MY BIBLE BLOG
The third Gospel
reveals a number of Lucan interests. For example, the evangelist
highlights praise and worship, the reality and ministry of the Holy
Spirit, the presence of ministering angels and prayer. Prayer...
The Gospel of Luke opens with accounts of praying people - Zachariah
the priest (prayed for a child) and Anna the widow (“served the Lord in
the Temple with fasting and prayer”). Then Luke highlights the prayer
life of the Lord Jesus.
Meditate on the special times the Lord prayed, and apply his example.
1. He prayed at his baptism (3:21). Prayer sanctifies every act of
faith. 2. He prayed before choosing the Twelve (6:12). Pray before
making decisions. 3. He blessed the bread and fish as he fed the 5000
(9:16). Say grace at meal times. 4. He prayed as he was transfigured
(9:29). Talking with God transforms us. 5. He prayed at the Passover
meal (22:17). Pray in Breading of Bread services. 6. He prayed in the
Garden of Gethsemane (22:45). When crises come - pray! 7. He prayed on
the cross (23:34). In forgiving Jesus practised what he preached.
“Pray continually” (1 Thessalonian 5:17).
reminds us every year of the ongoing strife in the world. At the moment
wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and suffering in places like Africa make
headline news nearly every day. If we believe in a God of love, where
is God in today’s world?
Before we blame God for the world’s troubles, we must examine
humanity’s attitudes, practices and responsibilities. Power, money and
sex are still corrupting influences today. Nations and individuals are
affected. Zimbabwe has been robbed of its riches and role in the world
community by the dictator, President Robert Mugabe. Agencies make us
aware of the suffering people in Zimbabwe and the starving children of
Darfur. What are we doing about this? Mugabe will be present at the EU
summit with African leaders in Lisbon! Few European leaders remonstrate
Christians, prompted by the love of God, are trying to protest against
injustice, and support those in need. (Note: The Archbishop of York
protested against Mugabe and ‘self-destructing racism’ by cutting up
his clerical collar on the Andrew Marr Show (BBC1, 9/12/07).
Jesus Christ said: “Greater love has no one than this, to lay down his
life for his friends” (John 15:13). Christ, the Lamb of God, identifies
with humanity and suffered for it. If the world accepted him, and his
redeeming love, it would be a better place.
XMAS or CHRISTMAS?
This year some authorities have recommended that CHRIST should be taken
out of ‘Christmas’ to avoid offending certain parties. The secular
nature of political correctness appears to have revealed itself!
Paul O’Grady expressed his disgust and sarcasm at this advice on his TV
chat show. He pointed out rightly that Christmas recognises and
celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ - Christ, the Messiah.
The Messiahship of Jesus is questioned by the Unification Church led by
Sun Myung Moon, which teaches that Jesus (as the second Adam) failed in
his mission. Jesus was supposed to correct the mistakes of the first
Adam of Genesis - but was a messianic failure. Moon claimed to be the
successful third Adam - the Messiah! The cult had quite a following in
the 1980s. In July 1982, 4000 of his followers took part in a marriage
ceremony in Madison Square Garden, New York. But many of those early
followers have become disillusioned - and have left the group.
Christians recognise Jesus as Messiah. But more than this! Following
Scripture they confess Jesus as the Saviour of the world and Son of
God. “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us” (John
1:14). This is the wonder and message of Christmas - and the reason we
must recognise CHRIST in this holiday season.
God bless you and yours this Christmas,
This is the last
blog entry published by Vernon