In a few weeks we will once again celebrate the incarnation of Mary’s boy-child. Mark Lowry’s famous 1984 song, Mary Did You Know imaginatively asks Mary whether she knew who it really was who she had given birth to?

Did you know that your baby boy
Has walked where angels trod?
When you kissed your little baby
You’ve kissed the face of God

Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered
Will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Will calm a storm with His hand?
Mary, did you know?

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy
Is Lord of creation
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Will one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your baby boy
Is Heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding
Is the great ‘I Am’
Mary did you know?

It’s a beautiful song that was set to the music composed by musical genius, Buddy Greene, in 1991. Mark Lowry contemplated what it would have been like to have asked Mary—after her son had returned to His Father—whether she had realised what He was going to do after He was born? The song invites listeners to join in the contemplation of these questions Lowry asks. But some fussy theologians think that the questions in the song are unnecessary because both Mary and Joseph were told by angelic messengers who it was who Mary would give birth to (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:31-35). However, I think Mark Lowry’s song is more profound than many realise because if the same questions were reposed to many people today – 

    • Do you know why Jesus really died?
    • Do you know that Jesus performed many public miracles in front of hundreds of eye-witnesses?
    • Do you know that Jesus took all that was wrong with the world and began to set it on a path to complete restoration?
    • Do you know that Jesus had all of the sins of his mother, and the world placed on Him, and bore the divine wrath of punishment in our stead that we could all be given the opportunity to accept God’s forgiveness?
    • Do you know that Jesus was the eternal Son of God who created all of Heaven’s angels?
    • Do you know that when Jesus was a newborn baby He was the One who was holding the fabric of the entire universe together by the power resident within Him?
    • Do you know that the baby born to then virgin Mary was the very God who had created her?

I fear that the answer to most of these reposed questions would be: No. And I particularly suspect that the largest segment of the population that would be unaware of who Mary’s baby-boy really was would be Western cultural elites. My suspicion is reinforced by how I have observed this group respond to the current events in Israel-Gaza.



I was listening to a discussion between Shane Morris, from the Colson Centre, and Rev. David Pileggi, the rector of Christ Church Jerusalem, on the Upstream podcast where David Pileggi stated:

“Probably at its heart there is a religious underpinning that most secular people in the West don’t understand because many Westerners, especially Western elites, can’t take religion seriously. And so, they focus on land, or refugees, or human rights, etc., etc. And I don’t want to deny that any of these are important, especially to the Palestinians. But there’s something a lot deeper that’s going on.”

Fr. Pileggi has served as the pastor of this church in Jerusalem for over thirty years. He clearly loves the Palestinians and the Jewish people among who he ministers. But his critique of how Western secular cultural elites: politicians, academics, media personalities and journalists, and performing artists is worth considering and learning from. Political leaders have generally responded to the situation in Gaza as if it were a political problem about territory. But as Pileggi states, this political focus on land completely misses the point. Academics, inexperienced-journalists and celebrities who view and present the conflict in Gaza as an oppressor/oppressed human rights issue also fail to recognise what is actually happening. This is almost entirely because these various Western cultural leaders have a bias against religion. They assume that atheism is a neutral and unbiased position. They regard the religious as irrational unenlightened and superstitious. Thus they often dramatically fall short of understanding the importance of religion in society – especially when it comes to the situation in the Middle East. This leads them to fail to distinguish between Palestinians and the Islamist Jihadi group Hamas – and in so doing are blinded to the sinister agenda hiding in plain sight. This failure inevitably leads them to naively and incorrectly assume that Israel’s fight is actually against Palestinians per se.

The social pressure that these cultural elites exercise through their various platforms – including news casts, classroom, lecture halls, ARIA awards nights, and Tik Tok – is particularly targeted at the young who have slowly but surely been undergoing a subtle conditioning to be taught what to think but not how to think. And this brings us back to Mary’s Boy-Child.



Mark Lowry is normally comedic. But his now classic Christmas song is no joke! It presents baby Jesus as the eternal God the Son, the creator of heaven and earth, the Saviour of the world, the Redeemer of all humankind who turn to Him, the all-conquering Lamb of God, and the Great Judge of all people, the I AM. The event of His miraculous conception is known as the incarnation (God becoming human). But the incarnation was not Jesus the Christ’s first entrance into our world. In fact, it is as though He felt a divine right to enter our world any time He chose. These various appearances of Jesus prior to His incarnation are referred to as theophanies (appearances of God) or more particularly as Christophanies (appearances of God the Son). I want to highlight one of these in particular.

