What a glorious Advent and Christmas season we have celebrated together at Grace Church! Beautiful music and dance, inspirational guest preaching and teaching, colorful candles and flowers and banners have filled our worship. All this culminated in our wonder-filled Noel in the City Christmas Eve worship as we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ.
And Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger. (Luke 2:7)
And the angels sang, and the shepherds praised God, and we still celebrate this day!
What child is this who was born of Mary? What child is this of whom angels sing and shepherds praise? What child is this whom we still celebrate today? Our January worship mini-series will look at exactly this question, “What Child Is This?”. We will continue in Luke’s gospel, looking at Luke’s stories of the early life of Jesus. We will begin right after the birth story and continue through the stories of the temple dedication and purification of Jesus, Jesus in the temple as a young boy, the baptism of Jesus, Jesus’ first teaching in the temple, Jesus’ early healings, and Jesus calling his first disciples. What do these stories teach us about Jesus – his identity, his purpose, his mission, his gifts and abilities, his personality and character traits, his life and work on this earth? What child is this who came and lived among us?
As we begin a new year, I invite you to consider anew the Christ whom we follow. We call ourselves Christians, followers of Christ. I invite you to explore anew the stories of Jesus. I invite you to seek to better understand the Christ whom we follow. In this new year, let’s discover together, “What Child Is This?”. And, with an increased understanding of Christ, may we begin following more closely in the ways of Christ in 2016.
Happy New Year! Happy seeking! Happy following!
Grace and peace,