Skip Navigation Linksadvent

Home > Parish Life > Advent Experience

 Names of Jesus Advent Calendar

We are delighted to welcome you to Advent 2019!  This year we will help you create a calendar that will focus on the name of Jesus as we count down the days until His coming. Each day of Advent you can “hang up” a name of Jesus and visit here for a reflection on that name. You can hang the jute from a wall or doorway, or even on your tree and use a clothespin to clip on each name. Below you will find all the scripture verses that relate to each name. Look up each verse and use this as another way to pray each day. Each Sunday during Advent, you will notice the narthex filling up with Jesus names. Together, as we pray in our homes, may we find peace and encouragement in His holy name, as we anticipate His coming! Bonus points: take pics of your Advent calendar and post to social media using #stbarbaraadvent2019
​December 1
​The Word
​John 1:14
​December 2
​I Am
​John 8:58
​December 3
​Son of God
​Luke 1:35
​December 4
​Isaiah 59:20
​December 5
​Light of the World
​John 8:12
​December 6
​Lamb of God
​John 1:29
​December 7
​1 Timothy 2:5
​December 8
​Isaiah 7:14 & Matthew 1:23
​December 9
​Isaiah 28:16 & Ephesians 2:20
​December 10
Bread of Life
​John 6:48 & 51
​December 11
​The Vine
​John 15:1 & 5
​December 12
​Glory of the Lord
​Isaiah 40:5
​December 13
​Man of Sorrows
​Isaiah 53:3
​December 14
​Alpha & Omega
​Revelation 1:8
​December 15
​Prince of Peace
​Isaiah 9:6
​December 16
​The Way
​John 14:6
​December 17
​Acts 2:36
​December 18
​Morning Star
​Revelation 22:16
​December 19
​Good Shepherd
​John 10:11
​December 20
​Matthew 16:20
​December 21
​Son of Man
​Matthew 12:40
​December 22
John ​1:41
​December 23
​Luke 2:11
​December 24
​Matthew 1:21

 Day 1 | The Word

By Angela Beeston
​Have you ever thought much about the words that come out of your mouth? We think about what we want to say and then the words follow (well usually). Our words express how we feel and what we are thinking. With our words we can ask for things and perhaps make things happen. Do we ever see our words as separate from us like they are not part of who we are? Of course not they are our words after all. Did you know that Jesus is described as the Word of God? Jesus was with God in the beginning when he spoke and made our world. In fact it was through Jesus as the Word of God that the world was made. (John 1:3). When I think about Jesus being the “Word of God” it helps me understand the “oneness” of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. They are not 3 completely separate beings but ONE, so united that one is described as the Word(s) of the other in John 1:1. And as if that isn’t incredible enough Jesus, the Word of God, left Heaven one day and became flesh, that means Human! “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” it says in John 1:14. Why would the Word, through which the world was created, become a person down here on earth with us? He came so that we can become “children of God” John 1:12. Our sin had cut us off from God but he loved us so much that he wanted to make it possible for us to have a relationship with him again, not just any old relationship he wanted to make us his children and that could only happen through Jesus his Word. When Jesus as a perfect man died on the cross, he was punished for the sins of mankind, for our sins, the sins that stopped us being part of his family, so that we could be forgiven. Then Jesus came back to life showing us that he had beaten death and then he returned to Heaven. The Word became flesh so that one day we could be children of God forever in Heaven.

 Day 4 | Redeemer

By Justin Moffatt
​Imagine being a slave. I know sometimes we feel like we are slaves when we have to do chores, or go to school, or do anything we don’t like. But back when Jesus was around, there were real slaves and they were really trapped. Imagine being a real slave and really trapped. How would you feel? If a slave (back then) was freed, then someone had to redeem them. Often they did this by paying a price to set them free. Then, once the price was paid, they were ‘rescued’ and ‘delivered’ and ‘set free’. Jesus is the ‘Redeemer’. People who met Jesus knew what that meant. In the book of Isaiah, the Lord God was called ‘your redeemer’. I’ll show you from one verse in Isaiah (although there are lots!). “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you... for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.’(Isaiah 41:13-14) The people of God were stuck in their sin, and were parted from God. But the promise is that God would free them and bring them home. Jesus came not just a teacher. Not just a Lord. But he is a Redeemer who pays a price to free a slave (like me). And when Jesus died he became our ‘redemption’, which means he is our Redeemer. In Ephesian 1:7, Paul wrote: ‘In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.’ So we are no longer stuck in sin. And that’s good news. Right?

