As we draw to within a fortnight of Christmas Day, we make no apology for starting to celebrate the arrival of Jesus Christ. He is, after all, unique in His ability to change our lives. We don’t just remember Him in terms of His arrival here on earth as a baby born in Bethlehem, we worship Him as the ultimate king — the one who was destined to come and ‘save His people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21) — after all that’s what the name Jesus means.

Isaiah, the prophet of old, when talking about Jesus, used another expression, saying: ‘They will call Him Immanuel, which means God with us.’ (Matthew 1:23) The name Immanuel is not a title, or an alternative Christian name, it’s an expression of witness and a testimony held by those who have discovered Jesus to be not just a historical figure but an ever present saviour. For those who believe, He is most worthy of praise, not just at this time of the year but for ever, even into eternity, where those who have called upon His name will go to be with Him. That is our hope, joy and conviction and that is why we celebrate Him!