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December's Daily Message

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1 December 2021Rector’s Reflections Wednesday 1st December 2021

Thought for Today

This week we’re looking at how the historian Luke meets the challenge of telling the story of the birth of Jesus. We have seen that interestingly he does n’t start with Jesus at all. Instead, he starts with an elderly couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth, who are told by an angel that they will have a child, the future John the Baptist. The birth of John the Baptist is the first of two miraculous births to be mentioned in Luke’s gospel; the second is, of course, the birth of Jesus himself.

You may remember that I have said that one of the three main questions which historians ask concerns the “why” of historical events. So we might well expect Luke to tell us “why” God worked the miracle of John the Baptist’s birth, and Luke does indeed provide an answer to this question, if in a roundabout manner. Luke tells us that John’s role will be “to go before [God], to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord”.

Yes, you might say, but why did God want “a people prepared for the Lord”? What was God’s motivation? Why did n’t God just leave human beings to get on with their lives by themselves, without sending them John the Baptist and Jesus Christ? A little later in chapter 1, Luke provides an answer to this question, again in a round about way. He quotes the words of a hymn, put in to the mouth of John’s father, Zechariah. Down the centuries, this hymn has often featured in the prayer and worship of the Church, and it is called the Benedictus, from the Latin translation of the opening words. The words of the Benedictus tell us that God’s motive was love : not just for the Jewish people, but for all people. Long ago, God had promised to bless Abraham and his descendants, and God was being faithful to his promise. God looked around at the world as it was, and realised that human beings needed his help , if they were to live holy and righteous lives. So he sent John the Baptist and Jesus to rescue us from our destructive ways, and “guide our feet into way of peace”.
So Luke would say it’s all about love : God’s love for us, and for our world.

I wonder if you would agree? Or might God have some other motive as well?

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us understand your love more fully and to value it more deeply.
2 December 2021Rector’s Reflections Thursday 2nd December 2021

Thought for Today

This week we’ve been exploring how the historian Luke goes about telling the story of the birth of Jesus. We have seen that Luke starts the story with an account of the miraculous birth of John the Baptist, and sees the birth in the context of God’s promise to bless Abraham and his descendants.

Luke is now in a position to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. To start with, Luke wants to tell us what happened. Luke tells a brief story, set out in the first 20 verses of chapter 2. There’s a census; Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem; Jesus is born in Bethlehem and is laid in a manger; angels appear to local shepherds; and the shepherds come to Joseph and Mary, and see the baby laid in the manger. Luke spares us further details, and there is no reference to the Kings; this might be because the information available to Luke was limited, or it might be because it didn’t suit his purposes to add in further details.

And then there’s the “when” question: when did Jesus’ birth take place? Luke is very cautious about the precise dating: he simply talks about it as happening “in those days” (ie at the about the same time as the birth of John the Baptist) and links it to a census ordered by Emperor Augustus, taken “while Quirinius was governor of Syria”. In other words, Luke doesn’t know the exact date, but is trying his best to pin it down.
We have dealt with Luke’s answer to the “how” and “when” questions relating to Jesus’ birth. But what of his answer to the “why” question?
It seems that Luke is wishing to focus on the words spoken by the angels to the shepherds: the baby “born this day in the city of David [is the] Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord”. In other words, this baby has been sent by God to “save” his people: to bring them wholeness and healing, to restore their relationship with God, and to bring them forgiveness of their sins. God had promised to send a Messiah, who would save and rescue his people, and bring in a time of blessing, not just for the Jewish people but the whole world as well. Jesus was both Saviour and Messiah.
I wonder where we need God’s healing in our own lives and in our communities? Where might we need to be “saved” and from what?
3 December 2021Rector’s Reflections Thursday 2nd December 2021

Thought for Today

This week we’ve been exploring how the historian Luke goes about telling the story of the birth of Jesus. We have seen that Luke starts the story with an account of the miraculous birth of John the Baptist, and sees the birth in the context of God’s promise to bless Abraham and his descendants.

Luke is now in a position to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. To start with, Luke wants to tell us what happened. Luke tells a brief story, set out in the first 20 verses of chapter 2. There’s a census; Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem; Jesus is born in Bethlehem and is laid in a manger; angels appear to local shepherds; and the shepherds come to Joseph and Mary, and see the baby laid in the manger. Luke spares us further details, and there is no reference to the Kings; this might be because the information available to Luke was limited, or it might be because it didn’t suit his purposes to add in further details.

