Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph! Is my father still living?’ But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come close to me.’ When they had done so, he said, ‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no ploughing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
‘So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Now hurry back to my father and say to him, “This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me – you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.”
And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterwards his brothers talked with him
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.’
22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’[d] (which means ‘God with us’).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
What kind of King would this be?
What kind of leader do you like?
What kind of master do you think we all need?
I hear the Spirit of God calling this Christmas Eve.
I hear the King of all kings calling.
I hear the master of life and death in the manger calling you this night.
I hear the Spirit calling you as he called Joe the carpenter, to be included in his grand plans for his world – plans to bring humanity and all creation back to a peace-filled, joy-filled, rest-filled relationship between he and us.
How do we respond to God’s call to be a part of what he is doing in his world where we live?
I listen to the account of Joseph and I hear how you and I are to respond to the King who calls at Christmas.
Joseph shows us how to respond to the Lord’s call on our lives as 2016 hits 2017…
Joseph speaks with God.
Joseph does what he is called to do not knowing the outcome.
Listen, Speak, Do – that is the response tonight. It’s always the response. It’s Joseph’s response. The Spirit calls you to do a “Joseph” tonight.
The Call of this Christmas is for you and I to Listen, Speak and Do.
But is this really for you?
Is God really calling you this Christmas? Isn’t this just paying our dues or keeping family tradition or telling bedtime stories to children?
I find one thing remarkable this Christmas. The call of Jesus is a call to everyone – without exception – those who believe they are too good for God to Call; those who believe that they are too bad for God to call, and those who don’t believe there is a call of God, or a God at all.
The call is even for those who believe that they are not required by God – for this grand plan he is enacting in his world…. Surely Joseph must have believed that he was no longer required. Joseph could have viewed himself, or been seen by others as superfluous to God’s divine work. A lot of people seem to be like that. Joseph could have been seen like a spouse of a king or a queen – unnecessary, not needed, unimportant in the plans of God. Like Camilla to Charles or Kate to William – a mere fringe player at best.
Do you view yourself as not required?
Joseph was going to separate from his young fiancé to save her the trouble of keeping up the charade that theirs was a marriage made in heaven. But the man is still included in God’ activity to change the world. Joseph is needed. The child, Jesus needs an earthly father as he needs his heavenly father. Mary needs a partner in life even though she is a daughter of the God of the miracle of the virgin birth. The boy Jesus needs to learn a craft, the value of contributing to others from his earthly dad. He needs the tender and unshakable embrace of a mother.
It is clear mums and dads and grandparents – being a holy family is a holy calling.
It is clear that the call of the living Jesus includes troubled teenagers (Mary), lonely or anxious or rejected young men (Joseph), successful or struggling parents and children living the journey of life together (Mary, Joseph and Jesus and brothers and sisters).
I hear the Spirit of Jesus calling you, family, and family of God in this community.
Lonely men feeling left on the bench or betrayed and hung out to dry.
Young women feeling confused about their place, their worth, their future.
Dad’s, mums’ kids and grandies,
Tradies, workers, handymen and women, business owners,
people of the wood or the metal or the land or the animals.
Prophets, prostitutes, slaves, masters, the faithful and the faithless – this generation and the ones to come.
Will you listen to his call? It is for you. Will you do it – live it, try it, learn it as you go to the best of your ability?
The call of Christmas is the Call of this God – Emmanuel – a Creator, Sustanier and gracious redeemer of our wayward and destructive bodies. It is the baby who would born for the cross who would lose his loving relationship with both his earthly and heavenly Father for a moment in time on that cross. It is the call of the Saviour who would give us a relationship of love and joy with God as our loving heavenly parent as a result.
For you, this call of the Christmas child might be like it was for Joseph – scary! – like a real-life nightmare. That is how it began for Joseph! But it won’t stay that way, as it did not stay that way for Joseph. He becomes the model for the world of the way to respond to the Call of God – Listen, speak and do. As he did for Joseph and billions of humans since, God has cast his lot upon you. It is a lot of meaning, purpose, hope, peace, forgiveness and above all, love. I hear the Spirit of God calling this Christmas.
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.
3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no ploughing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[a]
14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping.15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.
Have you ever believed that all your plans have been ruined?
I sat for the Army entrance examination when I was 15. I thought the Army would have me and I might even have a career in it. I failed the entrance test. My plans came to naught on that one!