Joshua, the successor to Moses, was about to lead the second generation of Israelites who had come out of the Egyptian exodus into the Promised Land. He is then confronted by a rather terrifying military commander before Whom he bows in worship (something that Israelites were only allowed to do toward YHWH, the GOD). Because of the presence of the pre-incarnate Christ, the very ground that He and Joshua were on had become holy (this is what actually makes a land holy) Joshua was compelled to acknowledge the he was the presence of God).

¶ When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold,
a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand.
And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?”
And he said, “No; but I am the Commander of the Army of the LORD. Now I have come.”
And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him,
“What does my lord say to his servant?”
And the commander of the LORD’S army said to Joshua,
“Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.”
And Joshua did so.
Joshua 5:13-15

The presence of the Commander of the Army of the Lord gave Joshua the confidence that the Lord would be with him as he led the Israelites into battle to take possession of their land. Mary’s boy-child was more, much more than just a newborn baby. He was the Commander of the Army of the Lord. The relevance of pointing this out that Jesus was not just the Saviour, He was also the divine royal military commander who revealed Himself to Joshua that He was not just for Israel, He was for all people. Indeed, the most famous verse in the New Testament, John 3:16, is a statement underscoring God’s love for all people. So is God for the Palestinians and against the Israelites? The revelation of Christ as the Commander of the Army of the Lord reveals that God is available to all people – no matter what their ethnicity or their religious upbringing. David Pileggi states –

Being pro-Palestinian also means you don’t romanticize the Palestinian people. You see them honestly for their good points and their bad points, for their weaknesses, for their strengths. And the same goes for Israel, right? Our relationship with the Jewish people, it’s not based on certain romanticism or biblical fundamentalism.
… And by the way, neither should the basis of our support for Israel be some kind of Islamophobia or dislike of Arabs, whatever that may be.
… We look at Israel, we can see the good parts of the society and we can also see, you know, where the society is weak and perhaps fails ethically or morally.



In Christopher Watkin’s award-winning 2023 Book of the Year, Biblical Critical Theory, he shows how secularists who reject God and dismiss all religions as basically the same, and as nonsense, actually owed their free-thinking to the very thing they opposed: Christianity. Tom Holland, in his epic book, Dominion – The Making of the Western World, makes a similar point – that it was Christianity which gave birth to secularism and its values – human rights, care for the vulnerable, respect for women and children, the rule of Law, the scientific method, democratic government, and religious plurality. 

When secularists turned their attention to Christianity, they challenged the authority of the Bible, the scientific claims of the Bible, the evidence for the existence of God, the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth, and the cultural contribution of early Christians. The response of Christians gave rise to the modern apologetics movement within Christianity. What this reaction was not was a violent military reaction. Authentic Christianity has never used violence to defend Christian beliefs (despite what some have claimed about the medieval crusades). But the same cannot be said of all religions. And this goes to the heart of why there is the Gaza conflict.  



In a remarkable twist, the closing book of the Bible, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, for the first nineteen and half chapters of its twenty-two chapters, Jesus is almost entirely depicted as the Lamb. The particular Greek word used in this final biblical book for “lamb” is the word arnion which means little lamb. In other words, the lamb described in the Book of Revelation is depicted as the weakest and the most defenceless of almost any creature. Yet, from Revelation 19 verse 11, our view of the Lamb of God suddenly and dramatically comes into view as we are shown what was always there in plain sight – that what we were looking at all along was never just an arnion, but was in fact the Almighty Commander of the Armies of Heaven! We are now given a glimpse – a revelation – of who Jesus really was, and still is:     

¶ Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The One sitting on it is called Faithful and True,
and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire,
and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written that no one knows but Himself.
He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is The Word of God.
And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following Him on white horses.
From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations,
and He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.
On His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Revelation 19:11-16

But what kind of military campaign is the Commander of Heaven’s Armies waging? A physical and bloody violent war against infidels with cutlasses, bullets, and bombs? Absolutely not. The war that Christ leads His followers into is a spiritual battle whereby hearts are conquered by the love and grace of God through the gospel! The apostle Paul describes these soldiers of Christ being armed with the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the sword of the Word of God in their hands, the breastplate of righteousness that comes as a gift from Christ, with the belt of truth around their waist, and their feet shod with the preparation of the gospel message! This is starkly different how some other religions attempt to advance or defend their causes through the use of subjugation, suicide-bombers, and terrorism. Make no mistake about it, Mary’s boy-child is out to win this war for the hearts, minds, and souls of all Palestinians, Muslims, Jews, and Israelites through the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit!  And until Western cultural elites can see past their anti-religious biases and come to realise that this is the only way this devastating war of bombs and missiles being waged in Gaza can come to a peaceful end, the better off we and the whole world will be.

