Journey to the Manger

Looking at the Story of Christmas in greater depth by exploring a recent book by Paula Gooder called, “Journey to the Manger.”  Some of you may remember Paula as someone who came and led a most successful Church weekend at Brunel Manor, in Devon a few years ago.  Paula is now at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.  She is a very engaging writer and speaker, and we look forward to sharing the Christmas story through her eyes and through Scripture.

Week 1 : The Genealogies of Matthew and Luke

Biblical Text: Matthew 1: 1-17

Three Lots of Fourteen
Four Women

Biblical Text: Luke 3: 23-38

Journeying Backwards, Journeying Onward
Jesus – Both Priest and King

Week 2 : The Genealogy of John

Biblical Text: John 1: 1-18

Genesis Again
Light and Darkness
The Seven Signs of Jesus
The Intimacy of Father and Son
The Word

Week 3: The Prophecy of John’s Birth

Biblical Text: Luke 1: 5-25

An Old, Old Story: Abraham and Sarah
An Old, Old Story: Samson and Samuel
An Old, Old Story: Elijah
A Priest Named Zechariah
John’s Life Will Not Be an Easy One

Week 4: The Prophecy of Jesus’ Birth

Biblical Text: Luke 1:26-56, and Matt 1.18-23

Virgin birth
Mary’s visit to Elizabeth
The Magnificat
The Prophecy to Joseph
The names of Jesus

Week 5: The Birth of John

Biblical Text: Luke 1:57-80

The Benedictus – the value and importance of Blessing
The Benedictus – the value and importance of Worship
The Benedictus – the value and importance of Salvation and salvation history
The child grew and became strong in the Spirit
In the wilderness

Week 6:  The Birth of Jesus 

Biblical Text: Matt 1:24-25, Luke 2:1-20 

The Census – its problems and its challenges
David and Bethlehem
There was no room for them in the Inn..
Shepherds and the Visit of the Angels
Saviour, Messiah, Lord

Week 7 – Herod and the Magi 

Biblical Texts: Matt 2: 1-23, Micah 5: 2, 2 Sam 5: 1-2, Isaiah 60: 3,6.

The significance of Bethlehem and the prophecy of Micah 5:2
A contrast of power and leadership
The importance and place of Worship in the life of the Magi
Howard’s reflection for today
Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh
The Flight to Egypt

Week 8 – Simeon and Anna

Biblical Text: Luke 2:21-39.

Simeon’s story
Simeon’s Prayer – The Nunc Dimittis
The wonder and the challenge
Anna’s story
Last Day – A Refection