I sit with a woman who has been a committed and faithful wife for two or three decades as she slowly realises that her husband has all along been totally self-interested and hurtful and she knows, even though she does not want to admit it, that there is nothing left of the relationship. She knows she cannot keep playing the game, even for the sake of the kids.
I sit with a young person who has received the devastating news that the sporting career she so desperately wanted and worked so hard for is over. Major knee injury has put an end to the dream.
I sit with a man who was looking forward to a full and long retirement with his partner of 40 years only to have that life-long dream shattered by the insidious disease called Cancer.
So it goes on. Dreams can be dashed on the rocks like a beautiful tall ship in the dark of night in the storm. In the morning, nothing is left and the sense of it is emptiness.
GOD STILL WORKING
And so we enter one of the most outstandingly told stories in the whole Story of God’s plans to win the word back to himself. The plan seems lost and the promises made seem almost dead. But God still comes through and the dream is alive.
There is no one so quite annoying as a ‘know-it-all’ is there? That person who just seems to be charmed with being favoured by others even though they have little experience and little ability to control their seemingly ego-driven words about their greatness! For Jacob’s 12 boys, Joseph is exactly this annoying youngest lad who just seems to think he is God’s gift to humanity. Little did Joseph, Jacob or the other men know that Joseph actually would be just that!
GET RID OF HIM!
Dad does not help the situation. Jacob, one of the three great patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) is the one renamed by the Lord “Israel” – one who fights against God and prevails”. Jacob shows great powers of craftiness and deception all the way along. He displays the most destructive attribute a parent can show – favouritism. He unashamedly favours his youngest boy, Joseph. The other 11 are unimpressed to the point of willing the boy to be gotten rid of by any means.
To make it all harder to take, Joseph seems to have a hot line to God. He has these dreams. They smell of arrogance to his non-plussed brothers. Fancy that. In one dream this young upstart pictures we older, more experienced, wiser and better skilled men ‘bowing down’ to him!
They do find a way to get rid of him, and without having the blood of Cain on their hands. At the hands of his spiteful brothers the young Joseph, aged 17, is sold into slavery. They tell Dad that young Joe has been ripped to shreds by a wild bear (Genesis 37).
DOWN TO EGYPT
At the hands of the descendants of Ishmael, Joseph ends up under the ownership of an Egyptian administrator named Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife in a classic case of entrapment, tries to seduce Joseph and then falsely accuses Joseph of assaulting her.
Joseph ends up doing time. But while rotting in an Egyptian prison he still seems to have that hot line to the Lord. Among the prisoners he gets a reputation for correctly interpreting dreams. “The LORD was with Joseph” is a repeated refrain in Joseph’s story (Genesis 39-41).
FROM PRISON TO PM
Eventually his fame spreads right to the top – the Pharoah: the son of the Sun God, Amon Rah. Pharaoh is having trouble sleeping. He is having troubling dreams that none of his wise men and magicians can interpret for him. By the Lord’s gift, Joseph correctly interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and so, saves Pharaoh from losing face before his people, and also saves a country from devastating famine, the likes of which we seem to be seeing in Ethiopia again.
Dream #1- Egypt will have 7 years of bountiful harvests
Dream #2- Egypt will have 7 years of famine.
For his obvious divine gift and organisational smarts Joseph is promoted to Prime Minister (Genesis 41).
SOMETHING SPECIAL NEEDED
All the way through this part of The Story (Genesis 42-50), we are not sure if the Story will continue. It hangs on a knife edge. Something special is needed and someone special needs to stand up. He does.
Joseph’s brothers end up coming to Egypt as refugees looking for serious help in time of economic recession. In the end these old dreams from the Lord come to fruition and these guilty brothers do bow down to Joseph, now age 39, as they ask for a hand out.
THE AVOIDANCE OF PAY BACK
With all the power of Pharaoh in his hands to really make his long-lost brothers squirm, Joseph’s does not do it. Instead, he weeps over his brothers and engages in full reconciliation with them. It is one of the most emotionally touching scenes of the whole bible.
Why doesn’t Joseph pay them back? He says right at the end of this long-play scene says why.
8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt (Genesis 45:3-8).
God has been in this all along, according to Joseph. That is what makes him different. That faith is what enables him to leave pay back and revenge alone and go for peacemaking and shaping.