 Day 7 | Mediator

​By Matthew Moffatt
God loves peace. The Bible tells us that God wants his people to pray for peace all over the world. It delights God. That’s why we pray for governments and authorities – Kings and Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers, sailors, soldiers, and the police – so that we might enjoy peace. As the angels sang at Jesus’ birth, “Let there be peace on earth.” But how do you enjoy peace if you have an enemy? The Bible also tells us that all humans have made God their enemy. How do we have peace with God? Who can bring us peace? Not the Queen of England, or the President of America, or the Prime Minister of Australia. It turns out God sent us one person who could bring peace between humans and God: the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. That is what a mediator is. They stand in the middle, between two groups or two people, to bring goodness and peace. When we were God’s enemies, he sent us a mediator. Jesus stood in the middle when we were fighting with God. And that means that we are no longer God’s enemies. Jesus is a good mediator. He ends our fight with God. He brings us God’s joy and peace.

 Day 10| Bread of Life

​By Angela Reading
Have you ever travelled to the Middle East? If you have you would have noticed that there is one item of food served at every meal. BREAD. That’s right! Breakfast, lunch and dinner you can always find some bread at the table. It’s what we call a staple and it’s been at every meal for thousands of years. Even Jesus would have eaten bread most of the days of his life. Did you know you can survive for a long time just on bread and water? Bread is regarded as an essential part of living and is so highly respected as a sustainer of life that in some countries they don’t ever throw bread out. People put it in bags and leave it hanging on fences, doors and trees along the streets so that even the hungriest can eat bread and live. Although bread can keep us alive physically it can’t do anything for our spiritual life. That is why Jesus’ statement is astounding. In John 6:35, after feeding more than 5000 people with only 5 loaves and two fish and then walking on water Jesus declares that he is the giver of life for our spirit. His followers would have understood his statement immediately to mean that we can’t live without Jesus. When we choose to believe in Jesus every day he sustains us and gives us eternal life. We only need to trust in him. “Dear Jesus, Help me to rely on you every day. I know that you are the bread of life and you provide everything I need. Thank you for coming to earth so that I could know you and always be with you. Amen” 

 Day 13 | Man of Sorrows

​By Simon Wearn
Jesus was a Man of Sorrows. His life was very painful - he faced great temptation; he experienced opposition and anger from other people; he saw sicknesses and sadness in the people he met; and finally, he faced violence and died. Is that really ‘good news’ to remember? ...Why? Why would Jesus be a Man of Sorrows? Is God sad all the time? No, not at all! But Jesus came to live alongside us, and go through life’s struggles for us. So now, every time we struggle through life, or find it tough to follow him, we find him walking beside us. He knows how we feel. What’s more – he’s like a sponge; he soaks up our sorrows and sadness, bearing them for us in his life and when he died on the cross. He was a Man of Sorrows for us! And that is good news. So we can rejoice: ‘Hallelujah, what a Saviour’!

 Day 16 | The Way

​By Jess Smith
Have you ever been bush walking and had your track just seem to stop? Which way do I go next? Where do I find the right path to follow? You look to your left and find only impenetrable scratchy bush. You look straight ahead and there are stones and sticks. So you push right and just a few steps ahead you come back out into a clear open track. Phew! I’m on the right path. This is the way! Jesus says “He is the way”. In a world full of obstacles, of fences, of confused tracks, Jesus lets us know loud and clear that he is the path we need. In John 14:6 where Jesus says these words to his disciples, he’s explaining that he is the way to the Father, the way to know God and to see him. Jesus is also explaining that he is the way to life, to dwell with God in his house of many rooms. Jesus’ own way was the cross, a path of humility and obedient suffering. But in turn he himself became the way for others. It’s no surprise then that early Christians were called followers of the Way. So this Christmas, as we remember Jesus’ birth, we give thanks that his life, death & resurrection opens the way for us to the Father, the true & living way.

