Passage: Psalm 150
Passage: 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:10
For the Thessalonians it may have felt like they’d been left alone. But as we work through this passage, we’ll get to see behind the curtains and see Paul’s actual thoughts. We will see his heart for these people living in the north of modern day Greece. As the person who set up their church, but also as a fellow Christian. We’ll see what he cares most about, and therefore see what we should care about too.
Passage: 1 Samuel 17
What is Christmas all about for you?
There’s good food, you get time to see family, crack out the board games etc. Well, one of my favorite festive things to do – call it a Christmas hobby – is playing Christmas music. Each and every year, I kindly play my Christmas music for all my family to hear. One day they’ll learn to appreciate it… (If you’re interested, this year’s is available here)
Thing is, when you think through the lyrics of the songs, it really is quite interesting. You see, these songs tell us what the authors think Christmas is all about.
I don’t know whether you went to an Easter service today, but if you did, you may have come across a book referred to as ‘John’s gospel’. It is read in many churches over the Easter period and no doubt will be heard many times more today. The author tells us that he wrote his book “[so] that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name”. (John 20:20)
Now, if you were to give John a chance to tell his story to you (and I’d highly recommend you do), you would notice very quickly that John writes with a very clear aim. He only includes information that adds to his message – after all he states that there are things he left out to make it readable! (John 20:19)
Chapter 20 is the key moment in John’s book. It presents the familiar story of Jesus coming back from the dead. Something unexpected though seems to appear. John makes a big deal out some strips of the linen left in the tomb. For someone, as we’ve seen, who is trying to keep their story precise, surely that could have been omitted?
I’d like to show you that the linen is actually quite exciting. In fact, I want to show you that the gospel can be found in the linen. Intrigued? Well let’s get started…