Joseph is captured by the promises of God. Joseph displays a constant awareness of and a giving of his heart to the Lord’s story of promise in his life. His life and God’s life are intertwined and God has his back, no matter what may happen.
A CALL TO TRUST?
Is this the Lord’s call for you in the dreams that you have had to let go or that you are facing letting go of now because they have just not come to fruition?
Is Joseph the man to ponder in God’s story so that you can trust God’s presence and power in his promises so that you can surely trust that Jesus, the one who has made it possible for all sin and all sinners to be forgiven and restored to the promise of God is at work in the midst of the details of your life, as he obviously was for Joseph, accomplishing his good purposes (Romans 8:28).
As Paul proclaims too in Romans 8:28,
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
THE STORY LINE CONTINUES
Friends, God’s story line is unfolding even in bleak and confusing times. His active promises working themselves out in the details of our relationships, work, home life, student life, sporting life allow us to live freely, being able to forgive those who sin against us.
Jesus the Messiah, the one given over to death for us and risen from it for us also assures that suffering of any kind, whether it is self inflicted or contributed to by others is not meaningless or something to run away from. As it was for Joseph, so it for all who put their life in the Saviour’s hands. God tests his people in order to build our faith in him and strong character in us and keep his promises alive.
Jesus, the Saviour, is at work in this new nation of faith called the church. As he did through Joseph, the Lord has made provision through you and I to sustain this new community of promise, even in times of severe testing (Genesis 50:19-20).
By Jesus’ power and love for you, you are Joseph for those around you. You are God’s agent to save the world from itself and bring them back to God’s plan of gracious acceptance.
By God’s grace, within Egypt the Israelites grew to a great nation of over a million people. Joseph had 21 years of a hard life, but 71 years of a blessed life. The promise stayed active and alive and we have seen it and heard it in Jesus, the new Joseph.
Chapter 3, Joseph: From Slave to Deputy Pharaoh
Timeless Truth: Though man fails, God’s plan prevails.
Chapter Summary (Have someone in your group read the summary section.)
The Story continues with Abraham’s great-grandson, Joseph. His story doesn’t get off to a very good start and it goes downhill from there. In the process, we see very clearly that God’s plan of redemption cannot be thwarted by man’s evil intentions and feeble efforts.
Joseph was the 11th of 12 sons, so he had little to expect by way of blessing or position through seniority. Even so, he was his father favorite and Jacob gave him a beautiful gift to demonstrate his preference. This gift, coupled with Joseph’s prediction that his 10 older brothers would one day bow down to him, guaranteed an intolerable case of sibling rivalry. The 10 plot his death at first, but wind up selling him into Egyptian slavery instead.
The road to Egypt rid the brothers of their nuisance, but landed Joseph a job as manager of Potiphar’s household. God blessed Potiphar because of Joseph and Potiphar was therefore pleased with Joseph. It turns out Potiphar’s wife was also pleased with Joseph, but for different reasons. After rejecting her advances and refusing to sleep with her, she accused him of rape and he got a prison sentence in exchange for his integrity.
But even in prison, the circumstances start to look familiar. Joseph’s good character was noted and, once again, he was promoted to manager within the prison. He ended up interpreting some dreams for two of Pharaoh’s court officials who were doing time with him. Pharaoh eventually hears of Joseph’s talents and summons him to unravel one of his own dreams and ends up promoting Joseph from prison manager to Deputy Pharaoh.
Hard times were on the way, so Joseph initiated a plan to storehouse food to sustain Egypt during a coming worldwide famine. This famine was felt back home by Joseph’s family as well, and they made their way to Egypt to buy food. It had been 20 long years since they sold him into slavery, but sure enough, Joseph was right: there they were, bowing at his feet. Sometimes, dreams really do come true.
Joseph’s entire family was saved. The Hebrew word actually means preserved as though God had something in mind here; and indeed, He did. Jacob, the brothers, and all the extended family moved to the safety of Egypt where they would survive the famine, and God would in fact safeguard his people and his promises. Joseph saw the Upper Story, the big picture. He declared to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done” (p. 42). There it is: redemption in a sound bite. The Messiah would not come for centuries, yet God’s storytelling had begun. Joseph’s life is a precursor, reminding us that though man plans for evil, God redeems for good. Beauty for ashes. Life from death. Man fails, but God prevails. Every time.
Icebreaker Question: What’s the best promotion you ever received? How did you earn it?