 Day 19 | Good Shepherd

By Claire Shaw
​There are a lot of sheep in the Bible. And a lot of shepherds too! Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all had sheep to look after. King David, when he was a boy, looked after sheep and saved them from hungry bears and lions. The first people the angels told when Jesus was born were a bunch of shepherds looking after their sheep in a field. In the Old Testament (Ezekiel 34), God talks to the leaders of Israel as if they are shepherds and the people of Israel are their sheep. He tells them they are doing a really bad job of looking after their sheep: they are bad shepherds. They are bad shepherds because they take all the good things for themselves and don’t bother to care for people who are sick, or hurt, or lost, or weak. They’ve been mean leaders instead of kind, and their sheep, the people of Israel, have been hurt and killed, and captured by other countries. So God says he’s going to get rid of the bad shepherds. He’s going to rescue his sheep from the bad shepherds, and He’s going to be their shepherd. He will find them and bring them home to Himself, and look after them. And then Jesus comes and says, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:14). He is the one who will look after God’s people the way those bad shepherds were supposed to. And he says something even more amazing: a good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep so that the sheep can live. Jesus came to be the good shepherd - the best shepherd, who would rescue and care for everyone who listened to him.

 Day 22 | Christ

By Andrew and Lara Beeston
​In the Bible there are some people who have oil poured on their heads. How strange! How messy! But it wasn’t just messy - it meant that person was chosen by God to do something important. This is called an anointing. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him [David] in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.” (1 Sam 16:13) People were anointed with oil on their heads if they were chosen to be either a king, a prophet (to tell God’s people something important), or a priest (to lead God’s church). Today’s name Christ, means ‘anointed one’. Jesus was extra special as he was chosen to do all three things - to be a king, a prophet, and a priest! Nobody else was quite like him, nobody had ever been all three things. That’s why we often say his name like Jesus Christ, or Christ Jesus. There were loads of people called Jesus at the time, but none quite like him. He is Jesus the anointed one, the king, prophet, and priest.

 Day 2 | I Am

​By Jodi Lovell 
John 8:58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” “I am” are not words we would normally think of as a name. It sounds more like a sentence with a word missing, like “I am hungry”, or “I am hot”. But when Jesus called himself “I am” in John 8:58, he didn’t forget a word. Jesus knew exactly what he was saying. He was calling himself God. He was saying he was not just Jesus the man, but that he was also God. “I am” was the name God was known by in the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14). And so, when Jesus was speaking to the Jews, a group of people who knew their old testament Bible very well, he knew that they would understand exactly what he was saying: that he is God. So if the name of Jesus, “I am”, tells us that he is not just a man but also God, what does that actually mean? Why does that matter? Does it even matter? It matters a lot! It matters because as God he is the only one able to take the punishment for our rebellion against God. He alone lived a perfect life and so was able to suffer and die in our place. It is because Jesus took the punishment for our sins that God can justly forgive us. It is through this forgiveness that those who trust Jesus can have eternal life with him. So it really does matter, a lot! What a great name for Jesus: “I am”. It shows us that he is God. It shows us how forgiveness and eternal life is possible. Jesus is God himself. He was born and lived a perfect life yet willing died for us. He then rose from the dead proving once and for all that he is God. He is “I am”. What a great thing to remember and give thanks for this Christmas! 

 Day 5 | Light of the World

By Fiona & Ryan Smartt
​Have you ever been somewhere really dark? Not just in your house at night time when you flick the switch to turn off the light. But where it is really dark. Like in a cave. Or underground. Somewhere where there are no stars or street lights or lamps. Now imagine you turn on a torch. Imagine the difference. Suddenly you go from utter darkness to being able to see. The Bible talk about how the birth of Jesus is the arrival of light in a dark world. Many years before he was born the prophet Isaiah wrote: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned... For to us a child is born.” (Isaiah 9:2, 6) As a baby God entered into all the darkness of the world - the ugly bits, the pain, the brokenness - and into that darkness the arrival of Jesus comes as a great light to give hope. It shines in the darkness, for through this baby who will go on to die and rise again comes the rich hope and wonder of grace, the joy of forgiveness and the beauty and goodness of love. Jesus himself is the light of the world. And he promises, whoever follows him will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life. At Christmas we rejoice that in the birth of Jesus the true light who gives light to everyone has come into the world. (John 1:9)

