Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Paper November 2010

The Paper – Editorial November 2010
Come and Worship

Everbody tells us we need a Plan! The motivationalists, the financial planners, the self-improvement teachers. They all quote President Roosevelt’s famous saying that “to Fail to Plan is a Plan to Fail”. But for most of us starting with a blank piece of paper is a challenge! We do not know what we do not know! We don’t know what the options are to be able to make the best choice, and so our Vision for the future is limited by our experiences from the past.
There is a little poem which used to frequently appear in autograph books which reads:
He that knoweth not, and knoweth not that he knoweth not, he is a fool, Shun him;
He that knoweth not and knoweth that he knoweth not, he is simple, Teach him;
He that knoweth and knoweth not that he knoweth, he is asleep, Wake him; but
He that knoweth and knoweth that he knoweth, he is wise, Follow him.
The Christmas Story is often epitomised in the Wise Men who came to worship the Baby Jesus. They knew what they were looking for (they had a Plan), and they knew why they were looking – they were convicted of their beliefs. Their journey did not “ just happen”. Clearly these people, perhaps astrologers, had been studying, and looking for some high level signs in the order of the Universe. Whether they understood the magnitude of their revelation or not we do not know, but clearly they were convicted to the point where they were prepared to make a Plan and follow it. We might question whether they felt fulfilled after finding “a baby”, or whether they may have expected a different manifestation of His Kingship. Was this what they had expected, and did they already know the future of this baby – to give His life to reconcile humanity to God? The story related in the Bible says that they came and worshiped Him, indicating that they knew in their own minds that their vision had been fulfilled. Not only were they convicted in following the Star, but they accepted that it led them to the right outcome. They “knew that they knew”, so, according to the poem, they were wise!
Christians, like others, need some “revelation” to get us thinking beyond our own limited experiences, to be able to come up with a visionary plan for our lives. This we find in the pages of the Bible. Often in life it is the hope, the expectation and the internal empowerment that we get from an event that confirms its validity to us rather than the immediate outcomes of the event itself. Most people come to a realisation that life is more than the physical events that occur around us. There is another dimension (perhaps the spiritual) that adds meaning and value to the things that happen around us (the physical). Christmas is one of those times when this is more apparent. Whether you believe in the Christmas Story or not, people are compelled to acknowledge a greater force of unity, concern and caring in the World around us at Christmas than at most other times during the year. To Christians this is a manifestation of the Spirit of God, and demonstrates the presence of a loving God encouraging us to Plan for a better future. When it comes to these critical issues of life, do you need shunning, teaching or waking, or are you like the Wise Men, you “know that you know”. Are you seeking in your heart and mind?
If you would like to talk more about Christian beliefs and how the events of Christmas can set a vision to encourage us to Plan for a better life here and now, as well as show us how to Plan for eternity, please come along to our Church some time (see Church Notices for dates and times), or contact a Church near you and attend over this Christmas period where someone would be only too happy to discuss these issues further.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Outline of Service 14th Novemner 2010

Church: 196 Campbell Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Outline of Service 14th November 2010

Israel - A History Lesson

Hymn 28: God’s Promises

Praise God for His watchfulness – Psalm 111:1-10

Bible Readings:
The Genesis of Israel – Genesis 17:1-8
Continuance Confirmed – 1 Chron 17:16-27
The Kingdom Divided – 1 Kings 12:1-17
Promised Return to Unity – Ezekiel 37:15-24
The Final Sealing – Revelations 7:1-8
Hold the Hope – Romans 11:1-5, 25-27, 33-36

Hymn 67: Israel’s Hope

• God chose Israel as a Special People
• There are Promises to Israel yet to be Fulfilled
• These Promises will be Fulfilled at Jesus’ Return
• Israel will live in Obedience to God’s Laws

Hymn 96: Israel’s Keeper