Believe it or not.
You are a very special person!
Jesus, God’s Son, came into this World to save each one of us.
He left the realms of Heaven to become a babe, born in Bethlehem, to grow up amongst mankind. He knows who we are, our weaknesses, our worries and our wilfulness. He came because of His love for us. He came to make a way for each one of us to be made right with God the Father. He came with one purpose, to die in our place. He came to go to the Cross of Calvary.
Praise Him this Christmas. Enjoy this wondrous time of celebration.
The coming of our Saviour Jesus.
For there is born to you this day
in the city of David a Saviour,
who is Christ the Lord.
Message from the Pastor
Rev Edward Evans:
Numbers 6 v 24,26
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face shine upon you,and be gracious to you,
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you And give you peace.
It was the great reformer Martin Luther who coined the phrase ‘Coram Deo’ to describe the purpose for which all of his life on earth had meaning.
What does it mean?
It means "In the presence of God or before the Face of God".
For Luther and the other reformers all of life was meant to be lived in the consciousness that we are living each moment of every day before the eyes of the One to whom we are going to give an account. When king David committed the sin of adultery with Bathsheba and then tried to cover up the offence by ordering her husband to be slain on the battlefield, he committed a grave sin before the Lord.
In psalm 51 he is confronted by the prophet Nathan with his guilt and we see and hear David's prayer of repentance.
David is a broken man in his heart before the Lord. But one of the phrases that David uses to express his repentance is to pray: "Against you and you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight."
For David although his sin had powerfully impacted on the life of others, what mattered to him the most at that moment was how his sin appeared in the sight of God.
The reality that all of our lives are being lived before the eyes of God should be to a Christian both a comforting thought and a thought that causes us to have a healthy fear of God as well.
The French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, who was an outspoken atheist, thought that to say that our lives are like an open book before the eyes of an all knowing God was "dehumanising"
To his mind that made God a kind of cosmic "Peeping Tom" and reduced us to objects of mere curiosity.
But as Psalm 139 so beautifully expresses it: "Where can I go from your Spirit, where can I flee from your presence?"
The answer of course is nowhere.
For God to be God it would be madness to imagine that we can play hide and seek with Him.
Of course what was tragic for Sartre and many others like him, was that he could not imagine God looking at him with a benevolent gaze. He could not imagine that in Jesus Christ he could find a place of safety and refuge in the presence of God.
And that is where the gospel comes in.
We do live before the presence of a holy God and every single person will stand before the judgement of God to give an account of our lives to him, including not just what we have done or not done, but what we have thought and what we have said.
Some people say, "If there is a God as you Christians claim, why are there so many injustices in this world?"
And we can answer that God is just and there is coming a day when everyone is going to give account.
But in the gospel any punishment due to us, any condemnation which we have incurred for our sin (and which one of us would claim to have never sinned?) and the judgement we deserve, the rejection we deserve from the presence of this Holy God was fully taken by Jesus.
Why? So that all who look to him might live.Yes. But as Christians now we should live our lives in the joyful awareness that God's gaze is upon us for our good, for our comfort and for our protection and blessing. God is not now for us a God we try to flee from or to hide our deeds from, rather he is our Father in heaven before whom we willingly lay our lives out and invite His loving searching gaze. "Search me O God and try me see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way that is everlasting".Psalm 139
To pray this prayer and to live ‘Coram Deo’ before the face of God in the presence of God means that I live my life now primarily before an audience of One.
And I know that this God whose eye is constantly upon me, whose saving gaze is trained upon my life, is the One whose face I do not yet see, but one day I will look upon His face and my joy will be complete