Volume. XXXV, No. 25
Sunday, 20 December 2020

Christ-Centered Christmas

Christmas—it’s a time for celebration. Christmas is so many things to so many people. It’s a time for family and friends. It’s a time for shopping and also giving of gifts. But what is Christmas to you this morning?  Just like the world, which is oblivious to the real meaning of Christmas, many Christians have forgotten Christ in their Christmas celebrations.   Christ is the reason for this season and all Christmas celebrations ought to be Christ centered.

We will have a Christ-centered Christmas when we understand the message of eternal love and unconditional acceptance. God so loves us that he gave Jesus to save us is the simple message of Christmas. The Bible says we love God because He first loved us. Deuteronomy 7 tells us: “The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you . . .” (v. 7-8). If you are not a Christian, I pray that this Christmas you will know Jesus and His greatest gift of eternal life.

We will have a Christ-centered Christmas when we realize it is not just the unsaved who need Jesus, but we Christians too need Jesus every day of our lives. Jesus Christ is God’s answer to the growing outcry, emotional hurt, oppression, injustice, and sense of lostness. We need the message of Christmas and the reassurance and hope it brings. The teenager who is rebelling needs Jesus and we know there is hope and forgiveness to those who return. The family that lost a child or someone who has lost a spouse needs to know life is still worth living because of Jesus. The affluent and the self-satisfied who think he or she has all things needs Jesus, for money cannot buy peace, joy, and love. Only God can satisfy the cries of your heart. I am not sure of your disappointment or needs; but one thing we can be sure of this Christmas, Jesus Christ is God’s answer to our disappointment and cry of the heart. This Christmas, I pray you will determine in your heart to lean on Him and trust Him more and more with each passing day. 

We will have a Christ-centered Christmas when we see our need fulfilled in Christ. His grace is always sufficient for every trial we face in life. I read a helpful definition describing the life of a Christian. A Christian is one who is completely fearless, continually cheerful, and constantly in trouble. As I look back to the year 2020, I have my trials, wounds and sorrows and I don’t understand His plans for me.  Thankfully God’s grace was sufficient for my family and me and the Lord taught me to trust in Him and His all sufficient grace. Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Cor 7:4 “I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation”. He does not promise to take the problem away, but He says He will take us through it. He will strengthen us to face it and will give us courage and peace and joy in the midst of it. That joy must be present in us this Christmas. 

We will have a Christ-centered Christmas when we look beyond the manger and look to the cross which also held the Son of God. Many Christians today remember the baby Jesus, but they forget Christ’s tender call to come and follow Him. God is not looking at an elaborate gift or an expensive gift, but He is looking for a heart that is surrendered to His will. Have you surrendered all to Christ? Give Him obedience and set yourselves apart to serve Him. Such a gift that expresses sincere love is priceless.   Your gift may be small but will be loved by the Lord if it is given in the right spirit.  This Christmas I pray you will also give your very best for Christ and His work which is obedience.

May the joy of our Savior’s birth and what He has done for us draw us even closer to God to love Him and obey His Word. May the Holy Spirit empower us to magnify the Lord in worship and adoration with the “… multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:13b -14). Christmas is centred on the Lord Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world. 

Right now, you can find the real meaning of Christmas -- Christ within! Then fear will be a distant stranger, and faith your persistent friend and the guiding factor in your life. Come to Him wholeheartedly and experience the true Joy that Jesus give this Christmas.

Wishing you all a joyous and Christ filled Christmas.

Rev Mathews

More Lively Hope



  • Deepest condolences to Sis Sarah Carpenter & family on the homegoing of her maternal grandfather.
  • Congratulations to Bro Eric & Sis Megan Lai on their marriage on Friday.
  • Masks for adults will be required if attending church in-person. Please bring your own, however, the church can provide if you are unable. Hygiene, physical distancing and capacity rules still apply. Live online worship via Facebook and YouTube will continue for those who prefer.
  • QR code check-in is required when attending church in-person with mySA GOV app on your smart phone. Screening questions and temperature checks will still be in place. Manual check-in is available if without a smart phone. If unsure, assistance can be provided.
  • Please register your attendance if attending Sunday Service in-person. Please inform Bro Edy P Lok by Thursday.
  • Flower Roster for 2021: Please contact Sis Peng Ha Yeo to sign up.
  • Tithes & offerings - Bank details:
    BSB No.: 015-257    Account No.: 2649 27547
    Please indicate if it is an offering, tithe or for a specific person or ministry.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Year 12 examination results.
  • God’s daily guidance, protection & providence.
  • Journey mercies: Elder David & Sis Giok Yeo & family (Adl); all who have travelled.



  • Comfort in grief – Sis Sarah Carpenter & family; Sis Priscilla Lim (Wellspring Bible Church, Melbourne); family of Sis Evelyn Ricker (IBPFM missionary to Guatemala) on her homegoing.
  • God’s guidance as Bro Eric & Sis Megan Lai begin their new life together.
  • Healing: Pastor Ki; Rev Mathews Abraham, Rev Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore) & others with health affliction.
  • COVID-19 pandemic – God’s continued guidance & protection for South Australia & all who are affected.
  • Missions: Rev Sun Sokha & family; Faith Krang Angkrang Church (Phnom Penh).






© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041