Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. (The Gospel of Luke 1:1-4, ESV)...
With Christmas fast approaching, I have been thinking about the opening chapters of Luke's Gospel, in which we have one of the two main accounts in the Bible (the other being in Matthew's Gospel) of the birth of Jesus Christ. This, of course, is the significance of Christmas, rather than the secular holiday with all its trappings. This Christmas we are living with a larger than usual dose of uncertainty and consequent unease over what is happening in the world. In part the uncertainty is because of the way the idea of truth has been so eroded in people's minds, leaving us open to being confused and unsure, which is not a nice place to be. For example, I find it increasingly troubling to see the effects of a breakdown of confidence in the notion of reliable news and trustworthy reporting of events. Whether it is in matters of politics, elections, international relations or the efficacy of Covid vaccines, it seems that there are immediate attempts to sow confusion by pushing counter-narratives or 'alternative facts' in attempts to spin the news, to destabilise opponents or to gain some sort of advantage over others. The one with the loudest voice or the most followers is in a powerful place to gain influence and dictate the agenda, irrespective of what the facts may actually be.
The Bible's account of the birth of Jesus is refreshingly straightforward, although what it has to say is, frankly, astonishing. God Himself, in the person of His eternal Son, came as a human baby into the very world He made. He came on a mission to save human beings from sin and to bring us back to God. It is the most astounding story, made even more so because it is true. Luke tells us that he researched and recorded accurately the findings of his piece of investigative journalism. He says he has given us an 'orderly account'. To read it, is to be taken back to events of two thousand years ago that fulfilled many promises of God and which change history. According to Luke, and the other writers of the New Testament, Jesus is someone not merely to read about, but to know personally. Knowing Jesus changes the history of your life. You should read Luke for yourself.
During this Christmas season, we shall have services focusing on the coming of Jesus and the difference He makes to people - even now. We warmly invite you to join us.