 Day 8 | Immanuel

​By Justin Moffatt
As we’ve been learning through Advent, names have meaning. What does your name mean? Jesus had many names and titles, and they all had meaning. One of them was ‘Immanuel’. So what does this name mean? We don’t have to guess, because in Matthew 1:23, an angel of the Lord said to Joseph about Mary: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Immanuel means ‘God with us’. So Jesus is ‘God with us’. Amazing, isn’t it? In the Old Testament, the Israelites wanted God to come and be with them. They wanted him to come and rescue them from their enemies. They wanted God to come and be with them as a fierce warrior. They wanted his presence. They wanted to ‘see his face’. In Isaiah 35:4, the prophet said: Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come... he will come to save you.” When Jesus came, he didn’t stand tall with a soldier’s uniform and a sword, commanding armies to win battles. No, he came in frailty. As a baby, first. In a manger, because every other space was taken. And he came not with a sword, but with words. Good words like ‘The Kingdom of God is near’ and ‘I will never leave you.’ In Psalm 23, we read ‘though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me.’ That’s Jesus. He is still with you.

 Day 11 | The Vine

​Jesus is the vine. In John 15:1-5 Jesus tells his Jewish hearers ‘I am the true vine’. They would have known all about vines, as grapes and wine were a key part of everyday life in Israel. Families would have seen vines growing and known that their food & drink came from the vines. The vine has strong roots and a winding hardy core that is the heart of the plant. And from the vine’s strength grow branches, leaves, fruits and flowers. In this image, Jesus says he is the vine, his people are the branches and their lives of faith the fruit. God the Father is the gardener, removing branches that don’t bear fruit and pruning others to make them more productive. In the Old Testament, the people of God were often referred to as a vine - one that God had chosen and carefully tended as a loving vine-grower. But they were also described as a corrupt or wild vine, not bearing the right fruit or liking the nurture of the gardener. Into this long story, Jesus now comes as the true vine, the true person of God, receiving God’s favor and producing the fruit of obedience. In this true vine, Jesus describes us as his branches, nurtured and sustained by him, pruned by the Father, and producing fruit. Jesus calls us to remain, to abide, to stick with him. We are to keep our branch connected to Jesus. The life-blood of a plant runs through the vine and out to its branches. The intimacy and connection we have with Jesus, is just like that of a branch nourished by a vine. And the result is fruit - prayers, love, service - a life that brings glory to God. So at this time of Advent, as we remember Jesus’ birth, hear his call to remain in him, knowing that the Lord Jesus is the source of your life & strength & from your connection with him will come the fruit of a life pleasing to God.

 Day 14 | Alpha & Omega

​By Fiona and Ryan Smartt
Our young son has just started recognizing and writing letters. Two of the first letters he learnt were the letters A and Z (probably because they are the first two letters in his name!). At the start of Revelation Jesus identifies himself as “Alpha and Omega.” Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and omega is the last letter of the alphabet. In other words Jesus is the A and the Z. He is “the beginning and the end.” But Jesus isn’t speaking about alphabets. He is speaking of reality. Jesus is absolutely the beginning and absolutely the end. Everything that is originates ultimately in him. And everything will somehow end with him. Amidst all the presents, food and functions at Christmas time we marvel at a tiny baby, who is the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the eternal Sovereign Lord over all who in God’s great love has come to save us. 

 Day 17 | Lord

​By Victor Shaw
“ the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” Philippians 2.10-11 What does it mean that Jesus is Lord? We don’t use the word lord much these days. It’s title that you might use for a king, like your majesty. The ancient kings of Persia were called king of kings and lord of lords, which was a way of saying that they were at the top, more important than all the other kings. The Persian empire disappeared long ago. But when Jesus is called king of kings and lord of lords he really deserves that title because he is God come as a human being. He died on the cross. He rose again on the third day and 40 days later he went back to heaven where he sits at the right hand of the Father. He is the king of glory. And the apostle Paul writes that God has given him the name that is above every name. That means that he is more special, more important, more powerful than all other kings and princes and politicians and bosses and any other people in places of power. He is the Lord and you can’t get a more important name than that. Not everyone thinks that Jesus is so special. Lot’s of people don’t show him any respect at all. But one day, when he comes again, everyone will bow down before him because they will see he is the Lord. Perhaps the most amazing thing about the fact that Jesus is Lord is that he is the Lord who serves. More than anyone else Jesus deserves the name Lord because he is in his very being God. Adam and Eve took the fruit because they wanted to be like God. But Jesus did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. Instead he humbled himself, stepped down from heaven, made himself nothing and became a servant, obedient to his Father, even to die on the cross for us. He’s a Lord who is humble and lowly and happy to become one of us. He uses all his power and authority to serve even his enemies and who dies to make his enemies his friends. One day everyone will bow before Jesus and call him Lord. But as Lord he has already stooped to serve us.

