A Christmas Message

I'd just like to take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has participated in some way, shape or form on this blog throughout 2011. To those who've provided guest posts, people who've commented, those who've shared it with others through Facebook and Twitter, to everyone who's signed up to this site or just read anonymously... a HUGE thank you to you all!

I pray that you will enjoy a happy and holy Christmas. May the Son of God be born anew in you again today. I look forward to sharing 2012 with you through this site as, in the words of N.T. Wright, I continue my theological education in public.
As this will be the final post of 2011 I thought it only appropriate to sign off with my favourite Christmas passage from the Bible. It is, of course, from Philippians 2:1-11. You may wonder why not something from Matthew or Luke, or even John's gospel. Well, for me, the Christmas story is too often divorced from Easter. Of course, Matthew, Luke and John all go on to tell the Easter story. That's their objective. But we tend to read only small portions of Scripture at a time and so miss the link between the two most significant events in history. Here in this passage, though, the two are intrinsically united. Christmas and Easter mean nothing without each other. I think Paul got that. I hope this may serve to remind us all of the glorious incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, today.

Merry Christmas.

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 

who, though he was in the form of God,

   did not regard equality with God
   as something to be exploited, 
but emptied himself,
   taking the form of a slave,
   being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form, 
   he humbled himself
   and became obedient to the point of death—
   even death on a cross. 

Therefore God also highly exalted him

   and gave him the name
   that is above every name, 
so that at the name of Jesus
   every knee should bend,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 
and every tongue should confess
   that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father. 


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