Yesterday I began the Christmas series of sermons at Ladyfield. This month and next are lighter in terms of travelling ministry, but look quite full in terms of Ladyfield Church preaching. Yesterday was the first of three in a row (two sermons per Sunday). Then a two week break before another series of four Sundays in a row. I’m just lining up cover in case Melanie is in labour on a Sunday (I’ll be with her). So yesterday morning I preached on The Christ of Christmas – The Anointed Prophet. This week I’ll be finishing my messages on The Anointed Priest, then we have the King week three for the carol services.
Struck me that we often think of the baby born to be king (i.e. every Christmas), and we tend to think of Christ as priest most weeks in church either directly or indirectly. But Christ as Prophet? Not a common thought, at least not overtly. I suppose the Muslims view Jesus as a prophet, but we don’t tend to do so. So I am making this series more Old Testament focused than a normal Christmas series – since the first Christmas was the culmination of centuries of anticipation for the coming of the Anointed One. Yesterday I began with Exodus 33, seeing the Old Testament prophet par excellence, Moses, in action. He could speak God’s words and reveal God because he spent time with the LORD. Face to face in the tent of meeting, and not seeing His face on the mountain (I’m amazed that some commentaries go out of their way to avoid the clear Christophany in that tent, anyway, let’s not get technical!) We saw God’s promise to send a prophet like Moses in Deuteronomy 18, then fast forwarded to the Exodus 33 saturated text of John 1:14-18. God sent the promised prophet that first Christmas, to speak God’s words, so that as we listen to Him, we can know God, which is life itself.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the preparation for that and it has given me lots to ponder as we move through another Christmas. On Saturday we decorated the house (children loved that), then finished a three-day game of Phase 10 together as a family (actually about an hour each of those days). Now we head into another week of schooling for the children with Melanie, message preparation and meetings with people for me, and all the normal things that jump into the schedule at the last minute!