‘What does the virgin birth of Jesus have to do with you?’ (Luke 1:1-4, 26-38)

There’s no denying that Jesus born in Bethlehem has had a great impact upon the world. There is no-one like him nor has there ever been. So many things set Jesus apart from ordinary human beings, even aspects surrounding His birth. The gospel writer, Luke, set out to establish these things as fact and tells in Luke 1:26-38 that Jesus was born of a virgin. The virgin conception of Jesus has long been hotly disputed, but is so vital to so many aspects of the Christian faith which stands of falls on the test of truth. If it is true, then it is one of the most amazing events ever to happen and should cause us to view Jesus in a totally different light.

‘Ancestors and descendants: Lessons from Jesus’s family tree’ (Matthew 1:1-17, 12:46-50)

All of us fit somewhere into a family tree. None of us would be alive were in not for those who have gone before us. Just as many family trees make for interesting studies, so too the family tree of Jesus whioch is recorded in Matthew 1:1-17, one that even has one or two ‘black sheep’ who might be something of an embarrassment to the family. Old Testament characters such as Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba all feature. These women were either from the wrong side of the tracks or who had some shortcomings that the Bible notes. King David is included too and even though he was a great King, even then his own sin and failure are not hidden from the pages of the Bible. God graciously included such people to show that he receives sinners, something that Jesus did through all His life. And what of His descendants? Well there are no physical descendants of Jesus, but He has plenty of children whom He adopts as His own. They are those who come to Him in repentance and faith and trust Him to save them.

‘New in Christ: the real you’ (Colossians 3:1-4:1)

Getting dressed in the morning seems like something we do without thinking (though for some it takes longer than others to think and plan for this activity!). We often give a lot of thought to clothes and our external appearance, but not much thought to who we are in Christ and how we must ‘clothe ourselves’ in and with Him. In this message Rory Weightman digs deeper into Colossians 3:1-4:1 and explores who we are in Christ and urges us to consider who we are on the inside, not so much what we look like on the outside.

‘The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus’ (Luke 16:19-31)

Rev Dr Jared Hood preached this message from Luke 19:16-31, reminding us that we live in a world where materialism and ‘worldliness’ seems to be everything that people strive after. But Jesus unmasked the whole idea of worldliness through this parable. The Rich Man had everything. He was clothed with purple and fine linen, but treated Lazarus, a beggar at his gate, with contempt. The real nature of worldliness is callous, selfish and idolatrous and it leads to death not life.  Sadly the core of a worldly lifestyle is rebellion. Those who do not want to believe will be not be convinced even if there was the best evidence available – such as someone rising from the dead! The cure for worldliness is to humble yourself and submit to God in repeantance and faith.