Lord, as I think back, I have to admit that there are people who have been hurt by things I have said or done – or failed to. Please forgive me for my lack of sensitivity and thoughtlessness. Help them to put the hurt behind them and to move forward and if possible for them to forgive me as well. I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ. AMEN
I pray for those children who have to go to school where the facilities are inadequate. Help the teachers and other staff to be especially aware of the effect these problems have on the children and to compensate them by extra attention and understanding. Prompt the authorities to rectify the bad situation quickly. In Jesus’ name I ask. AMEN
Lord God, I join with the disciples of Christ all over the globe who are celebrating the ascension of Jesus Christ today. There are things about it that are beyond my understanding, but still I celebrate Jesus, the Lord of glory, the one who rose from the dead and lives forever to pray for me and other struggling human disciples. Thank you Lord that this day gives me and all the world hope – since you reign in undisputed sovereignty. Hail King Jesus. Amen and Amen
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people”.
Luke 2:10 NIV
We all welcome good news. Sometimes it brings immense joy. A phone rings. It says, “Jane has got engaged. Isn’t it wonderful?” Another one rings. It says, “Jack has passed his degree. Fantastic!” Another one says, “David’s by-pass operation was successful. Thank God”. And then comes, “Jill’s baby’s been born. It’s a girl”. They all change somebody’s life and prove to be highlights – of joy, of healing, of success, of thanksgiving.
The call at Bethlehem brought the best good news the world has ever received. It was news from God. He had arrived, all wrapped up in a bundle of baby clothes. No longer would people be required to obey a set of rules to know God. No longer would they follow a nationalist god. No longer would they worship the sun, the moon or the stars. No longer would they champion an idea or an ideology. The great joy is that God is a man! He laughs, cries, grows, learns, walks, talks, loves and lives. The God of creation, of history, of all the ages and all the future now has a human face, lives in a human family. What’s more he turns people’s nights into days, their confusion into conviction, their despair into hope, their sadness into joy, their doubt into faith, their wars into peace, their lostness into found-ness, their illness into health, their isolation into unity with all humanity and their emptiness into fullness.
Bethlehem means that God is now available – to all people, everywhere, for all time and into eternity. It is something about which to rejoice and praise evermore.
“O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Immanuel”.
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