 Day 20 | Messiah

​At Christmas time, you will sometimes hear the word ‘Messiah’. It’s the name of a famous piece of music written by George Handel a long time ago. You probably know the chorus because it repeats the word ‘Hallelujah’ many times. It gets sung often at Christmas time. It’s great! Can you sing it? The reason we sing ‘Hallelujah’ (which means ‘Praise God!’) is because we want to praise God at Christmas time. Why? Because the birth of Jesus is so wonderful. But the word ‘Messiah’ was in the Bible before it was in Handel’s song. In the Bible, the ‘Messiah’ is someone God marked out as a king or a special leader. We believe that Jesus is the special leader that God tells us about in the Bible. He was chosen by God to save us all from our sins, and Christmas is the time we remember that he came into the world as a baby. When Jesus grew up, he taught people many amazing things, he did things that only a Godlike person could do, and he eventually died and rose back to life (but that’s what Easter is about, so we’ll talk about that later). All of these things made it obvious that he was the Messiah. Another word for Messiah is ‘Christ’. They mean the same thing, So when Jesus is called ‘Jesus Christ’, it is because we believe that Jesus was God’s chosen leader, and we are so excited about him that we want to sing ‘Hallelujah!’.

 Day 23 | Saviour

​By Kylie Maddox Pidgeon
Have you ever been about to step out onto the road, but a car was coming, and suddenly someone pulls you back onto the footpath? Or have you ever been swimming at the beach or the pool, and swum out so deep that you can’t stand up anymore? But thankfully someone was there with you, and they were able to rescue you and take you back to where you can stand up? In a way, our sin is like a car that might hit us, or a pool where we can’t stand up. Our sin is anything that we do wrong against God or other people, and it gets us in BIG trouble if we don’t get saved from it. We ALL sin, and sin hurts us badly, even if we can’t really tell. It takes us away from God and it makes it hard to live the way God wants us to. And just like anything else that is going to hurt us badly, we need someone to save us from it. A Saviour is someone who saves you. They are your rescuer, your lifesaver, your superhero. Jesus is our Saviour from sin. The penalty for sin is death. And Jesus loved us so much that many many years ago he died as the penalty for sin in our place. Jesus saved us from having to die because of our sin. He is our Saviour, our Rescuer, our Lifesaver, our Superhero. And so at Christmas time, we remember that the bible says “in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you” (Luke 2:11) and we can celebrate because we know that the little baby Jesus will grow up to be the only one who can be our Saviour from sin.

 Day 3 | Son of God

​By Osea Taito
“And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” - Luke 1:35 (ESV) Mary is getting some very special news. You could tell it was special because there was an angel of the Lord delivering this message in Mary’s living room!! The news - She was going to have a son!! Mary’s son was going to be born, not as a result of a union between a man and a woman, but by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. It is by God’s divine power that Mary will have this baby. And because of this special work of the Holy Spirit and act of God, this baby is holy - pure and perfect – God’s promised king – the one who would save His people from their sin. This is the king whom God promised would come through the line of King David a thousand years beforehand, whose kingdom would have no end. And though David was a great King, God’s promised King would be far far greater. In fact, God refers to this promised king as His son. Well then who is He? He is the one who speaks with the authority of God His father. He is the one who commands the wind and the waves, heals the sick, deaf, and blind and raises the dead to life. He is the awesome one who has the power to forgive sin! He is Jesus Christ - The Son of God.

