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came down from Heaven, and was born of a woman, just as all babes are born. We cannot understand why this was necessary, but so it was. You know how weak and tender new-born babes are, and how even the poorest of us try to have a warm, soft bed ready for our children; yet this tender newborn Babe had only a hard, cold manger for His cradle.
Just see how He began His work of salvation for us by suffering and hardship. He, the mighty, glorious God, Who till now had had His home in the highest Heaven, lies a feeble Infant, as helpless and dependent on His mother as our children are.
Is it not wonderful?
And it was all because He loved us, and wanted us to live with Him in Heaven. Have you done anything to deserve such love? No, indeed. We could none of us do anything that would deserve it. But what He asks from us in return for all He has done for us, we cannot refuse to give. For how can we help loving and trying to please our Saviour, Who bore so much for our sakes?
O merciful Father, Who in Thy great love didst send Thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to be born
for us and for our salvation, hear me, I beseech Thee, and help me to love Him and serve Him all the days of my life, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil for Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
In Bethlehem so long ago
His birthplace was a stable,
As wise men had foretold.
And though He seemed so feeble,
A little helpless Child,
By Him the God of heaven and earth
To man was reconciled.
The gates of Paradise once closed
O Father, for Thy Son's sake, grant that what I
have just read, may be for the good of my soul. Amen.
O God, mine eyes look unto Thee; hear the voice of my prayers, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
The word of God came unto John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.
And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
And when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My Beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them; and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto
me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.
And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.
HEN we read again and again in the Bible
about the wishes and commands of God,
as to the need of baptism for each one of us, it seems strange to think how careless many of us are, in looking so lightly upon this great sacrament. You remember how even our Master, Christ, was Himself baptized, though He was perfect and knew no sin. You may be sure that He would have us to follow this example of His; and not only has He bid you follow in His footsteps through the waters of baptism, but He has spoken in many different places by His apostles, telling us that we must all be baptized.
Now what does this baptism mean? What does it do for us? I suppose that you have probably learnt the Church catechism, the one, you know, which is in our prayer-book, and which comes just after the baptismal service. If you have not learnt it, or if you have forgotten it, do get your prayerbook out, and look at it. If you read it carefully,