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Big Jesus wins award for the 'best community entry' in the parade.
We had a unique perspective on Jesus, His fame and renown. If the crowds were silenced even the stones would have cried out to Him. This must be what it was like for Jesus to enter Jerusalem, re-enacted for the benefit of his LGBT people... What does this say for us and for Him?
Photos of ‘Big Jesus’ appeared in ‘The Guardian’ photos of Pride around the world!
Stop Hate Speach Preacher Franklin Graham's Visa to UK:
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Wednesday 13th December
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Extract from Jim’s Preach ''Garments of Salvation"
‘I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul will be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom beautifies himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings out her shoots, and as the garden causes the seeds that are sown in it to spring up; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.’ Isaiah 61:10–11
In tonight’s reading it tells us that the children of God are clothed in the garments of salvation and covered with the robe of righteousness. The text clearly states that it is the Lord that has clothed and covered His children. He has done it, it is not something you do yourself.
We shouldn’t be surprised by that. As all parents clothe and cover their children to protect their modesty and to protect them against burning in the summer sun or shivering in the storms of a bitter winter.
Clothes say something about who are you are and your status in society, from top hat and tails, to trainers and jeans. A child warm and snug in a thick coat on a bitterly cold day tells us their parent is able to care for them.
So the garments of salvation that God gives us say something about Him and the way he cares for us.
In Jesus’ parable of ‘the prodigal son’ the Father tells the servant to put the ‘best robe’ on his wayward son; the best being the most excellent piece of clothing that belonged to his father. Giving the son his robe was an incredible demonstration of the Father’s love and absolute acceptance of him.
The reckless son had come straight from the pigpen, no haircut, no shave, filthy and stinking, but this was of no consequence as the ‘best robe’ covered the unclean child. The state of the prodigal mattered not a jot, the father saw only his son. To the father his son was acceptable and accepted just as he was in his rags and filth.
The favourable reception of the wayward child, sent out a message that was loud and clear to all who were witnesses of the homecoming. But more importantly to the prodigal son himself. He had come home not out of love but out of necessity, therefore the son approached his father in fear. However, his fears were swept away as the best robe declared his status as a member of the family.
The Father also had the servant put a ring on the sons finger. The ring had the crest of the family engraved on it giving him position and authority.
Servants at that time went barefoot. Shoes were placed on the sons feet, no longer a servant but a son, further enhancing the sons importance amongst the welcoming party. And with this welcome the sons fear was swept away with the peace of absolute acceptance from his father.
Our reading tells us about the spiritual clothes God gives us. It also says the bride ‘adorns herself with jewels’. Let’s look into scripture to find out what the brides jewels are. In Ge 24 Abraham, tells his trusted servant to go and arrange a marriage for His son Isaac.
The servant takes with him rich garments and jewels. In those days a ‘bride price’ had to be paid.
The beauty and value of the garments would be the first sign of the wealth and standing of the bridegroom’s family, in particularly the father.
The preciousness of the jewels would tell the bride a lot about the riches and status of the family she was marrying into.
The story of Abraham, the son, the servant, and the bride is an allegory, a story within a story.
A literal story with a spiritual meaning.
Abraham represents God the Father, Isaac the son Jesus, the servant is the Holy Spirit.
The bride represents the individual Christian and collectively the church. The bride price is given by the Father on behalf of the son Jesus, presented by the servant the Holy Spirit.
The bride price given to the bride is listed in Ho 2:19, 20 ‘I will betroth you forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. 20 I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will know the LORD.
7 perfect and precious jewels given by God to us the bride of Christ, Seven the number of perfection.
God gives us his people 7 precious jewels to betroth us; an everlasting promise, righteousness, justice, love, compassion, faithfulness, and the privilege of knowing Him intimately. So the jewels the bride (the church) puts on are gifts from the Father (God).
Isaiah tells us in the 28th chapter that a crown of glory is also a part of our garments of salvation. ‘In the day of salvation the LORD will be a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, to his people.’
Yet at the time of the prophesy the people were not listening, too preoccupied with their religion. The Lord cried out to His people again through Isaiah chapter 52 ‘Awake, awake; put on your strength, O Israel; put on your beautiful garments.’
So many of us have toiled through our Christian lives not realising what beautiful garments we have from God our Father, and what strength there is in them. The garments of salvation; the robe of righteousness, the crown of glory, the ring of authority and the shoes of the gospel of peace.
Were any of us fully aware of the
preciousness of the jewels we’ve been given? So many of us have to come
to Liberty in fear, unsure
But when we have truly received the love that is without demands, that unconditional love has swept away the fear. There is no fear in love. Instead there is the peace of absolute acceptance.
We are acceptable and accepted exactly as we are. Welcome home!
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