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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
December 24, 2004

May you feel the love, joy and peace of Christ Jesus in this Christmas season. This week I am providing some selections from this weekend's lectionary readings with no commentary for your prayerful consideration. -Bill Samuel

     God has shown us how kind he is by coming to save all people. He taught us to give up our wicked ways and our worldly desires and to live decent and honest lives in this world. We are filled with hope, as we wait for the glorious return of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. He gave himself to rescue us from everything that is evil and to make our hearts pure. He wanted us to be his own people and to be eager to do right.
Titus 2:11-14 (CEV*)

     Long ago in many ways and at many times God's prophets spoke his message to our ancestors. But now at last, God sent his Son to bring his message to us. God created the universe by his Son, and everything will someday belong to the Son. God's Son has all the brightness of God's own glory and is like him in every way. By his own mighty word, he holds the universe together.
     After the Son had washed away our sins, he sat down at the right side of the glorious God in heaven. He had become much greater than the angels, and the name he was given is far greater than any of theirs.
Hebrews 1:1-4 (CEV*)

     Everything belongs to God, and all things were created by his power. So God did the right thing when he made Jesus perfect by suffering, as Jesus led many of God's children to be saved and to share in his glory. Jesus and the people he makes holy all belong to the same family. That is why he isn't ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. He even said to God, "I will tell them your name and sing your praises when they come together to worship."

     He also said, "I will trust God."

     Then he said, "Here I am with the children God has given me."

     We are people of flesh and blood. That is why Jesus became one of us. He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death. But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying. Jesus clearly did not come to help angels, but he did come to help Abraham's descendants. He had to be one of us, so that he could serve God as our merciful and faithful high priest and sacrifice himself for the forgiveness of our sins. And now that Jesus has suffered and was tempted, he can help anyone else who is tempted.
Hebrews 2:10-18 (CEV*)

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 01-Jan-2005 11:31:33 EST