Keynote – Jesus, the peace-child
“Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’” Luke 2:13-14
The shepherds gathered in the field that first Christmas night saw an amazing manifestation of the heavenly host. God said to them, “I bring you peace”, so the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem. And when they arrived they saw… a family.
God’s peace is beyond understanding. When all of your external circumstances are in turmoil, you can find on the inside of you a deep internal peace that speaks of the invisible Kingdom of God.
In their day Mary and Joseph were caught up in the busyness of the season; Mary was pregnant when they had to travel to register for the census, which most likely coincided with one of the Jewish festivals. There are many similarities with our lives, as we prepare to celebrate Christmas!
It was a time of rising costs; the census that they were registering for was to number and organise the population, but it was also about raising taxes. There was also dissatisfaction with the government – the people had returned from exile but were still not free and at this time were bent under the weight of the Roman occupation.
In the middle of these circumstances, like the calm in the eye of a storm, came God’s peace. We can receive his peace in the middle of pain and disappointment, because it is not dependent on our circumstances. The true peace on earth is the peace that passes all understanding. It comes from heaven and arrived in the form of a baby.
The peace that God brings flourishes in the midst of simplicity. Our lives can be extremely complicated, but it is often the simple things that we appreciate and value – small children smiling, or sharing a meal with our loved ones.
Mary demonstrates simplicity of spirit. She responded to the mind-blowing news that she was going to have a child who was the Son of God with a simple question, “How can this be?” And when the angel Gabriel explained, she simply said, “OK, let it be so, according to your word.” That principle will take you through the most difficult times; knowing that if God has spoken then you can yield to his word with confidence.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the ‘peace-child’, let us glorify God in the certain knowledge that his peace and goodwill covers the earth!
Congratulations to Rev Mark Ryan, and his wife Kathy, who has been appointed to Kensington Temple as the new Senior Minister from 16 October 2021. The long search for my successor is over and I will soon be able focus on my wider prophetic and apostolic ministry to the nations.
[2 minute read] Every day, battles rage as nations or people groups try to establish supremacy over parts of the earth. Most people believe that ‘might’ will triumph over ‘right’ in the end, but Jesus suggests something different:
Over the last year, our church family has learnt a huge amount about doing things online, and our work by the ‘Giants’ groups in equipping our church did not slow down. Now, as more and more of us return to places of work, we are reminded of our harvest field with the number of close relationships we tend to develop in the workplace.
[3 minute read] “God is So Good” says Julie as she shares her story of his presence taking her from immobile in her hospital bed back to independent living.
[3 minute read] “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Discover the first steps of your discipleship in the Christian faith as you embark on this life-transformational course.
One night, I was listening to a worship song about being free and surrendering all to God. Whilst listening to the words I began to pray and asked God to feel his presence.
[2 minute read] Senior Minister Colin Dye has launched a pioneering online Bible school for the converts from Islam in Central Asia and Caucasus. The Bible school is using Colin’s Sword of the Spirit video series which has been translated into Russian as a study material, and it includes live interactive teaching sessions where believers in the region can find answers to difficult questions.
[1 minute read] Sunday 18 April was a great day at Kensington Temple as 30 people gathered with family and friends at 2pm, first for a reminder of previous teaching on baptism and then to be ministered to. Some had the joy of being baptised with the Holy Spirit immediately before going through the waters of baptism.
[2 minute read]
Many of us know Roberts Liardon. He s a great friend of Kensington Temple and has visited many times. Less well known to us personally, but playing a vital role in his ministry is his mother, Carol, who passed away earlier this month. Click for video from Colin Dye.
[ 3 minute read] Back to the office as the roadmap to ending lockdown unfolds
Monday 12 April was a very big day in our country as it marked the re-opening of outdoor cafes, restaurants and pubs, as well as hairdressers, gyms, and swimming pools. Seeing the High Street busy and shopping and town centres come alive again, one senses a cautious sense of euphoria.