If Jacob had learned from his parent’s mistakes, he might not have torn his family apart by showing Joseph favoritism. What are some practical lessons families can learn from their stories? Are there any “family history” issues you need to overcome or avoid? Any items you want to preserve for your family? Do you have a “victory” story that you could share?
As a teen, Joseph had two dreams that indicated he would one day rule over his brothers. List Joseph’s character qualities that demonstrate why he was God’s choice for a leader. Which of these character qualities are important in a leader today?
Even though Joseph experienced betrayal, he went on to enjoy a full and purposeful life in Egypt. What factors or spiritual understandings do you think made this possible? How was it possible for Joseph to forgive his brothers?
What are the benefits experienced by Joseph’s employers, Potiphar and the prison warden (p. 31-32)? How would your workplace benefit if you allowed God to work through you there?
List the injustices Joseph suffered. What sustained him? Recall a time in your own life that you suffered unjustly for doing the right thing. What sustained you?
Twenty years after his brothers sold him into slavery, they came to Joseph to buy grain. Do you see evidence they had changed over the years?
Why do you think Joseph did not reveal his true identity at first? What was he waiting for?
Over the course of twenty years, Joseph had risen to a place of power and prestige as Pharaoh’s governor. Why do you suppose he never returned to his home?
Jacob’s whole family lived in Goshen for seventeen years before he died (p. 41-42). Do you think the family relationships were every truly restored?
Ponder the whole life story of Joseph. As a group, list the ways God’s sovereignty came to light. How does God’s sovereignty impact your personal faith in Him?
In the time remaining ask your group members to share any of their personal reflection insights from their journal entries.
1:18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
1:19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.
1:20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
1:21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
1:22 All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
1:23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”
1:24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife,
1:25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
If ever a person had to lay it all on the line for trust in an unseen God it was Joseph. If ever a person had to simply let the “why” question go and just let God continue to choose him for God’s own purposes – which were quite unorthodox, it was Joseph.
I feel for the guy every time I ponder him in these first Christmas events. He really is what we might say on a “hiding to nothing”. His plans for the usual way in which a man and a woman leave there families and be joined together as one in the wonderful gift of marriage are completely upset but God.
He, the town wood working man, and Mary a young woman, are meant to go through the process of family negotiations and procedures and be married in the synagogue, share a week of great joy for all concerned and settle into life in their rural town – making furniture, making babies, making a life – and all being quite faithful to God and his call to fulfil their vocations and stations in life.
Mary gets pregnant! What is God doing?! The plan is rudely interrupted by God. God puts a “spanner in the works”. Instead of right and good family involvement and wedding and joy, there is a descent into shame, hearsay, rumour, judgements, fear, uncertainty, lack of clarity anymore. Everything is turned upside down – and they just have to cope with what God was doing.
Have you experienced this? Have you felt like this? Do you feel like this now? Rudely interrupted by a “spanner in the works” and an interruption to how you thought things would or should go?
How did you cope? How are you responding to this interruption? Fobbing it off as nothing? Wallowing around in self-pity? Living with huge doubts about yourself, your God, your ability, your strength?
Well, now you are with Joseph. This whole interruption to his life was always beyond him and surely quite unknown to him.
Joseph surely must have had trouble sleeping. His head must have been running those why questions over and over in his head like a repeat TV commercial stuck on loop. Why did God choose Joseph? Why did God choose Mary? Why did God choose me and you to be bearers of his good news for a world?
But we hear in these accounts of the first Christmas a man who also knows when to put the “why” question away in order to simply respond to what was happening with simple faith in the God who was making this whole surprising interruption happen.
Why? That’s the question being questioned this Advent. When is right and good to ask God why and when it is unhelpful and doubting to keep asking why God chose you, why this happens or that happens. When is it more helpful and faithful to simple not ask why when we don’t understand God’s ways and just let God do and act and speak by his Word and “keep it in our hearts” as Mary is said to have done?
After I feel for Joseph and his situation caused by a Divine interruption, I admire the man and I marvel at God’s grand plan that is very good for Joseph and for you and me.
As Mary said last week, “Joseph could have turned me out of the town or even had me stoned”. But Joseph did not do this. Joseph went with God’s plans and this very uncomfortable divine interruption to his life.
God asks him to do this. In this dream we heard of, God says,
“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
“Joseph, son of David”.
Now there is a title Joseph might not have expected. “Son of David” King David. Joseph – named in the great line of the great King – the “man after God’s own heart”.
