Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

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Advent: Christmas Eve

December 24, 2017

So we made it to the final day before Christmas and the start of my holidays…

So I thought I’d wrap up with an alternative look at the names of Jesus from the last three and a half weeks.

Have a good and merry(!) Christmas

The Word – John 1:1

The Light of the World – John 8:12

Rabbi/Teacher – John 1:38

The Lamb – Revelation 12:11

Deliverer – Romans 11:26

Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6

Immanuel – Matthew 1:23

The Son of God – John 1:34

The Righteous Judge – 2 Timothy 4:8

Author of Salvation – Hebrews 5:9

Man of Sorrows – Isaiah 53:3

Founder and Perfecter of our faith – Hebrews 12:2

The Creator of all – Colossians 1:16

Good Shepherd – John 10:11

Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords – Revelation 19:16

Cornerstone – Isaiah 28:16

Messiah – John 4:25

Alpha and Omega – Revelation 1:8

Sacrifice – Ephesians 5:2

High Priest – Hebrews 4:14-16

The Vine – John 15:5

The Christ – Mark 8:29

Savior – 1 John 4:14

Wonderful Counselor – Isaiah 9:6

Jesus – Matthew 1:21

Advent: Jesus

December 23, 2017

The name Jesus used in the English New Testament comes from the Latin form of the Greek name Ἰησοῦς(Iēsous), a rendition of the Hebrew Yeshua (ישוע), related to the name Joshua. The name is thus related to the Hebrew verb root √yšʿ “rescue, deliver” and one of its noun forms, yešuaʿ “deliverance”. There have been various proposals as to how the literal etymological meaning of the name should be translated, including YHWH saves, (is) salvation, (is) a saving-cry, (is) a cry-for-saving, (is) a cry-for-help, (is) my help.


Even Jesus name itself is a name or signpost of who Jesus is and says he is. As Wikipedia puts it, he is a rescuer and delivered. 

We may not think we have much to be rescued from but sometimes it is worth stopping and taking stock of where we are whilst considering the paths we want to take. Christmas can be An ideal time to start such a journey.

Advent: Names…

December 22, 2017

Advent: Mediator

December 21, 2017

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human,   who gave himself a ransom for all — this was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-7

Day 21

It’s tempting to think we have it all worked out. That we have it all worked out and don’t need anyone else.

But if you are of the state of mind where you feel you need some help. Timothy tells us that Jesus offered himself as a ransom – a way to get back on track.

Advent: Lamb of God

December 20, 2017

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Romans 5:1-11

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 1:29

Day 20

… If God will go to so much trouble to find us when we are not his, how much more will he do when we are.

In today’s Advent/Christmas readings we find the name which most closely connects with Easter.

Advent: The Gate

December 19, 2017

So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. 

John 10:7-10
Day 19

In ‘Bible times’ the shepherd didn’t sleep near the gate, he was the gate. So any animal trying to get at the sheep would literally have to go through him.

Conversely if he ran away all the flock would be lost too. Either perished from their attacker or hidden somewhere in the wilds.

As the gate, this name for Jesus suggests that Jesus is someone fully worthy of our trust as he would risk his life for us too.

Advent: Bread of Life

December 18, 2017

No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, “And they shall all be taught by God.” Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’

John 6:44-51

Day 18

Manna was what the Jews ate whilst following in the wilderness.

Bread – is requested in the Lords prayer: ‘Give us this day…’.

Food gives life, both physically and metaphorically in the Bible and it is Jesus who claims to be the fulfillment of aĺl  of this – the bread of life.

Advent: The Word

December 17, 2017

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.”’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

John 1:9-18

Day 17

And the Word became flesh and lived among us.

The ‘logos’ (‘word’) a word commonly used for God in the Bible. The Bible argues that Jesus was the last and full(est) revelation of God.

Advent: Son of God

December 16, 2017

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.

Luke 1:26-35

Day 16

Not a prophecy this time but still a name of God. The Son (of God) himself. Encapsulated within the Christmas story.

How much will we remember this next week if we attend the Church or share Christmas dinner?

Advent: Messiah/King of the Jews

December 15, 2017

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
   and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising,and have come to pay him homage.’

Matthew  1:18-2:2

The birth of Jesus fulfils another Old Testament prophecy in a way that he couldn’t possibly have controlled.

But then arrive “the” kings. Who have been following a star to find him – calling him ‘King of the Jews. This might not be an Old Testament prophecy but it shows the weight and the importance the early followers pit on his birth.

And what if it were true.