And then there’s the “when” question: when did Jesus’ birth take place? Luke is very cautious about the precise dating: he simply talks about it as happening “in those days” (ie at the about the same time as the birth of John the Baptist) and links it to a census ordered by Emperor Augustus, taken “while Quirinius was governor of Syria”. In other words, Luke doesn’t know the exact date, but is trying his best to pin it down.
We have dealt with Luke’s answer to the “how” and “when” questions relating to Jesus’ birth. But what of his answer to the “why” question?
It seems that Luke is wishing to focus on the words spoken by the angels to the shepherds: the baby “born this day in the city of David [is the] Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord”. In other words, this baby has been sent by God to “save” his people: to bring them wholeness and healing, to restore their relationship with God, and to bring them forgiveness of their sins. God had promised to send a Messiah, who would save and rescue his people, and bring in a time of blessing, not just for the Jewish people but the whole world as well. Jesus was both Saviour and Messiah.
I wonder where we need God’s healing in our own lives and in our communities? Where might we need to be “saved” and from what?
4 December 2021Rector’s Reflections Thursday 2nd December 2021

Thought for Today

This week we’ve been exploring how the historian Luke goes about telling the story of the birth of Jesus. We have seen that Luke starts the story with an account of the miraculous birth of John the Baptist, and sees the birth in the context of God’s promise to bless Abraham and his descendants.

Luke is now in a position to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. To start with, Luke wants to tell us what happened. Luke tells a brief story, set out in the first 20 verses of chapter 2. There’s a census; Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem; Jesus is born in Bethlehem and is laid in a manger; angels appear to local shepherds; and the shepherds come to Joseph and Mary, and see the baby laid in the manger. Luke spares us further details, and there is no reference to the Kings; this might be because the information available to Luke was limited, or it might be because it didn’t suit his purposes to add in further details.

And then there’s the “when” question: when did Jesus’ birth take place? Luke is very cautious about the precise dating: he simply talks about it as happening “in those days” (ie at the about the same time as the birth of John the Baptist) and links it to a census ordered by Emperor Augustus, taken “while Quirinius was governor of Syria”. In other words, Luke doesn’t know the exact date, but is trying his best to pin it down.
We have dealt with Luke’s answer to the “how” and “when” questions relating to Jesus’ birth. But what of his answer to the “why” question?
It seems that Luke is wishing to focus on the words spoken by the angels to the shepherds: the baby “born this day in the city of David [is the] Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord”. In other words, this baby has been sent by God to “save” his people: to bring them wholeness and healing, to restore their relationship with God, and to bring them forgiveness of their sins. God had promised to send a Messiah, who would save and rescue his people, and bring in a time of blessing, not just for the Jewish people but the whole world as well. Jesus was both Saviour and Messiah.
I wonder where we need God’s healing in our own lives and in our communities? Where might we need to be “saved” and from what?
5 December 2021Rector’s Reflections Thursday 2nd December 2021

Thought for Today

This week we’ve been exploring how the historian Luke goes about telling the story of the birth of Jesus. We have seen that Luke starts the story with an account of the miraculous birth of John the Baptist, and sees the birth in the context of God’s promise to bless Abraham and his descendants.

Luke is now in a position to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. To start with, Luke wants to tell us what happened. Luke tells a brief story, set out in the first 20 verses of chapter 2. There’s a census; Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem; Jesus is born in Bethlehem and is laid in a manger; angels appear to local shepherds; and the shepherds come to Joseph and Mary, and see the baby laid in the manger. Luke spares us further details, and there is no reference to the Kings; this might be because the information available to Luke was limited, or it might be because it didn’t suit his purposes to add in further details.

And then there’s the “when” question: when did Jesus’ birth take place? Luke is very cautious about the precise dating: he simply talks about it as happening “in those days” (ie at the about the same time as the birth of John the Baptist) and links it to a census ordered by Emperor Augustus, taken “while Quirinius was governor of Syria”. In other words, Luke doesn’t know the exact date, but is trying his best to pin it down.
We have dealt with Luke’s answer to the “how” and “when” questions relating to Jesus’ birth. But what of his answer to the “why” question?
It seems that Luke is wishing to focus on the words spoken by the angels to the shepherds: the baby “born this day in the city of David [is the] Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord”. In other words, this baby has been sent by God to “save” his people: to bring them wholeness and healing, to restore their relationship with God, and to bring them forgiveness of their sins. God had promised to send a Messiah, who would save and rescue his people, and bring in a time of blessing, not just for the Jewish people but the whole world as well. Jesus was both Saviour and Messiah.
I wonder where we need God’s healing in our own lives and in our communities? Where might we need to be “saved” and from what?
6 December 2021Rector’s Reflections Thursday 2nd December 2021

Thought for Today

This week we’ve been exploring how the historian Luke goes about telling the story of the birth of Jesus. We have seen that Luke starts the story with an account of the miraculous birth of John the Baptist, and sees the birth in the context of God’s promise to bless Abraham and his descendants.

Luke is now in a position to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. To start with, Luke wants to tell us what happened. Luke tells a brief story, set out in the first 20 verses of chapter 2. There’s a census; Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem; Jesus is born in Bethlehem and is laid in a manger; angels appear to local shepherds; and the shepherds come to Joseph and Mary, and see the baby laid in the manger. Luke spares us further details, and there is no reference to the Kings; this might be because the information available to Luke was limited, or it might be because it didn’t suit his purposes to add in further details.

