Christmas Eve 2018

Isaiah 9:6-7

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is give. That child is Jesus, the son of the living God. Joy to the world, rejoice! This child who came all those years ago is the Prince of peace, The mighty, heroic God, wonderful counsellor. In Him is gladness, in spite of our sadness. Born that humans no more may die. About 30yrs after the events we are remembering tonight He declared, ‘repent and believe the Good News, the Kingdom of Heaven is near!’ (Mark 1:15). His kingdom of peace, justice and righteousness that lasts forever.

This is the reason for Mary’s great joy, the excitement of the shepherds and the singing of the angels all those years ago. The one to come had come. You, like the Israelites before you, struggle and suffer in this corrupt world. There are natural disasters, like the drought, there are people who see you as just another obstacle, there is death and the deterioration of your bodies, and there is your own selfish/sinful desires that destroy good steering you away from God the righteous. Here in the life of this world we are dying, enslaved to our evil desires. We need help! Jesus, The Lord, saves, bringing us into His wonderful peace and righteousness, rescuing us from the evils of this world and cleansing us from all sin. So we rejoice and celebrate thanking God for the marvel that He has done, taking on human form and living among His people; relating to us as we do to each other rather than the fire and blazing light that He revealed through the Old Testament. Now, in Christ through Baptism by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can approach God Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and ask Him for help because of His great love, mercy and zeal.

God keeps His promises, and thank God for that! He promised a son would be born, who would bring His kingdom to this world, and in Jesus He has done it! Thanks be to God! Now, you have some peace and assurance in Jesus, so continue to ask Him for all the help you need and rejoice when He gives it.

Joy to the world! the Lord is come. Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns. No more let sins and sorrows grow For He rules the world with truth and grace. And may His peace protect you now and forever. Amen.

Rev. Joseph Graham.

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