You know, people tell me, “Well, what’s the answer to this Middle East problem?”
The answer is Jesus. Right? Jesus is the answer.
And I think one of the things that we’ve learned over the years
[is] that saying you believe in Jesus,
saying you admire Jesus, doesn’t get you very far.
… If there’s going to be transformation in the lives of a community,
or transformation in a family or a society,
[we] have to put the teachings of Jesus into practice.
Fr. David Pileggi

And the teaching of Jesus doesn’t end with the Great Commission, but for many, it is where it begins.

Your Pastor,


Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.


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Domestic violence, sexual assault, date-rape, sexual trafficking of minors, marital infidelity, street-gang violence, illicit drug abuse, high rates of suicide, increased ‘deaths of despair’, homelessness, are all major problems in our culture right now. Governments regard these issues as matters of justice (punishing offenders) while agencies regard these issues as matters of social justice (helping victims). Both are valuable but neither are equipped or positioned unilaterally to solve the causes of these growing problems, and many in both of these sectors believe that it can mever be solved. But I believe they can be. And I need your help. To achieve this, I propose two outrageous, yea – ridiculous – strategies. They are outrageous because they are simple (although not easy); and, they are ridiculous because, to materialists, these are just fanciful, idealistic and supernatural nonsense. However, I have history on my side. It will involve men and women, young and old. But I particularly need all men to read what I am about to propose and for them to share this with other men and together with everyone else help me to bring about the biggest social and cultural revolution our country has ever seen.


Perhaps I was a little unfair to this gentleman though, because it is a well established fact that all men are born with selective hearing (as every wife can testify to) and perhaps this may sometimes spill over into incidents such as the one I just recounted(?). But I also suspect that some women have a similar deficiency.

A few years ago the kids and I were a little concerned about Kim’s hearing difficulties. As it turned out, one day outside a shopping centre that we had just arrived at, there was a government sponsored mobile hearing clinic. We urged the reluctant Kim to go in and have her hearing checked. Much to the utter shock of myself and our children the clinician told Kim that she had “perfect hearing”! This then proved that even women may be able to imitate the innate ability of a man to produce selective hearing 🙂 Therefore, there is a high likelihood that both men and women are equally subject to hearing difficulties.

The problem with any hearing difficulties is that it inevitably leads to the far more serious problem of misunderstanding. Misunderstanding is at the heart of nearly every relationship problem that anyone will ever face. Misunderstandings due to mis-hearing or mis-communication frequently leads to disputes that if not handled correctly, which it is mostly not, is likely to lead to relationship breakdowns. But there is a different – almost secretive – way to deal with misunderstandings. Let me explain by using several pictures that will make my point. 


We have all seen parents abruptly terminate conversations with other adults to keep an eye on their children. Children can wander about easily. They could get involved in acts that are detrimental to themselves. Parental instincts, often reflected more in the mother, is one of those protective gifts that ensures children are kept safe.

THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 6 – The deGorified Newborn The ReGlorified Lamb of God

One of my favourite stories of concealed identity hiding in plain sight is from Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, Les Miserables, where the escaped convict, Jean Valjean, is pursued for years by now retired Inspector Javert. As it turns out Jean Valjean, who had changed his name to M. Madeleine has now become a successful business man and the Mayor of Toulon. Javert arrives in Toulon and is immediately recognised by Valjean. But Javert does not recognise the now clean-shaven, genteel aristocratic Mayor of Toulon as his nemesis. But when he observes the compassion of M. Madeleine he recalls the time in prison when Jean Valjean had also displayed a similar extraordinary compassion for unfortunate fellow prisoners. The more he observed such acts of kindness and generosity from M. Madeleine the more Javert became convinced of the true identity of Madeleine. There is something about this idea of concealed identity that comes from the story of Christ. The prophet Isaiah foretold that when the Servant of the LORD would appear He would be largely unrecognised – there would be no form, no beauty, that we would desire Him (Isa. 53:2). But how on earth was this possible? How in God’s Name  could those who were created by Him in His image not recognise Him for who He was? The answer to this great puzzle lies in one word: the kenosis.


