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“Jesus Christ”

Mine eyes have seen thy salvation

—  “Old Testament folks were not particularly Messianic in their faith.  And even if they were, it was very confused.” —  “Expectation for Christ revolved around a conquering Warrior who arrives on a white horse.” —  “Believers BC wanted the Messiah to come and defeat the nations oppressing them.” It’s common to hear many views […]

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

In science fiction, alien life forms are always showing up from another world.  Most often they come to destroy and dominate.  In Luke chapter 2, there is a very different kind of alien invasion: “8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 […]

She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

You didn’t choose to get born and neither did I.  Only Jesus has ever chosen to be born.  But if such powers were at our disposal, would we have decided upon the path that Jesus took? Surely not.  Surely we would have opted for powerful parents, fabulous wealth, plush surroundings, an easy life. And it’s […]

My soul doth magnify the Lord

How do you feel about musicals?  Many people dislike them because ‘in real life, ordinary folk don’t burst into song.’  Well, hopefully Luke chapter 1 will win over the doubters because here we read, not one, but two examples of spontaneous lyricism! At the end of the chapter (Luke 1:68-80), Zechariah – the father of […]

Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women

Gabriel says to Mary:  “have gratia plena!”  Or at least, that was Jerome’s Latin translation from around 400AD.  In English it would read “Hail Mary, full of grace.”  But that’s not a good translation of Luke 1:28. Jerome’s version sounds as though Mary is a repository of some spiritual substance called grace.  And if we […]

Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins

Both Joseph and Mary were given strict instructions regarding the name of the Christ-child (Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:31). Angels had to come – they moved heaven to earth! – just to tell them the vital importance of being “Jesus.” Think of all the advice these first-time parents might have received… “You’re bearing the Son of […]

Labour of love

The Christian life is a life of waiting and working. Advent puts us in mind of the waiting.  We look not only to Christ’s first coming, but ahead to His second coming, to judge the living and the dead. Here is how Old Testament saints waited for that first coming: “5 I wait for the […]

East of Eden

This one is very much out of order.  But Christmas is upon me and life is a little crazy.  Nonetheless, here is an all new entry for this phrase from Genesis 4:16… Humanity is homesick.  We feel restless, estranged, ‘out of place.’  But this is very odd!  Where else should we be?  Where else have […]

Bowels of mercies

Anyone who’s really loved (or feared) knows that the heart is not the only emotional organ.  Some of our greatest loves and our greatest fears are felt a little further south – in the guts! So while we might be used to speaking of a sinking heart, the Scriptures are comfortable speaking of churning bowels! […]

Likeminded

William Tyndale gave us the word, “likeminded”, but what gives us the reality? On the internet it’s easy to find “people like us”.  No matter how specialist our interests might be, the online world is so large, any subgroup at all can find “likeminded” members. But what about in the local church?  What about in […]