And then there’s the “when” question: when did Jesus’ birth take place? Luke is very cautious about the precise dating: he simply talks about it as happening “in those days” (ie at the about the same time as the birth of John the Baptist) and links it to a census ordered by Emperor Augustus, taken “while Quirinius was governor of Syria”. In other words, Luke doesn’t know the exact date, but is trying his best to pin it down.
We have dealt with Luke’s answer to the “how” and “when” questions relating to Jesus’ birth. But what of his answer to the “why” question?
It seems that Luke is wishing to focus on the words spoken by the angels to the shepherds: the baby “born this day in the city of David [is the] Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord”. In other words, this baby has been sent by God to “save” his people: to bring them wholeness and healing, to restore their relationship with God, and to bring them forgiveness of their sins. God had promised to send a Messiah, who would save and rescue his people, and bring in a time of blessing, not just for the Jewish people but the whole world as well. Jesus was both Saviour and Messiah.
I wonder where we need God’s healing in our own lives and in our communities? Where might we need to be “saved” and from what?
7 December 2021Rector’s Reflections Thursday 2nd December 2021

Thought for Today

This week we’ve been exploring how the historian Luke goes about telling the story of the birth of Jesus. We have seen that Luke starts the story with an account of the miraculous birth of John the Baptist, and sees the birth in the context of God’s promise to bless Abraham and his descendants.

Luke is now in a position to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. To start with, Luke wants to tell us what happened. Luke tells a brief story, set out in the first 20 verses of chapter 2. There’s a census; Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem; Jesus is born in Bethlehem and is laid in a manger; angels appear to local shepherds; and the shepherds come to Joseph and Mary, and see the baby laid in the manger. Luke spares us further details, and there is no reference to the Kings; this might be because the information available to Luke was limited, or it might be because it didn’t suit his purposes to add in further details.

And then there’s the “when” question: when did Jesus’ birth take place? Luke is very cautious about the precise dating: he simply talks about it as happening “in those days” (ie at the about the same time as the birth of John the Baptist) and links it to a census ordered by Emperor Augustus, taken “while Quirinius was governor of Syria”. In other words, Luke doesn’t know the exact date, but is trying his best to pin it down.
We have dealt with Luke’s answer to the “how” and “when” questions relating to Jesus’ birth. But what of his answer to the “why” question?
It seems that Luke is wishing to focus on the words spoken by the angels to the shepherds: the baby “born this day in the city of David [is the] Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord”. In other words, this baby has been sent by God to “save” his people: to bring them wholeness and healing, to restore their relationship with God, and to bring them forgiveness of their sins. God had promised to send a Messiah, who would save and rescue his people, and bring in a time of blessing, not just for the Jewish people but the whole world as well. Jesus was both Saviour and Messiah.
I wonder where we need God’s healing in our own lives and in our communities? Where might we need to be “saved” and from what?
8 December 2021Rector’s Reflections Thursday 2nd December 2021

Thought for Today

This week we’ve been exploring how the historian Luke goes about telling the story of the birth of Jesus. We have seen that Luke starts the story with an account of the miraculous birth of John the Baptist, and sees the birth in the context of God’s promise to bless Abraham and his descendants.

Luke is now in a position to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. To start with, Luke wants to tell us what happened. Luke tells a brief story, set out in the first 20 verses of chapter 2. There’s a census; Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem; Jesus is born in Bethlehem and is laid in a manger; angels appear to local shepherds; and the shepherds come to Joseph and Mary, and see the baby laid in the manger. Luke spares us further details, and there is no reference to the Kings; this might be because the information available to Luke was limited, or it might be because it didn’t suit his purposes to add in further details.

And then there’s the “when” question: when did Jesus’ birth take place? Luke is very cautious about the precise dating: he simply talks about it as happening “in those days” (ie at the about the same time as the birth of John the Baptist) and links it to a census ordered by Emperor Augustus, taken “while Quirinius was governor of Syria”. In other words, Luke doesn’t know the exact date, but is trying his best to pin it down.
We have dealt with Luke’s answer to the “how” and “when” questions relating to Jesus’ birth. But what of his answer to the “why” question?
It seems that Luke is wishing to focus on the words spoken by the angels to the shepherds: the baby “born this day in the city of David [is the] Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord”. In other words, this baby has been sent by God to “save” his people: to bring them wholeness and healing, to restore their relationship with God, and to bring them forgiveness of their sins. God had promised to send a Messiah, who would save and rescue his people, and bring in a time of blessing, not just for the Jewish people but the whole world as well. Jesus was both Saviour and Messiah.
I wonder where we need God’s healing in our own lives and in our communities? Where might we need to be “saved” and from what?
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