Matthew 1 v 22 - 25

The Gospel of Matthew contains many passages which demonstrate that Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Isaiah the prophet, living around 600 years before the Messiah, prophesied the virgin birth and what the baby would be called.

Joseph was faithful to the command of the angel and named the babe Jesus, meaning 'to deliver, to rescue'. In the life of Jesus, there came into the world the power to re-create Life, the power to resurrect the dead soul, the power to revive the ideals once held firmly, but now dead, the power to give fresh strength to desire goodness and to hold onto what is good, rather than be carried away as mere flotsam and jetsam, another human casualty. Jesus enables us to see what God is and what we ought to be; He opens the eyes of our minds so that we can see the truth of God for us; He brings new life, new hope, new peace. I have conducted four funerals this year-John, Pete, John and a lady from Wrington- and each person who died had a faith in God, which meant that each ceremony could be full of hope. Sadness for the loss of a loved one, some good memories, but peace concerning the new life which will now be being experienced by each one who died. I rejoiced that I could say the words of the resurrection with confidence: ''I am the resurrection and the life'', Jesus said, ''Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying..'' It is only because of Jesus, His life and His death and resurrection that we can know for sure that we too will be resurrected. The birth of Jesus utterly transformed the world, but God allowed Himself to be dependent on humble, lowly human beings who were faithful to Him. Please pray that this Christmas time will bring more to know the Christ child and His mighty power!

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