and tell me, ‘We’re getting full again…’ There were some spare seats – but the received wisdom I’ve found to be true is that when your meeting room is 80% full, you’re full! SO… Do we need to hire another screen? When? What’s the answer? Please THANK GOD for growth and PRAY for wisdom and provision. 4pm at Ivy Sharston This service is getting more than 70 people a week already. Emily Bowyer did a great talk on ‘TOUCH’ and then an outbreak of hugging happened! SUCH a great time! . One new first time visitor […]
Great talk for Christmas by Debra Green at Ivy MCR this evening- my notes… The Wise men. We don’t know how many came, but they had three gifts. The most Jewish of the synoptic gospel writers wants to tell us about these people & the universality of the good news. The shepherds are in. These magi – are included. Unlikely guest list! Only those with eyes to see. Those who are seeking, find. It’s hard these days to get Christmas cards – only 1% of cards have a ‘religious’ sense. £16.7 Billion will be spent this Christmas by Britons. Many will go into more and more debt? How wise are we?! Could it have been a supernova? Or just the manifestation of the glory of God? Because it was moving. It seems only the magi saw the star. By that, Christ was revealed. Jesus then becomes the star. The star of the show. There’s a move to remove Christ from Christmas. Our job is to reveal him to the world. How? By speaking of him. This is great news for […]
that first Christmas Jesus came to a very busy place, where people were gathering and crammed in! We are us taking the real message of what Christmas is all about to where people are – not where we’d want them to come.