Christmas is just around the corner now, and our church in Manchester has lots of fun activities planned for all ages on the run up to Christmas. Why not take this opportunity to consider the answer that you’d give to this question “What does Christmas mean to you?”
The festive period has many different aspects for all of us, from the practicalities of organising presents, decorations, family time and parties, to getting tasks finished off at work in time for the holidays, as well as thinking about how the season speaks to you in terms of faith.
As a church in Manchester, we understand the festival of Christmas to be a focal point in the year, a time when we are reminded of how God came to meet with us in the Person of Jesus. This is the message that we want to share with the community that we live in and seek to serve.
The reason that we give and receive gifts from those special people in our lives is to remind us of the greatest gift that we have ever been given – and a gift that we didn’t deserve at that.
The truth is that God wanted a relationship with each one of us so much that He was willing to give His son as the revelation of Who God is, as an example to us of how to live for God and as the One Who would take the punishment for the wrong things we have done that separate us from God (sin).
1. The revelation of Who God is
The Bible tells us that Jesus is fully God and fully human (Philippians 2:1-11). This part of the mystery of the Trinity is a foundational part of what we believe as Christians. So when Jesus came to earth, He was able to show us in the most real way possible who God is. The biggest thing that stands out when we read about Jesus’ ministry in the New Testament is how much He loved people (Mark 10:21) and had compassion for them, while at the same time being able to calm the storm (Mark 4:35-41) and heal people who were sick (John 9:1-7).
2. An example to us of how to live for God
One of the most famous teachings that Jesus gave while He was on earth was what’s now known as The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12). These “beautiful attitudes” described the best way to live God’s way, including having a humble and teachable heart, wanting more of God, being merciful and following God in everyday life. Jesus then demonstrated how to do this by the way that He lived.
3. The One Who would take the punishment for the wrong things we have done that separate us from God (sin).
Isaiah 52-53 is one of the many Old Testament prophecies foretelling what we read in the Gospels about Jesus giving His life up for the redemption of the world. Jesus came into the world to bridge the divide between God and humankind that sin had brought into the equation. Reading these verses again reminds us of the price that our Saviour suffered on our behalf.
So as Christmas comes for us all this year, why not take some time to think again about what Christmas means to you and remember to thank God for His indescribable gift to us in Jesus?
All of us here at Bethany Church would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year!
We hope to see you in 2018.
Bethany Church is a thriving Pentecostal church in Manchester. We are a multi-National Church family and a fun place where you can be yourself and find God. Contact us here.