Christmas Family Service

Sunday school Christmas Family Service 

Our Christmas family service is to be held tomorrow Sunday 16th December at 11 AM, and a warm  welcome is extended to  you all to join us. The Sunday school will be taking part in the service this morning with the playing and singing of music as well as the reading of Bible stories. Our theme through  the season of Advent is ‘Glimpses of Glory’, and this morning  we will be looking at three places in the Old Testament where God gives His people wonderful prophetic glimpses of the coming Saviour. 

Hope of the Coming King. 

Our first talk looks at the heralding of the coming King in the words of Malachi 

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts..” 

Malachi 3:1 

The wonderful words of Malachi practically at the end of the Old Testament, give notice that the coming of the Christ will be heralded by a messenger preparing the way for him, and in doing so reaffirming what Isaiah the prophet had announced many years before;  
‘ A voice cries: make straight in the desert a highway for our God. “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;  Isaiah 40:3

A voice cries: make straight in the desert a highway for our God. “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;  

Isaiah 40:3

These words were initially fulfilled in the powerful ministry of  John the Baptist the forerunner of the Lord Jesus. Malachi’s words were to be ultimately fulfilled  when least expected when  Jesus was presented at the temple by His parents. After a lifetime of watching and waiting  old Simeon finally saw the fulfilment of God’s promise to him;

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,

according to your word;

for my eyes have seen your salvation

that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

a light for revelation to the Gentiles,

and for glory to your people Israel.”

Luke 2:29-32

Hope in the city  

 Our second Talk is based on the familiar verse from Micah 5:2 that foretells that the coming King will come from Bethlehem. 

” But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,

who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,

from you shall come forth for me

one who is to be ruler in Israel,

whose coming forth is from of old,

from ancient days. “ 

Micah 5:2

Bethlehem will always be inextricably linked with the Saviour’s birth. The familiar words of the traditional Carol “ O little town of Bethlehem’, are an annual reminder to us whenever we sing these words of the fulfilment of Micah’s words. 

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

A place that could only be thought to be small, insignificant and of only passing interest had been given a wonderful accolade. From Bethlehem would come the great ruler who would rule God’s people , “ whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. “ .  The staggering fact is that Jesus the Eternal Word , came to this earth and was born as the prophets had foretold in the Little town of Bethlehem.

Hope of the Nations 

Our third talk is called Hope of the Nations 

Our final talk asks the question, what or who is the hope of the nations of this world.  History itself bears eloquent testimony to the fact that  nation states, rulers, potentates, presidents, prime ministers  and the powerful have come , gone and singularly failed to give hope and direction to the world. 

Similarly many others who are looked up to, admired or even worshipped in the worlds of entertainment, media, politics and sport have similarly failed  to live up to the expectation that so many have of them.   700 years before Jesus was born, the words of Isaiah chapter 9 gave God’s people much encouragement, and hope that the promised Messiah was coming. These words still encourage and inspire today, reminding us  that those who walk in darkness have seen a great light.

The culmination of this hope is found only in a person, in a child.   ” .. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; ” 

The people who walked in darkness

have seen a great light;

those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,

on them has light shone.

For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon his shoulder,

and his name shall be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:2/ 6-7
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