In Psalm 100, we have an invitation to come into God’s presence and serve him with gladness. We do this because of his good character and his care for us, his people, in so many ways. The returned exiles might not have always felt that joy in worship and we might struggle at times too. They were looking forward and we look back on God’s greatest expression of his steadfast love – sending the Good Shepherd, Jesus. We reflect on God’s Word to “Know the Lord” and be reminded of his goodness, which shapes our lives of service.
The greeting in Titus 1:1-4, at the start of Paul’s letter, is a preview and an overview: the truth about Jesus accords with godliness. For the Christian, belief in Jesus ought to be reflected in our behaviour as we seek to be more like him. But our good works don’t save us – Jesus is the saviour. At Christmas, we celebrate God’s grace shown to us and have the privilege of reflecting that grace to others.
In John 15:18-16:3, Jesus warns his followers that the world will hate them because it hated him. It the coming chapters we see that it hated him to death on the cross. Jesus choses his followers out of the world to be different to it. Christians ought to respond with love and be witnesses to Jesus’ love. His love was shown when he died in our place and rose for our hope.
On Christmas morning, Andrew Kerr preached from Matthew 2 about God’s greatest gift. Wise men searched for him, the chief priests should have known more about him and Herod felt threatened by him. In his son, Jesus, God gives the world what it really needs: a better king, a better priest and a better saviour. Matthew shows us how God has promised him all those years ago. After all these years since, wise men still seek Jesus.
Do you work for someone who is out of touch? Philippians 2:1-11 tells us that Jesus is the ultimate ‘Undercover Boss’: fully God yet stepping down and taking on a new role to become fully man. He is the model ’employee’: the humble servant, obedient… even to death on the cross. Finally, he is a boss worth working for and he offers a glorious reward. So what is our attitude to the Boss?