What an affirmation and story. Joseph’s story just got bigger and grander. In this naming of Joseph, the Lord places Joseph in the big story of all those promises that Joseph would have heard read aloud down at the Nazareth synagogue all his life.
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”
Joseph is part of that plan.
That grand vision of God’s breaking into this troubled world and changing the very nature of how he relates to sinners – Now not by sinners trying to be perfect in morals and being good or simply avoiding all of that and doing their own things the way they please but in the new way of God’s grace; the third way, the way of God graciously gifting us with his forgiveness and kindness when we can’t earn it or ignore it anymore – simply saying “Yes” and going with God’s wonderful vision for living.
Joseph fell into the third way – the grace way, the gospel way. He heard this news and he stopped asking why and just said, “yes”. Will you?
There is a time to stop asking why and just let God be God and trust him for the outcome of the situation and your future as a result. Joseph, Shepherds, Mary, Elizabeth and millions of people since have known that God chooses people to enact his good plans for rescuing the world; by the words and deeds everyday people, scared people, interrupted people, unsure people. God chooses people to be part of extraordinary things he is doing for the good of all.
His choosing can be very inconvenient and even personally costly. Joseph and Mary had to deal with being shamed in their community – misjudged, thought unwell of. His choosing of you may sometimes mean the same.
His choosing of you to enact something, teach something to someone, share something with someone, enter into a particular commitment or service for the sake of others or bear your illness, your doubting, your sorrow may be his calling, as it was for Mary and Joseph and their families.
But worth it
But fiends, would Mary and Joseph rather have not been included in this grand vision and this magnificent story of good news? Would we rather go the easier route and rely on other people and/or things to deal with what is interrupting your life than be chosen to be in this good news story that is still interrupting the world, calling it to account and sounding out the cry of God’s goodness and kindness like Jesus crying in that feeding trough?
Chosen person of the Lord, no need to be afraid of what is happening in your life or even what may happen in the future. There is a broader activity and story being written with your life as part of the story today and tomorrow. You are a page in this great active story of life. You are a witness as John was witness to the Saviour. As John pointed to Jesus, so you do too as you hear God calling and respond to his call on a daily basis in all your work, your rest, your play.
Just say, “Yes”.
Joseph found himself caught up in something big. He did not know how big. What is God catching you up in? What is God empowering and calling you to participate in as he continues the word of this Christ-Child in drawing the world to himself by forgiveness and sheer love?
Will you let the why go for Advent and Christmas and just do a Joseph – just say “yes”?
Share your high and lows for your Christmas plans and preparations this year…
Read through the text carefully with particular focus on Joseph and his actions and what the Lord says to him. Share your thoughts on;
What did Joseph have to deal with?
What did he decide to do?
What did God call him to do?
What would God’s calling have have meant for Joseph in his community, in his relationship with Mary and his relationship with the Lord?
We spoke of Joseph having to put the many “why” questions about all this away and his response of simply saying “yes’ to the Lord’s plans for him. Share any experiences that you or others may have had like this where you had to stop asking why and simply say “yes” to the Lord in a a particular circumstance. Share what this was and what this is like.
I reflected briefly on how God’s named Joseph when he spoke to him. he named him “Joseph, Son of David”. That says a lot. That puts Joseph in the family line of king David and in the line from which the Messiah was going to come. it is important for this truth to be told for the credentials of Jesus and the integrity of what happened at his birth. However this name also surely acts as a strong affirmation of Joseph by the Lord. Share your thoughts on how the Lord chooses the hard moments in our life’s calling to strongly affirm us as his dearly loved men and women. When have you ever had a strong sense of God’s affirmation of you as his loved person? Share any stories on this…
If God was to name you, what name do you think he would use? Joseph was named “Son of David”. What might he name us Christians?
Joseph was part of an extremely BIG plan of God for the whole world. he must have found this rather hard to understand and believe. His family and friends must have also found this hard to believe. Do we find it hard to believe we are part of God’s BIG plan for his world still? What hinders our belief in God’s big plans to draw all people into Christ and what does these Christmas events say to us about our belief in what God is doing in our lives and for his world? Share your thoughts…..
Let us all with gladsome voicepraise the God of heavenWho, to bid our hearts rejoicehis own Son has given. O Lord Christ, our Saviour dearplease ever be near usgrant us now a glad new yearAmen. Jesus hear us.