We Three Kings…………………….

It was 1622, and the Bishop of Winchester, Launcelot Andrews, was preaching a magnificent sermon to King James I. Reckoned as being one of the best preachers ever, Launcelot Andrews’ words were later taken up by T S Eliot and transformed into his wonderful poem ‘The Journey of the Magi’.

What a vivid picture – we can see it all! The camels’ breath steaming in the night air as the kings, in their gorgeous robes of silk and cloth-of-gold and clutching their precious gifts, kneel to adore the baby in the manger.

Yet the Bible does not give us as much detail as some people think. Tradition down the centuries has added a great deal more. For instance, we know from St Matthew that the magi were ‘wise’, or learned men of some sort, but we do not know if they were kings or not. The Bible tells us there were several; tradition has decided upon three, and even named them: Balthassar, Melchior, and Gaspar.

But the Bible does tell us that the magi gave baby Jesus three highly symbolic gifts : gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Gold stands for kingship, frankincense for worship, and myrrh for anointing – anticipating his death.

There is a lovely ancient mosaic in Ravenna, Italy, that is 1,500 years old. It depicts the wise men in oriental garb of trousers and Phrygian caps, carrying their gifts past palm trees towards the star that they followed… straight to Jesus.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Rich and the Kingdom of God – new Biblical Word Search

Another Biblical Word Search for you created by my wife, Marlene.

Her new word search is based upon The Rich and the Kingdom of God (Luke 18: 18:30)

To freely download the new word search please go to:

http://www.christianwordsearches.net/TheRichandthekingdomofGod.html

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Letting The Light Shine Through

A boy went to church with his mother on a sunny Sunday morning. He was enthusiastic about the many colourful glass figures that
the sun traced through the stained glass windows onto the floor and he excitedly asked his mother what this and that meant.

She whispered that this was such and such a saint, and that was another.

Some time afterward, in religion class, the teacher asked if anybody knew what a saint was. The excited boy, raising his hand, said “I do”. “A saint is someone that the light shines through!”

How profound!

• If the light is not shining through what is
it that is blocking the reflection? What is
it that is making you heavy and opaque
rather than light and translucent?

• What simple practice can you think of to
“lighten up” and allow yourself to
become a conduit of life, light, and
hope?

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Christmas in the 1950s

In the 1950s a short film was made showing Father Christmas asking children what they wanted for Christmas.

One 8 year old girl said that she wanted a Bible for Christmas.

How many children today, I wonder, have a Bible on their Christmas present wish list?

At a guess, I’d say not many.

The times they are a-changing. That’s for sure!

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Christmas and St Luke’s Gospel

It is to St Luke’s wonderful gospel that many Christians turn as the year draws to a close and Christmas approaches, for it is to St
Luke that we owe the fullest account of the nativity.
Luke alone tells us the story of Mary and the angel’s visit to her, and has thus given the Church the wonderful Magnificat of Mary.
Luke alone tells us the story of Simeon’s hymn of praise, thus giving us the wonderful Nunc Dimmittis. Imagine an Anglican
evensong without the Nunc Dimmittis.
Luke alone tells us the story of how the angels appeared to the shepherds and how the shepherds then visited the infant Jesus.
So – imagine Christmas cards and nativity scenes every year without the shepherds  arriving to visit baby Jesus. Imagine school nativity plays without our children dressed as shepherds or sheep. So – thank you, Luke!
What makes it so amazing is that Luke was not a Jew! The man who wrote the fullest nativity story, and indeed more of the New
Testament than any other single person, was a Gentile!

(From the Winter magazine of the Caldicot Methodist Church}

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Ring Out The Bells

Ring out the bells and let them tell
The wondrous news throughout the land
How Christ was born in Bethlehem
And brought salvation down to man.
God’s wisdom had confounded all
Who could have thought of such a plan
As Deity descended low
God’s Son encompassed in a span.

 

He tabernacled here with us,
As God He laid His glory by
He lived as man to bear our sin,
And though a king was crucified.
And can it be He came for us
To take our sin, not just in part?
If this be true, come celebrate
And let the bells ring in our hearts!

(Megan Carter)

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With many joy-filled blessings

Geoffrey

 

Forgotten

Gifts to buy
Cards to send
Shopping lists that never end;
Times so short so much to do
There’s no room for you
Laden down with gifts galore,
As we rush from store to store.

Who’s the next one on the list,
Is there anyone we’ve missed?
In the corner half forgotten
Lies the Son of Man begotten;
Born into the worlds dark night
He offers his gift of light.
If there’s no room will we reject Him,
With hands full can we accept Him?

Corel Yates

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey