Christmas Greetings from New Horizon
The Light Shines in the Darkness (John 1:3)
New Horizon Chairperson Paul Coulter writes:
Winter is well and truly upon us. The season of storms and frosts, of gales and gritters, of dark nights and short days. Gloves and woolly hats are back in fashion. I think I might even have spotted someone wearing a face mask with extra insulation (someone is bound to be cashing in on that idea!) These winter months can be tough, both physically and emotionally. Concerns around rising coronavirus rates and rising energy costs don’t help. The days are cold. Our hearts may be too.
In the bleakness of this midwinter, Christmas shines a light to warm our hearts.
It is a marvel to think that at a point on our maps and in our history, a baby was born who is Christ, the Lord. With his coming, the light of God shone into the darkness. Light to dispel common misconceptions about God – that he is distant from our struggles, hostile towards us or does not understand our weakness.
Jesus’ birth was to a virgin, announced by the angel Gabriel who said Mary’s child would be called “the Son of the Most High”. Mary’s son and God’s Son. Fully God and fully man. God pleased to dwell in fullness in human form. Jesus’ birth was the ultimate fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy of a child who would be called Immanuel. The incarnation shows that God is not distant. God is with us.
Jesus’ birth was announced by angels and celebrated by shepherds. Mighty warriors of heaven came to social outcasts and declared peace! The shepherds found the helpless baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a feeding trough. God’s favour, the riches of his grace, poured out on humankind in our weakness and sin. The incarnation shows that God is not hostile. God is for us.
Jesus’ birth was a new beginning for humankind. He lived the sinless life we could not and died the painful death we should have. He bore our sorrows and our sins, then rose victorious from the grave. In his life, death and resurrection he was fully human. Still fully human, he intercedes for us and knows our weakness. The incarnation shows that God is not unaware. God is of us.
We cannot look at Jesus and think that God does not know, does not care or does not understand. Through Jesus, we see God’s costly commitment and his lavish love. The only response we can make is to bow in humble adoration, confess our sinfulness and commit to live for him. This is the true hope of the world this winter as it was twenty centuries ago.
So, my prayer for you this Christmas is that, in the midst of winter’s darkness,God’s light will warm your heart with joy and hope as you consider Jesus Christ,God with us, for us and of us.
Save the Date
We are looking forward to inviting you back to Coleraine for New Horizon 2022 – keep the date in your diary for a feast of Bible Teaching, Worship and Fellowship.
6-12 August 2022
We are absolutely delighted to announce our speakers for New Horizon 2022.
- Ben Stuart (USA)– Evening Celebrations
- Will van der Hart (England) – Evening Celebrations
- Ali Calvin (NI) – Evening Celebrations
- John Risbridger (England) – Bible Teaching
Play it Again
Enjoy all the sessions from NH 2021 on the New Horizon YouTube channel or on your favourite Podcast platform.
The Board and Management Team are working hard to prepare for NH 2022 – please pray for them – for wisdom, discernment and guidance as they make plans for our time together. (Proverbs 16:9)
May the love of the Father, the peace of our Lord Jesus and the comfort of the Holy Spirit be with you this Christmas and into 2022.
The Board & Management Team