Yeshua (Jesus)

Christ, by highest heaven adored; Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold Him come, Offspring of the virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see; Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel

Hail! the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail! the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth

These familiar words were written by Charles Wesley in 1739, and to me, they encapsulate in a small way some of the glory of the incarnate God-man. It focuses in on the attributes of who Yeshua is, and what he came to do – it takes our vision beyond the birth of a baby.

Miriam (Mary)

"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Yosef, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Miriam." (Luke 1:26-27)

Today I want to look at just two of the events in Miriam's life – the visit by Gabri'el, and Miriam's response to what she was told; and the birth of Yeshua.

Ruach Ha’kodesh (Holy Spirit)

Holy Spirit? Surely that has more to do with Pentecost doesn't it? Most people when thinking of the Christmas story completely miss the point when it comes to Holy Spirit. But he (yes, Ruach Ha'kodesh is a he, not an it) played a vital role in our story, and without him, there would have been no virgin birth.

Yosef (Joseph)

Genealogies – don't you just love them! When Matthew sat down to write his gospel, he understood how important it was to grab the reader's attention with the first few paragraphs. So what did he do? He chose to use the first 17 verses to trace the ancestry of Yeshua back to Abraham, 41 generations in all! But then Luke goes and does the same thing in Chapter 3 of his gospel! What's the big deal with genealogies I hear you say? They are important for many reasons, but for our purposes today they help us understand a couple of things central to our story.

The Shepherds

"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night." (Luke 2: 8)

If you saw an advert in the Bethlehem Post "Shepherds Wanted" you would have to be fairly desperate to apply for the job. Even if you were the outdoor type, apart from the very unsociable hours that the job entailed, there were several good reasons why you would think twice about pursuing a career as a shepherd in the culture of the day. It was nothing to do with the rigours of the job itself – watching over sheep is not particularly demanding, other than having to deal with the occasional predator such as lions or bears (remember the story of David as a shepherd?). So what was the problem?

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This Week @ NFHOP

We are taking a three week sabbatical while we visit IHOP-KC. The prayer room will re-open on Monday 13th May.