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“Here is the son of God – a baby” Address first given at the Midnight Communion All Saints, Weston, Bath 24-12-16

1 February 2017, 5.31 pm

Readings:
1 Corinthians 15: 12-20
Luke 2: 1-14

Address:
Why are we here tonight?
Where ever we are in our faith in Jesus – however we know him – we are declaring a belief by coming. Time is too precious to waste otherwise. So let us reflect, and deepen this faith.

Paul, in 1 Corinthians, puts it similarly. In a great chapter, one of his longest, that concludes with the mighty word “therefore” (vs 58 “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, let us stand firm”), Paul says simply that if Jesus was not raised from the dead, then our faith is useless, and futile, we are false witnesses, and still (dead) in our sin”.

In my work as a doctor in a hospice, I have seen many people die in the peace and confidence of knowing that they are going to be with the Lord.

And so tonight……

On this night, about 2000 years ago, the Son of God was born.

On this night a – no, the world-changer is born

World-changer?
Yes, for
• The world
• You
• And me

For the world?
Yes
• Jesus opens the way back to God – to live and not die, and
• Jesus told his friends, disciples, to take this news to all nations. That is why, now, I can worship with Chinese Christians. We have many nations here tonight, I am sure! (ask)

On this night, the son of God a baby? How do you know?
Because his friends told us.

On this night – really?
Well it’s quite a story – that’s for another time!
It helps to think backwards.
In summary, aged about thirty, Jesus was crucified;
and we believe that God raised him from the dead – to give us life.
His friends told that story – Amazing!
And so therefore – he must have been born!

On this night……it is amazing!
Yes.
And amazing, too, to think that
• Jesus worked as a carpenter, and so knows work-place issues
• Lived in a family – played
• Had brothers and sisters
• Jesus will have seen every aspect of life – joys, sorrows, challenges

On this night…… but this world is so awful now?
It was then, too. Crucifixion was a barbaric way to die. And Herod had all the children around Bethlehem killed didn’t he, when he thought that a future king had been born to take his power

And, yes, the world is awful now. That is why we need this world-changer.

OK. I can see that…… but world-changer for you and me? Does that really matter?
Yes.
• He invites us to believe in him, talk to him, to choose life not death. This gives us personal peace of mind and strength. And
• We become world-changers!

Peace?
Yes.
• Forgiveness
• Hope
• Love of God

World-changers… really? Little me?
Yes.
• We are called to tell others
• That is Jesus’s command
• We join the great cloud of witnesses, that Paul knew, when he was writing 1 Corinthians 15
• So we become world-changers.
• There are two models of mission. In one a single person goes around telling others. That is exhausting and slow. In the other one tells another, then two tell two others, then these four tell four others, these eight tell eight more – and so on. In the second model all tellers become world-changers - to the glory of God in Jesus name.
Amazing!
On this night
Here is the Son of God – born a baby
FACT
Amazing
Astonishing
Beautiful
Believe!

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