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Resources from Christmas

Advent 2019

And that means of course that we are, today, at verse 8 where we’ll think together now about “The Cost of Christmas.” “The Cost of Christmas.” It takes us, verse 8 takes us from the manger all the way to the cross. And that may seem to you to be an unusual move for the Sunday before Christmas to be talking about the thirty-three year old Jesus hanging...

Advent 2019

So we are in a little series on Christmas in the mind-bending book of Revelation. This is the vision of the apostle John at the end of his life on the Isle of Patmos in the 90s, the last decade of the first century. We’re in Revelation 21 tonight, the first six verses. And that chapter addresses one of the age old questions of Christmas; a very old...

Advent 2019

And now this week as we turn our attention to verse 7, we’re going to look at the very heart of Christmas. The words of verse 7 take us into the core of the Christmas story, into the heart of the Gospel, and the glories contained there. And we’re going to unpack them under three headings, really three apparent paradoxes that you’ll find in verse 7. If you’ll...

Advent 2019

Well this morning we continue in our Advent series looking at Paul’s use of Philippians 2:5-11. We began looking at this together last time. You remember it is sometimes called “The Carmen Christi,” “The hymn to Christ,” used in the churches during Paul’s day, and Paul is quoting it here in Philippians as an apt summary of the significance of who Jesus is and what He came to...

Advent 2019

And so I’d like us to think about the victory of Christmas this evening, and to do that, we really need to think about that victory from the lens of the Old Testament. Because to understand the book of Revelation, you really need to think about it from the lens of what the Old Testament has first said. The clues to understanding all the symbols and all the...

Well we’re going to look at Christmas from that same perspective over the next few weeks. To view Christmas, to view Christ’s birth not as it was promised in the Old Testament, not from the shadow of the cross as the Gospel writers present it to us, but from the spotlight, the spotlight of Christ’s return and what that means for the Christmas message. What that means is...

Advent 2019

And to guide our thinking, we’ll be working our way line by line through Philippians 2:5-11. It’s a famous passage, sometimes known as the “Carmen Christi,” the “hymn to Christ.” It was probably sung or used in some way in the apostolic churches, and Paul is quoting it here in the context of his letter to the Philippians as an apt summary of the message about Jesus’ person and...

This is now the fourth Sunday in Advent, and if you’ll look at verse 6 for a moment, you’ll see four titles given by the prophet Isaiah to the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Each is a double-barreled title and our pattern has been over these four weeks to take each title in turn and look at each of the two parts of each title. So far...

Now you will have noticed as we read verse 6 that each of the four titles given has two parts to it. As we’ve considered them together, we’ve simply taken each part of each title in turn which means as we think about the third title today, Everlasting Father, we’ll think first about what it means that Jesus is said to be Everlasting. What are we saying here...

Now it's been my experience that Christmas has an often unexpected way of exposing our vulnerabilities. As we work so very hard to make all our days merry and bright, the inconvenient limitations of our natures keep showing up, sometimes all the more starkly against the mandatory cheerfulness of the season. We feel less permission, don't we, than usual to mourn absent loved ones. And yet their absence...

Well, be that as it may, when news reached Joseph that Mary, his fiancee, was pregnant, there really was no possibility that the Bethlehem & District Hospital had made a mistake that day. In fact, poor Joseph was facing a nightmare scenario, wasn't he? In those days and in that culture, betrothal was about as serious and as inviolable as marriage itself, which is why verse 19 makes...

Wonderful Counselor. Wonderful is a word we use a lot at Christmas time. “It’s A Wonderful Life” will doubtless air for the thousandth time. “The most wonderful time of the year” will play in every cafe in the land. On the radio this week I heard a hardware store that has, “A wonder-inducing array of Christmas trees for sale.” Wonder. And then there’s the word, Counselor. Wonderful Counselor...

Prepare Him Room

Well, I do hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas so far. I’m very glad you’re with us this Lord’s Day Morning to celebrate the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and to worship together with us. As you will know, if you have been with us in the month of December, in the weeks that have led up to Christmas we have been considering the teaching...

Prepare Him Room

Probably the great symbol of Christmas is the tree. I love a good Christmas tree, don’t you? All decorated, sparkling with lights, covered in ornaments; those ornaments, many of them perhaps in your home, tell a story of some significance to your family. Well, Isaiah suggests a different Christmas symbol for us in the opening verse of chapter 11. Not a Christmas tree, but the stump of a...

Prepare Him Room

I remember as a fairly new believer attending the parish church in the village on the outskirts of Glasgow where I grew up for our midnight service one Christmas Eve. It has been a cold and gloomy night as I walked down the street from my family home to the church. We spent the next happy hour singing the praise of God, singing carols by candlelight, praising Him...

Prepare Him Room

I wonder if you’ve put up your Christmas tree yet. That was my duty yesterday. I was out in the rain choosing a tree; I got cold and wet. There were pine needles in my hair and resin on my elbows. And then there was the sanctifying business of wrestling the thing through the front door into the stand without denuding the tree of every needle that it...

Prepare Him Room

Believe it or not, this morning is the first Sunday in Advent. It comes, it seems every year a little faster. Don’t you think? The Christmas season and all the sentimentality and the fun and the gifts and the Christmas present buying and all the trappings that go along with it. We want to try to make the most of the cultural opportunity afforded by the...

Advent Songs

We continue our Advent series looking at the four songs with which the opening chapters of the book of Luke begin. There is, as we said last time, a real sense in which these four songs could be called the very first Christmas carols, songs of praise, the first songs of praise in response to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. And last Lord’s Day...

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