Andrew, on occasions, used to wistfully say, “You know, all I really want is…” then he would say some ephemeral pleasure, like ‘a drink of coke’, or ‘quiet’, or ‘to get something finished’. So, one day I decided to ensure that his greatest desire (‘all I really want’) was met. This time all he ever wanted was a coffee, so I bounced up and brought him the best cup of coffee I could make and added a little yummy treat to compliment it. A few days later he once again said, “All I really want…” and I interrupted to finish his sentence for him … “was the cup of coffee that I was able to make for you the other day. I bet it was the best ever. I’m so glad I could meet that greatest desire you have.” He never said, ‘All I really want’ again!


THE LORDSHIP of JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 5 – He is the Creator of Heaven & Earth and all things Visible and Invisible
While the pagan religions in the days of the patriarchs, judges, and kings of Israel, all conceived of their gods as territorial, the God of Israel, Yeshua, declared that He was the Creator of all things and that He was Lord of Heaven and Earth. And He still is.

Freedom in Christ encompasses Freedom FROM and Freedom FOR

God offers freedom to those who turn to Him in faith, and this, as Pastor Andrew says, deserves a Toyota jump. It is worth celebrating. The freedom the New Testament speaks of is not just any old freedom. In Romans 8:21 Paul speaks of ‘the glorious freedom of God’s children’ (NET). In the same way you might savour a piece of chocolate as it slowly melts in your mouth, allow your spirit to savour the meaning of the freedom that is yours in Christ in all its richness. This single word freedom is densely packed with meaning, and we benefit from taking time to unpack just a little of what it means for believers.


Throughout the Old Testament, God made certain promises to the patriarchs (Abraham, Issac, and Jacob/Israel) that their descendants, the nation of Israel, longed to see fulfilled. These promises centred on having a holy Homeland and a Messiah. Over the centuries that followed their expulsion from their Land which sent them into exile into Babylon initially and then into Persia, the Israelites became known as Jews. Their expectations of how these divine promises would be fulfilled became greatly embellished with powerful military overtones.

THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 3 – Before He was Incarnate, He was the Eternal LBefore He was Incarnate, He was the Eternal Lordord

For those unfamiliar with the story of the Bible who may be seeking to remedy that unfamiliarity, I would recommend that they start reading in the New Testament. It is there that they will be introduced immediately to Jesus who is the central character of the whole Bible. For many novice readers of the Bible who then attempt to read the Old Testament of the Bible (its first 39 books), it initially seems like they are reading a completely unrelated story which seems to describe a completely different God. But with a little patience and persistence the reader will begin to suspect that this is not a different story but is in fact the prequel to the New Testament. Then a strange supernatural thing happens as they continue to become acquainted with the lives of the patriarchs, judges, kings and prophets, as these characters interact with enemies, giants, angels, strange heavenly beings, and GOD Himself. The reader begins to see in a similar way to what a photographer could not previously see clearly until his camera’s focus was adjusted to make the picture clear — the GOD who created, acted, spoke and judged, frequently referred to Himself as ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘our’, and at times seemed to have conversations with divine characters identified as ‘the LORD’ and ‘Me’ and ‘His Spirit’ (Isa. 48:16). And this all begins to sound very reminiscent of the GOD described in the New Testament as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. With a growing knowledge of the Bible and hunger to understand it, the follower of Christ discovers that literally for thousands of years prior to this day there have been many many others who have also walked the journey of discovery through the mysterious pages of the Bible and have each made a startling discovery about the human Jesus’ pre-existence throughout the pages of the Old Testament.


The One who spoke the world into existence entered materially into His World and “split time in half”. He came to rescue the world because a great betrayal occurred. One of His chief agents was filled with self-deception and conceited envy and manipulated a serpent to his bidding in destroying the very last and highest of the Lord’s “very good” creation. Disappointingly she fell for it – and her husband who supposed to protect her failed in his most basic of responsibilities. Their fall from innocence and into grace plunged that was momentarily and formerly under their vice-regency. The world had now gone rogue. When the Eternal Son of God submitted to His co-LORD, the Holy Spirit placed Him into a virgin’s womb by uniting his consciousness and sinless essence with the ovum of this young virgin. In doing so, Immanuel relinquished none of His sovereign power or prerogatives but chose to lay aside His glory and become fully human. And for those who came to recognise who He actually was, it ever caused them to fall down at His feet in adoration, or shrink back from Him in terror. The side-effect of those who who adored him was a new ability to sleep. If you have trouble sleeping because of worries, you too can discover how an acquaintance with the Lordship of Jesus the Christ can also help you to sleep better.