Friday, 4 December 2015

Hope is on the way 6: This is HE whom Christmas is about.

As normal, Tia picked up Rebekah and walked to the Chapel and not forgetting Lawrence. Pete decided he was going to listen to what Elizabeth, Tia, and Rebekah are saying. 

Elizabeth said, “Today I have got myself prepared and going to speak at the front and tell you something, I did this last year at my Church and would like to share it with you people. “

This morning there are looking at Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38.

Here is the first reading.  
1 This is the list of the ancestors of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David, who was a descendant of Abraham. 2-6 From Abraham to King David, the following ancestors are listed: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and his brothers; then Perez and Zerah (their mother was Tamar), Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Obed (his mother was Ruth), Jesse, and King David. 7-11 From David to the time when the people of Israel were taken into exile in Babylon, the following ancestors are listed: David, Solomon (his mother was the woman who had been Uriah's wife), Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, and Jehoiachin and his brothers. 12-16 From the time after the exile in Babylon to the birth of Jesus, the following ancestors are listed: Jehoiachin, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Achim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, and Joseph, who married Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was called the Messiah. 17 So then, there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, and fourteen from David to the exile in Babylon, and fourteen from then to the birth of the Messiah.

Here is the second reading.

23 When Jesus began his work, he was about thirty years old. He was the son, so people thought, of Joseph, who was the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Kenan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

“This past Friday was "Black Friday," a rather "colourful" name for the first major shopping day of the "Christmas Season." It gets its name from the belief that it is the day on which most retailers finally become profitable. Some have claimed it to be the biggest shopping day of the year. In reality it's about the fifth most profitable day of the year for retailers. It can lay claim, however, to being the busiest shopping day of the year as people swarm to the stores to take advantage of "Christmas Specials.

You may have noticed, however, that Christmas shopping and decorating has been taking place for a lot longer than this past Friday. For the first time in my memory, "all Christmas music radio stations" were already pumping out seasonal tunes well before we sat down for our Thanksgiving turkey dinners. It's a common refrain, I know, but does our society really know what Christmas is all about anymore? How about you and me? Do we really think about Who Christmas is about, or are we just caught up in the hustle and bustle of the shopping, parties, carols, and the generally festive atmosphere? In some ways, at least for me, Christmas has been losing its luster for a long time, as the meaning and purpose of the celebration is moved further and further into the back of people's hearts and minds. In a certain sense, "Black Friday" might also signify the loss of the meaning of Christmas - God's gift of love and forgiveness in Christ - for so many.

Our Scripture readings for today are among the most "boring" Scriptures we could ever read - at least on the surface. Matthew and Luke both give an account of what happened on the first Christmas. Matthew leads into it with a genealogical history of the One they called Jesus - Saviour - Emmanuel – “God with Us.” Luke leads into his genealogy with an accounting of the events leading up to the first Christmas as well as the events that transpired on that first Christmas. Yet, regardless of the location of these genealogies in their narratives, the point of the genealogies is the same. Christmas is about God fulfilling His plan of salvation for the world through the incarnation of His Son, Jesus the Christ. The Word became flesh, John tells us in his Gospel. His origin is from of old, each of these genealogies reveals. He is the true reason for Christmas - the only reason for the season.

By the power of God's Word and Spirit, Matthew and Luke bless us with a sure and certain identification of the One whom we worship and adore. They provide us with the evidence of history that the Baby born in Bethlehem of a virgin is the Messiah promised by God to Adam and Eve on the day they broke away from Him in their disobedience. By God's grace, Matthew and Luke take the time to trace Jesus' lineage to remind us He is both God and Man - that only He could be the true Saviour of the world, for only He could suffer and die for the sins of all humanity.

Entering the "home stretch" of the Christmas season, we hear the resurrected and ascended Christ identifying Himself for us in Revelation. He reminds us that He is truly the One promised by God to bring hope and peace into our lives. He reminds us that it is He who restores us to our heavenly Father as our only Saviour. He points us to Himself and assures us that in Him there is life and peace, forgiveness and hope, salvation and eternal life. Our true anticipation of the Christmas celebration is the anticipation of receiving the Christ-Child into our hearts once again, reminding us that God became Man and lived among us (Jn. 1:124), for He truly became one of us to save us.

It's most certain that no gift we put under the tree or gift we unwrap on Christmas can possible save us or anyone from Sin, Death, and Satan. Without Jesus, Christmas is just another day - another "HOLY" day -which has been absorbed into the everyday fabric of culture and has no real meaning. “

I would like you readers to take a few moments to read the Scriptures and be reminded Who Jesus really is and that it is He whom Christmas is all about.

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