Peterborough Christmas Messages 2019: ‘In a mixed up, difficult world, God can make us safe through Jesus’
Bishop of Peterborough Rt Revd. Donald Allister
The key thing about Christmas, of course, is Jesus, and what I want to think about with you, just for a minute, is the name Jesus.
What’s in a name? What’s it all about? People talk about doing Christmas without Christ or without Jesus, and the churches for years have been saying we have got to get Jesus back in, but why, what does it mean?
Well Jesus comes from an old Hebrew word.
The modern Hewbew equivalent, the Jewish equivalent, is the name Joshua as we have in England, and it means God saves, or God is a saviour.
And that is not a name that just happened, in the Bible story Joseph, who was to be, as it were, Jesus’ stepfather, who was going to marry Mary, was told, by God through an angel, to give this baby the name Jesus, and that is what he did.
And the name Jesus meaning God saves, is ever so important, because it reminds us that God wants to look after us, God wants to keep us safe, God wants to do the right thing for us, to make us safe from our own sins, the consequences of our actions, safe from eternal issues, safe for all eternity.
And my message to people at Christmas in a very mixed up, difficult world, with lots of bad stuff going on around us, lots of confusing stuff, is following Jesus, being close to Jesus, you can find safety, and God can make us safe through Jesus. Happy Christmas.