 Day 6 | Lamb of God

​By Alison Moffitt
Many years before Jesus was born... ...God’s people gathered together. They were ashamed of all the things they had done wrong. Who would take away their sin? Their leader, the priest, stood before them. He put his hands on a goat, and started describing all the wrong things God’s people had done. It was like he was placing all their sin onto the innocent little goat. Then the goat was chased out of the city, taking their sin far, far away. Today we still make lots of mistakes. We sin against God when we think we are more important than him. We sin against God when we forget him and stop loving him. Who can take our sins away? Before Jesus was born God’s people used animals to take away their sin. They would chase goats out of the city. They would sacrifice innocent bulls, birds and tiny lambs. But it was never enough. None of these animals could really take their sin away. And then Jesus arrived. Jesus’ cousin John knew there was something special about Jesus. He saw Jesus walking by and cried out: “Look! It’s the lamb of God! He takes away the sin of the world!” And John was right. Jesus was just like one of those innocent animals. He was take outside the city. He was sacrificed. But he is better than an ordinary bull or a goat or a lamb. Jesus is the Lamb of God, and he takes away all our sin – forever.

 Day 9 | Cornerstone

​By Joshua Reading
Many years before the very first Christmas the prophet Isaiah had a message from the Lord to his people. It was that He would lay down a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation and that anyone who trusted in this cornerstone would never be dismayed. Did you know that Isaiah wasn’t actually talking about a rock? He was talking about Jesus! You might be wondering what’s so special about a stone and what does it tell us about Jesus? If you were a builder you would know that the cornerstone is the most important, most carefully crafted and placed stone in the whole building because it provides a strong foundation for every other stone. As stone upon stone is layered into a building the cornerstone takes the weight and holds the building together. Without the cornerstone the building would crumble. The Apostle Paul, tells us that Jesus, the Christ, is the cornerstone. All too often we can build our lives around money, or relationships, or things of temporal value but when Christ is the cornerstone, when we are built around him, we will endure. (Eph 2:20 – 22) Paul explains that as Jesus is the cornerstone upon whom we can depend he is building US into a building, we are being ‘joined together’ (Eph 2:21), we are being ‘built together’ (Eph 2:22) to become a ‘dwelling place of God in the Spirit’ (Eph 2:22) Jesus, as the cornerstone means you can have assurance. We live in a world filled with confusion, doubts and great challenge but the word of God reminds us that the love of God endures, that he will not leave us, that he is with us. As we are built around the cornerstone it means we have a place, as individuals, families, young and old you have a place in God’s house, in his family, in his community, the Church. Some may reject the cornerstone (Matt 21:42) but he is ‘…a precious cornerstone, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed’ (Isaiah 28:16)

 Day 12 | Glory to the Lord

​By Jill Williams
Imagine you had someone visit your school who you thought was totally amazing. You rush home to tell Mum and Dad all about the visit. What words would you use to try and get across to them just how amazing this person was? Would you use any of these? The person was - Incredible! Fantastic! Boss! Just wow! Awesome! Amazeballs! When the Bible tries to capture just how amazing God is, it speaks of God’s glory. His glory is all that is incredible, fantastic and awesome about him. The Bible uses words like God’s splendor and his majesty. All these words are wrapped up in that one word ‘glory’. The Old Testament looked forward to a time when the glory of the Lord would come and his glory would be seen. The Lord would be announced by a voice crying in the wilderness. Who was the Lord this voice was announcing? Who was the Glory of the Lord ‘in person’? It was the Lord Jesus Christ! One of Jesus’ disciples wrote about Jesus like this - ‘we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s only Son.’ When Jesus came as a baby and when he lived, he didn’t look very glorious or splendid or majestic. But if we look at him really closely in the pages of the New Testament we can get glimpses of him doing and saying the sorts of things only God can do or say about himself. They are glimpses of his glory. But the most incredible, fantastic, amazing thing about Jesus is his resurrection. He lives forever in glory and will come again so we all see him and will say together ‘Jesus is just wow! Incredible, amazing, and totally glorious.’

 Day 15 | Prince of Peace

​By Paul Beeston
Do you sometimes just long for peace? As the old man Abraham looked to the stars, God made him a promise. He announced that through insignificant Abraham he would pour out great blessing, not just to God’s people but to all nations on Earth. Through the prophet Isaiah God declared that this incredible blessing was to come through one man, yet to be born. He promised “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:6-7) Our families, our country and our world struggles to find peace. But it is only through God’s promised one that this is truly possible. Through his birth, life, death and resurrection Jesus has brought peace for those who trust in him. True peace between us and God. And though we can taste the goodness of this peace now we long for heaven where with Jesus peace will never end.

