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The Journal

Jesus grows in Wisdom

Jesus growing in wisdom and favour with God and man 

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Christmas Day 2019 - Giving Worship and finding pleasure

Giving Worship and finding pleasure !  

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The Word becomes flesh - one of us !

The Word becomes flesh - one of us ! Dear Friends, John 1 is one of the most profound and sublime sections of Scripture. Whilst Matthew and Luke recount the events of the first Christmas, John focuses on the coming of Jesus and His identity and the meaning of that for us ! In particular John 1:1-18 describes Jesus as the Word of God. Being described as the Word shows God’s desire to communicate to us and reveal what He is like. Jesus was with God and was God and so Jesus is able to reveal God to us. In 1:14 the Word became flesh. Jesus existed with God the Father in heaven and then entered history and became a human being. Later in 1:18 John explains that no one has ever seen God but Jesus has come and made God known to us. Many people make the mistake of trying to guess what God is like or to make assumptions about His character and identity and what He requires from us. When we meet someone new it is very important for us to listen to them and let them explain who they are. If we don’t listen we are unable to know the full identity of that person. The Gospels are written to reveal Jesus to us. God calls us to listen to Him through His Word. John says that many people didn’t listen to Jesus 1:9-11 and in fact rejected Him. This is a tragedy because Jesus is the source of all life and light - 1:4. But the great privilege we have is that God is gracious and He offers us a fresh start and when we listen to God and trust His Word He gives us the privilege and right of being His children 1:12-13. We are hopeful because Jesus is stronger than the darkness and overcomes the darkness of our hearts through His death on the cross for our sin. HIs life is given through the cross. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara 

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Dealing with Joseph’s doubts

Dealing with Joseph’s doubts Dear Friends, Matthew in 1:1-17 has established that Jesus is God’s anointed King or Messiah who is descended from both David and Abraham. He now turns to the miraculous birth of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18-25 points out that Joseph and Mary were pledged to be married but they had’t come together. There is a believability about this account because we also learn that Joseph couldn’t understand how Mary could be pregnant without having a relationship with another man. Joseph is described as a righteous man who decides to divorce Mary quietly because even though they weren’t married being engaged was binding and could only be broken by divorce. The Lord watches over his plan and intervenes by visiting Joseph in a dream and confirming that the child that Mary is carrying has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. It is interesting that Joseph is addressed as Son of David confirming again that this child is a royal descendent of David and so qualified to be the Messiah. Further Joseph is instructed to name the child Jesus which identifies his Messianic role to save people from their sins. This is the chief reason why Jesus came - to rescue us from our sins. Being born through the power of the Holy Spirit is also very important because it means that Jesus hasn’t inherited our sin and so He can be a perfect offering for sin because He is sinless. Matthew reminds us that this miraculous conception and birth of Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s plan and he quotes a prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 written about 700 BC. Matthew also is explaining that this Jesus who is Messiah, son of David is also Immanuel which is God with us. It is absolutely remarkable that God comes to earth and takes on human flesh. Marvel at this wonderful truth this Christmas and also be encouraged that the Gospel of Matthew has been written to convince us that this Jesus is the Christ so we can be confident in our faith and can grow. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara  

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Origins

Genealogy or the origin of Jesus Dear Friends, Matthew opens his Gospel with a genealogy. This is a word which is used in Genesis meaning an account of the origins. Matthew is wanting us to know where Jesus came from and who He is. These days many people are getting their DNA tested to see what ethnicities they have in their past as well as sign up for ancestry website searches. Our origins and background is fascinating and none more so that Jesus. He is clearly identified as the Messiah & as Son of David and Son of Abraham in 1:1. This identification is confirmed by His ancestry because He is from the tribe of Judah which Jacob prophesies in Genesis 50:10 that a ruler will come from this family origin who will rule and He will command the obedience of the nations. This Messiah is a world ruler. God promised that He would send His Messiah or anointed King who would come and help His people. Matthew wants us to know that Jesus is the one who was promised by God in the OT. The genealogy of Jesus is also interesting because unusually Matthew highlights 4 women which is amazing to include them as significant in the family tree. These women had unusual or even unsavoury aspects to their inclusion in the family tree. Matthew is reminding us that God at times does the unexpected and unorthodox and this helps set the scene for Mary who will give birth to the Messiah as an unmarried but engaged virgin through the power of the Holy Spirit. Expect the unexpected with God. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara 

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