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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).


Remembrance Sunday 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 against him.

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.


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,

         Vernon                                                                     Bible

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Copyright 2008 Vernon Ralphs

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