Christmas is a time of joy and festivity, but the joy sometimes fades away much quicker than we would like. By turning attention directly to the birth of Christ, can we recapture something of a more permanent joy and rejoicing to help us through life with more optimism and hope?
To kick off a new series on Biblical themes, we look at 8 different ideas about the Kingdom of God. We find that both Jesus' statements about it and the expectations of his audience were deeply rooted in the Old Testament, Hebrew scriptures. This brings to life a tangible picture of what is involved but also something far greater and more universal than even the Jews expected!
When we are downcast and discouraged, is there anywhere we can turn to in order to feel valued again? And do Christianity and the Bible have any wisdom and encouragement to offer? Jesus directly addressed the "poor in spirit" in his famous Sermon on the Mount and it's just as relevant and powerful today as it was when he originally spoke those words.
The first book of the New Testament is packed full of insight about Jesus, God, the problem with humanity and God's kingdom that Jesus announced. If you want to understand what the Bible and Christianity is really about, you can't go wrong starting with the gospel of Matthew.