‘Using worldly wealth wisely’ (Luke 16:1-18)

In Luke 16, Jesus tells another parable where an unjust steward—or dishonest manager—wasted his master’s possessions. This reminds us of the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) where in the far county he wasted his inheritance in reckless living. Yet here the steward is commended as wise since “the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light”. Our Lord would have us be exceptions to the rule by using our wealth wisely and making friends for ourselves by mean of unrighteous wealth, so that they may receive us into the eternal dwellings. Heaven cannot be bought – but we can invest for eternity.

‘Lessons from the ‘other side’ of Christmas’ (Luke 2:21-52)

No sooner does Christmas arrive, it very quickly goes, and is soon forgotten until it comes around again after another year. Many will fall for the trap of observing Christmas, but never knowing Jesus, the ‘reason for the season’. The gospel writer, Luke, does not want us to do that. After he wrote of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus in Luke 2:1-20, he added further information about the events that happened soon after in Luke 2:21-52 – particularly the events all took place in the temple where Jesus was presented, received and began to grow. And because Christmas happens at the end of one year and the start of another, these events remind us that there is an ongoing need for God’s people to be ‘growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour’ (2 Peter 3:18) with each successive change of the calendar.

Full service

00:00 Welcome
Song: Tell Out My Soul
00:17 Introduction
00:47 Prayer
06:48 Children’s talk (with thanks to Kidswise)
Song: Who is He in Yonder Stall?
10:43 Bible reading: Luke 2:21-38
Song: Good Christians All Rejoice
13:17 Bible reading: Luke 2:39-52
Song: O Little Town of Bethlehem
14:52 Sermon: Luke 2:21-52
Song: More About Jesus
36:55 Closing

‘First responders to the news of the birth of Jesus’ (Luke 2:18-20)

The Christmas story is an old story. Over 2,000 years old. And given that each year we hear about it and sing about it, the danger we face is that ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ and that we lose the impact of the story. Maybe one way of recovering that impact is to consider the response of the people who were there at the time. These people would include those mentioned in Luke 2:18-20, those who heard the testimony of the shepherds (verse 18), Mary herself (verse 19) and the shepherds themselves (verse 20). Luke gives attention to each of these three group and by noting well their responses we might be able to sort through and answer the question, ‘What is your reponse to the news of the birth of Jesus?”

‘The one who fixes fallen-apart worlds’ (Luke 24:13-35)

When the two travelers on the road to Emmaus met with Jesus, as recorded in Luke 24:13-35, they were downcast and disconsolate. They were men without hope. Jesus, whom they had known and had put their hope in, was dead. While they had heard rumours of Him being alive, this all must have sounded so fanciful. Strange. But when a stranger met them on the road and opened the Scriptures to them, all that changed! Jesus fixed their fallen-apart world and hope was renewed again!

Full service

00:00 Introduction
Song: Thine be the Glory
02:26 Prayer
Song: Never Alone
06:48 Children’s talk (with thanks to Kidswise; see also Big Picture Bible Crafts #89)
Song: Jesus Christ was Raised to Life
10:50 Bible reading: Luke 24:1-12
Song: All Heaven Declares
12:11 Bible reading: Luke 24:13-35
Song: In the Tomb
15:34 Sermon: Luke 24
37:38 Benediction
Song: He is Risen

‘Welcomed into God’s Kingdom’ (Luke 14:15-24)

God spreads a banquet for all peoples yet the self-righteous are unwilling to enter the kingdom. They give weak excuses to justify their unbelief and despised the sinners who came readily. Sinners who know they need a saviour enter the kingdom instead of those who rejected the invitation. Jesus tells a parable in Luke 14:15-24 that shows our need – are we willing to accept the invitation and welcome others into God’s kingdom?

‘The parable of the barren fig tree’ (Luke 13:6-9, Peter Phillips)

The parable of the barren fig tree in Luke 13:6-9 belongs to Jesus’ words at the end of Luke 12 and his response to the people who told him of the death of certain Galileans killed by Pilate’s soldiers, and continues theme of our urgent need to make our peace with God. The people of his time could interpret the signs of changing weather, but not ‘the present time’ in which showed He was their Messiah and King. Despite this, and using the news of the day, Jesus persisted in calling people everywhere and immediately to repentance.