Jesus left many presents after he went to heaven to help the church to be strong whilst they are waiting for his return. Our Bible reading gives us some ideas of what these might be. These words were written to followers of Jesus about how they were to live as Christians.

1. Peace
We read that Christians were to have peace, vs3. What do you think peace is? Stillness? An absence of conflict? A lack of anger? Jesus came that we might have peace with God and the peace of God. We call that by a different name. Does anyone know it’s called? Shalom, which means wholeness; health, completeness; well-being; harmony with God and with others.

2. Grace
We read about God’s gift of Grace is vs3&4. Through Jesus God has given us his favour and love. And it’s called Grace because we have done nothing to deserve it. It’s a free gift to each one of us. Some people explain Grace as God’s Riches At Christs Expense

3. Everywhere
Jesus didn’t travel very far is his 33 yrs on earth. But after he rose from the dead and went to heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit so he could be present everywhere and anywhere in the world. We believe that Jesus is present with us this morning, Jesus said, whenever two or three meet together in His name he is with us.  He’s also with us at school, at work and ‘everywhere’ we find ourselves.

4. Speaking
We all love to talk don’t we! Some more than others. Some people have a gift of speaking too, don’t they? But in vs5 we are reminded about speaking the trust about Jesus. That is we are not to be afraid or shy of telling others about Jesus and how he loves them. Especially in this Christmas season.

5. Knowledge
Because of Jesus we have knowledge, vs5. We know about God, Jesus, his love for us and how we should live. Someone once said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. But I think a little knowledge about Jesus is a wonderful thing.

6. Change
One of the things Jesus came to do was to change our lives, vs6. That’s because people are often selfish and only look after themselves. So when people trust in Jesus their lives are changed. This shows to other people that someone is a Christian.

7. Gifts
When Jesus went to heaven and the Holy Spirit came to earth, he gave Christians gifts, vs7. Now, they may not be gifts that we think of such as toys or chocolate. These gifts were to help the church grow.

8. Fellowship
People who followed Jesus were brought together as people who had something in common, vs9. You might find that at Guides or Scouts or when you belong to a football team or chess club. For Christians this fellowship is called the church of which we are all members.

This is how Jesus wants us to live until he comes again. Jesus wants all of us to have his Peace; Grace; and his presence Everywhere. He wants to give us courage to Speak for Him and share our Knowledge about God with others to that people’s lives can be Changed when they follow Him. Jesus wants us to use the special Gifts he has given us and to enjoy the Fellowship of the church.

What’s not to like?

A Special Prayer for Advent

God of hope, who brought hope into this world,
be the hope that dwells between us.

God of peace, who brought peace into this world,
be the peace that dwells between us.

God of joy, who brought joy into this world,
be the joy that dwells between us.

God of love, who brought love into this world,
be the love that dwells between us.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is the Light of the World.  Amen.

This is a copy of my ‘short’ talk given at our Annual Toy Parade/Service at Emmanuel Billericay on Sunday 2 December 2018 – the First Sunday of Advent. The Bible reading was 1 Corinthians 1:3-9.