When the prophet Micah spoke up, things were looking very grim for the nation of Israel. The Assyrians were threatening to invade and idolatry and corruption were high. The prophecy recorded in Micah 5:1-5 reminds us that he looked forward to better days ahead for the people of God and it would all stem from the arrival of a ruler who would come from Bethlehem. Matthew’s gospel picks up this theme and points to the birth of Jesus as the fulfilment of that prophecy, and in turn, gives God’s people a sure hope in these similarly dark times.
Join with us each Sunday in January (which will also continue into February) at our 10:30am services as we explore the first eight chapters of the Old Testament book of Joshua. By this, it is our hope and prayer that God will direct us in His ways to serve Him well, just as Joshua was enabled to do in his time.
There have been a lot of words written and spoken about the central meaning of Christmas. The Apostle John, in his prologue to his gospel (John 1:1-18), hits the nail on the head in just 4 words from verse 14. These words are so deep and profound that we need to get our heads around them…and it will take 5 words for us to do just that!
The greeting in Titus 1:1-4, at the start of Paul’s letter, is a preview and an overview: the truth about Jesus accords with godliness. For the Christian, belief in Jesus ought to be reflected in our behaviour as we seek to be more like him. But our good works don’t save us – Jesus is the saviour. At Christmas, we celebrate God’s grace shown to us and have the privilege of reflecting that grace to others.
There are a few lies that you may hear at Christmas, but none of them rank with the lie of King Herod. More than that, his attitude meant that he missed out on everything Jesus came to bring – a sad scenario!
In a world where people are happy enough to enterain thoughts and listen to songs about Jesus in the manger, Colossians 1:15-18 brings another perspective. The Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus is no longer in the manger as a harmless child, but is fully God, to whom all things belong and for whom all things exist, who demands the absolutely first place in our lives. He can demand this because He is Lord and because He proved His love for mankind by paying the price of our sins by His own blood.
On Sunday December 13 at 8pm we will hold our annual ‘Carols by Torchlight’ in St John’s followed by supper in the hall. This is always a great time of singing Christmas hymns, reflecting upon the Christmas story and hearing God’s Word explained to us in a shorter format which Philip will bring. All are welcome and don’t forget your torch!
On Christmas Eve we will join in with our friends at Eaglehawk Presbyterian Church for their 7pm service followed by supper and then on Christmas Day we will meet together at 9:30am in St John’s. Philip will be preaching again from God’s Word and there will be more Christmas hymns. There will also be an offering for PresAID (Presbyterians Assisting in Development) projects among our partner churches in Zambia, Uganda, Vanuatu and Meekatharra (WA). Morning tea will follow in the hall if you can stay. Everyone is very welcome!
In a world where prejudice and racism is rife, Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:43-48 concerning loving our enemies, cut right through to the heart. His disciples, who belong to His upside down Kingdom, are not to be like the world or the Pharisees who believe that God’s law encouraged them to ‘hate their enemies’. There is no such Old Testament law! Instead, Jesus taught that His disciples ought to exercise inclusion (embracing all kinds of people) and practise imitiation of our Heavenly Father who sends rain upon all kinds of people. Imitating that undiscriminating kind of love is nothing less than what Jesus taught and showed in His death securing our salvation. His love was at great cost to Himself!