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Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters,

he restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil, for you are with me;your rod and staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."



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THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH

"An angel of the Lord appeared to th shepherds, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Don't be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy, that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord'."
St Luke 2: 9-11

THE message which the world needs again at the beginning of a new year is that human beings need a Saviour.

This need of human beings is illustrated by the reaction of the shepheards when the glory of the Lord shone around them. We are told that they were terrified. They were terrified because of this glory of God shining around them brought them into the presence of God in all his holiness, and they felt the truth about themselves that the holiness of God condemned them, and made them understand in a way that was too powerful to feel, that they deserved punishment in hell because they fell short entirely of this glory of holiness in God. They felt that death and hell was upon them.

One day every one of us will be brought to this experience before God when death comes, as it must to all of us some day. This is why all of us need a Saviour from this inevitable judgement and condemnation to hell. In our natural state we all fall so far short of God's glory and his holy requirements, that when we meet God we can only expect everlasting damnation.

In this terror which the shepherds felt, the message from the angel came as a huge relief. The angel said 'Don't be afraid'. Why was this good news possible for them, and the reason given was that a Saviour had been born who could save them from the just wrath and condemnation of God which they knew and felt threatening them.

This is not just for Christmas but for all time. Jesus, the Saviour born that first Christmas, was sent by God to save those who, in the face of their deserving, and who cried to God for mercy, and who were truly sorrowing and hating the evil in them which God hates and must punish, God gave Jesus to be the holy human being who would take their place before God's and in great love take their punishment from God in their place. Jesus did this on the cross when he died for us bearing our sins.

Cry to Jesus to be your Saviour and he will gladly save you, and then you will not exprience terror when you come face to face with God.