 Day 18 | Morning Star

By Mike Smith
​“Let there be Light!” These were the very first words spoken by God, to begin the creation of the universe we live in; sun, moon, stars, planets, and people. As we look up at the starry sky at night, we are reminded just how powerful God really is. In the Bible God also promised to send a new star, a different kind of star, a person from the family of Jacob (Numbers 24:17), who would shine light into a dark world (Isaiah 9:1-2) and would rise like the sun and bring healing in his rays (Mal 4:2). At Christmas we remember that some wise men were guided to Jesus by a star, but the truth of Christmas is that Jesus is the star! In Revelation 22:16 Jesus is called the bright Morning Star, and Jesus told his followers one time, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This Christmas as you look up at and see stars in the night sky or twinkling lights on a Christmas Tree, remember that Jesus is the true Star. Look to him and you will know the best way to live.

 Day 21 | Son of Man

​By Susie Perini
It can be hard to be a human. We have bodies that let us down, we can feel lonely, disappointed, hungry, overwhelmed, anxious, hungry, angry, devastated, desperate, hungry. I have never heard of a cat waking up wondering what her purpose is in the world, or a goldfish feeling embarrassed about his wardrobe. It can be hard to be a human. Thankfully, we have a God who knows what it feels like to be a human. Not just because he made us, but because he came down and became one of us. Jesus called himself the Son of Man to really make clear to everyone that he really was a human – in every way – he was tempted, he was let down by his friends, he felt overwhelmed, he got rejected, he had a family – he was human. And how good is it that we have a God who knows what it feels like to be human?! Because he knows what we are going through, he can “sympathise with us in our weakness” (Heb 4:15) and we truly can “cast all our anxieties on Him” (1 Peter 5:7). What a comfort. And even more comforting about this title the ‘Son of Man’, is that it lets those in the know know that he is not just a human. I guess any other human can also sympathise with us in our shared humanity, but Jesus was not just a human. Do you remember Daniel? Way back in the Old Testament? He saw a vision of the ‘Son of Man’, and in chapter 7 he is described as “coming with the clouds of heaven” and being “given authority glory and sovereign power” and “all peoples, nations and people of every language worshipped him” and his rule being “everlasting” and having a kingdom that will “never be destroyed”. There is nothing just human about the Son of Man. This title of Jesus also reminds us that the Son of Man is powerful. He is in control. He is the future of our world. Jesus is not just a human – he is also our God and our King. The King of the Universe who knows how we feel. That is pretty great. How would you describe who you are? Jesus described himself over SEVENTY times as the “Son of Man” – why don’t you jump online and do a bit of a google search of them all and see what else you can find out about this weighty title of Jesus.

 Day 24 | Jesus

By Byron Smith
​During our lives, we may earn various titles (Dr., Rev., Prof., Captain, Hon.), hold and shed numerous job descriptions (“assistant burger technician” until promoted to “sandwich artist”), get stuck with nicknames (“merino man” was mine for a while) or be placed by our relations (“so-and-so’s little brother”), but under them all is our actual name. Our name labels us in a way that is typically more permanent, more universal, more legally-binding, and more personal than any of these other tags. Studies show that most people like no word better than hearing the sound of their own name (a fact exploited by salespeople, overeager church welcomers and politicians of all stripes). Jesus had many titles in scripture and many more have been coined for him subsequently, but only one name, a name that has become better known than any other name in history. Our name, like our very life, is a gift received from others, based on their choice, not ours. Some families select names from ancestors to bind generations together. Some parents select names that reflect their own aspirations and values. Some just like the way it sounds. When the most famous name in history was first bestowed, it was not selected by Mary or Joseph, but announced by an angel: “You are to name him Jesus”. Or in Hebrew, Yeshua, a common contraction of Yehoshua (Joshua), a good, solid Israelite name recalling Moses’ successor as leader of the people. But why this name? Throughout the Bible, the meaning of names matter: Adam was formed from the ground (adamah); Peter is the rock (petra); the miracle baby that Sarah laughed at is called ‘laughter’ (Isaac). Yeshua means “God saves”. So he is to be called Jesus (God saves) because he will save his people. Jesus, in his very name, points to the mystery at the heart of Christmas. In this baby, God is truly with us. And Jesus, in his very name, points to the good news at the heart of Christmas. This little baby will be the Saviour of us all.