Christ child #AtoZChallenge

This year my A to Z challenge is about Christmas, a major festival in the Christian Church. Another major festival is Easter, which I wrote about for the A to Z Challenge in 2020.

The most important character in the Christmas story is the Christ child. The prophets had foretold the birth of a saviour, the Messiah or Christ. The baby born in Bethlehem was hailed by angels and men as the promised one. The titles Messiah and Christ have the same meaning. As I mentioned in an earlier A to Z Challenge* Christ is the Greek form of the Hebrew word Messiah, the promised one. (*Links at end of post.)

The baby born in Bethlehem was named Jesus in obedience to the Angel Gabriel’s instruction to his mother, Mary. Christ is a title rather than a name. Occasionally it is written before and sometimes after the name Jesus; Christ Jesus is less usual than Jesus Christ.

Not a great deal is known about Jesus’ childhood. Places he was taken to will be mentioned later in this challenge. A story about him at the age of twelve years is mentioned in an earlier A to Z post.

Christ child is mentioned in Christmas carols. The English translation of ‘Il est né, le divin enfant‘ is ‘He/Now is born the divine Christ child‘. There are other examples of this expression in Christmas songs.

Now is born the divine Christ child is a popular carol about these topics.

Related posts from earlier A to Z challenges:

C is for Christ, cross, crucifixion and curtain

X is for Xristos

M is for Messiah

While this year’s A to Z badges by Anjela Curtis honour the late Jeremy Hawkins, I hope that my posts about Christmas honour Jesus Christ, ‘who was and is and is to come’. Revelation 1:4


Compassion #AtoZChallenge

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.
#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter C

Compassion is sympathetic pity or concern for the suffering of other people (according to the Paperback Oxford English Dictionary)

The Bible depicts a compassionate God.

Exodus 36:6 and 2 Kings 13:23 are just two of the many verses referring to God’s compassion.

Jesus Christ is also shown to be compassionate. The stories I have picked for this post are from Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew 14:14 and Matthew15:32 include the word compassion.

Jesus’ disciples tell how his way of showing compassion surprised them

When we heard that Jesus’ cousin, the prophet John the Baptist, had been beheaded, we had to break the news to our Master. Jesus naturally wanted time away from the crowds to grieve. We took him by boat to a remote place. However the people somehow knew where he had gone and followed us on foot. Jesus had compassion on them. He put their needs before his own, healing the sick people they had carried to him.

We were a long way from the anywhere food could be bought and it was almost evening. So we suggested to Jesus that he send the crowds away so they could get something to eat. His reply surprised us.

‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’

We only had two loaves of bread and two small fish. There were thousands of people.

Jesus asked us to give him the food. He told the people to sit on the ground in rows.

Then he took the food, blessed it by giving thanks to God, broke it and gave it to us to distribute. All the crowds and all of us had plenty to eat. Five thousand men as well as women and children were all fed from two loaves and two fish.

And there was food to spare! We filled twelve baskets with the broken pieces we picked up afterwards.

Some time later we were with Jesus as he was healing people on a mountainside. The people praised God for the healing of those who were lame, blind, crippled, unable to speak or who had other infirmities. Jesus had compassion on them, because they had been with him for three days and there was nothing for them to eat. We had just seven loaves and a few small fish from the Sea of Galilee, which was not far away.

Again Jesus asked the people to sit down on the ground. He gave thanks for the food, broke it and gave it to his disciples to distribute to the people. Everyone had sufficient. There were four thousand men as well as women and children. Afterwards we filled seven baskets with the pieces left over.

The story is found in Matthew 14:13-21  and in Matthew 15:29-39


C is for Christ, cross, crucifixion and curtain

My posts for the A to Z Challenge this year are all about the Easter Story, recorded in 4 books of the New Testament: the Gospels. Image in sidebar links to Theme Reveal post.

Image in sidebar or below post links to Theme reveal

For this year’s A to Z challenge I am highlighting some important words from the Easter story.

Today’s words are all relevant to Good Friday, which this year falls on 10 April in the west and 17 April in the Eastern Church.

Christ is the Greek form of the Hebrew word Messiah, the promised one. The early followers of the teacher known as Jesus of Nazareth realised that he was the one spoken of by the prophets. Jesus did not deny this. Thus He is known as Jesus Christ.

During the Jewish festival of Passover, when the time in the history of the people of Israel, when they escaped from slavery in Egypt is remembered, Jesus Christ was put to death on a wooden cross. This barbaric method of execution was favoured by the Romans, who were occupying Israel. It was known as crucifixion.
The account of Jesus death is recorded in all four Gospels in the New Testament.

The Temple in Jerusalem had a curtain separating the inner part known as the Holy of Holies, where only the High Priest could enter, from the rest of the temple. At the time of Jesus death there were a number of strange events. Death is the word I have chosen for the letter D, so most of the events will be mentioned in that post. As curtain begins with C, I am including it here.

The curtain tore from top to bottom. Matthew 27:51

Christians believe that nothing prevents them from entering into the presence of God. No curtain is needed to protect people from God, everyone has access to Him in prayer.

My Theme Reveal contains links to the Easter story in the New Testament.