PARISH NEWS REFLECTION – Luke 1:39-55 “Nothing is Impossible with God!”
If there was anything that you could ask God for at Christmas, what would it be? Do you think He would give it to you? Maybe you think it is too difficult even for God to do? Is anything too hard for God to do? As we look at today’s reading, we are led to the same conclusion that the Angel Gabriel had when he said to Mary, “for nothing will be impossible with God” (37). If God chooses to, he can make the impossible happen. In today’s reading from Luke’s gospel, we see three apparent impossibilities. 1. A pregnant virgin? – Mary (1:26-38) a. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you (35). b. Mary’s faith and obedience: “let it be with me according to your word”. c. “For nothing will be impossible with God” – the angel Gabriel (37) 2. New life in a “dead” womb? - Elizabeth (1:39-45) a. This is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren (36,39) b. As soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy (44) c. Elizabeth blesses Mary: “Blessed are you among women” (41-45) 3. The “Most High” who lifts up the “most lowly”? – Mary’s song 1:46-56 a. God has brought down the powerful and has lifted up the lowly (47-53) b. God keeps his promises forever (54-56) To Think About: God is the God of the impossible. Is there something impossible you need him to do for you?
OUR HYMNS FOR THIS SUNDAY
MP 697 Thou didst leave thy throne
TIS 286 Light one candle
MP 162 From heaven you came
TIS 302 The angel Gabriel from heaven came
TIS 161 Tell out my Soul
GIFTS FOR OUR CHRISTMAS TREE TODAY
is your last opportunity to bring unwrapped toys and books for children and leave under the Christmas tree. These will be distributed as usual by the Andrews Centre.
CHURCH SAUSAGE SIZZLE AND CAROLS - TONIGHT THIS EVENING
we will gather our church community together for a Picnic /Sausage sizzle on the front lawn followed by a simple Carol Service in the church.
NEW COVID RULES
In accordance with the Premier’s announcement last Wednesday, all services will now be open to all people without distinction of vaccination status. This means the 4pm Sunday service and previously advertised 9pm Christmas Eve service will not be held. QR code check-in is still required.
NOTICE OF SERVICES OVER CHRISTMAS
Christmas Eve Dec 24:
7pm Family Eucharist
11pm Traditional Christmas Eve Eucharist
Saturday Dec 25:
9am Christmas Day Eucharist with Bishop Paul Barker
Sunday Dec 26:
9am Service (Only ONE service in place of 8am & 10am)
Friday Dec 31:
11pm Watchnight Service
Sunday Jan 2:
8am & 10am services (no 6pm service)
Boxing Day: Sunday 26 December there will be just ONE-morning service at 9am. New Year’s Eve: There will be a watch-night service at 11pm on New Year’s Eve. Invite your friends and see in the New Year with prayer and sacrament.
2 UNCLAIMED RAFFLE PRIZES
Parishioners, please check your tickets for the following numbers: A74 (purple) and B68 (blue). Thank you to everyone who supported this raffle. Michael Willis
OUR CMS MISSIONARY
Please remember to pray and support our CMS missionary, Zoe Creelman as she prepares to head to Arnhem Land at the beginning of 2022. Her profile can be found at: cms.org.au/missionaries/zoe-creelman.
SUMMER UNDER THE SUN (SUTS)
CMS is again running ‘Summer Under the Sun’ (SUTS) from 13-15 January 2022. More details https://www.cms.org.au/vic/get-involved/exploring-mission/mentac-victoria/
THANK YOU FROM THE MONDAY MEALS TEAM
On Monday our guests had a Christmas feast sitting around tables set out in our spectacular garden. It was the first time in many months they had sat at tables together with meals served on plates. The excitement was palpable. Thank you, St James community, for your prayers, your words of encouragement and your kind food contributions. They made all the difference. It was a happy day. Members of the local police force served meals and jugs of cordial to our hot guests and shared jokes with them. Our Rotary friends manned the morning tea and the dessert stations. Thanks to our team from St James...Jean, Marien, Lorraine, Bhavani. And to Chris, who cooked all the beautiful ham and pork. And of course to Graeme and Jane for your examples of servanthood leadership. Many of our guests have had a lonely and uncertain year. I couldn’t count the number of people who mentioned on Monday that sitting together again and sharing a meal gave them hope for the year ahead. To help bring people hope at Christmas time is a privilege indeed. Thank you St James community for making this possible. ‘For the Lord is a great God’ Psalm 95
OUR PARISH HALL
The Parish Hall is finished and available again for use from this weekend. We wish to express our profound gratitude to Margo Hartley for her generous donation and her oversight of this renovation. It has produced an extraordinary result with a fresh new Heritage look. There will be an official re-dedication early next year.
MISPLACED TABLE CLOTHS
10 Red checked table cloths have been misplaced over the COVID period. If anyone knows of their location, please contact Kaye on 0490 090 507. Thank you.
PLEASE REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS
We pray for those who are sick or troubled in body or mind, or who have special needs: (Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact clergy for prayers for anyone who is in need of them). This week we continue to pray for: Mike; Mark; Hazel; Clovis; Rose; Rhonda; Tim. If you have placed a name in the Book for Prayers, please remove anyone who no longer needs them. Alternatively, email the office. We also pray for: The Church of the Province of Central Africa; The Diocese of Gippsland; Police Force Chaplains and members of the Police Force; St Mark's Templestowe; Confirmation @ St Philip’s Collingwood; St Alban’s the Martyr; Archbishop Philip and all our Bishops in their ministry this week.
LAWN MOWING ROSTER 2022:
8 January: Oyem & Rob
15 January: Rusty & Tyrone
READINGS FOR NEXT SUNDAY: 26 December, 1st Sunday after Christmas
1 Samuel 2:18-20,26; Psalm 148; Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:41-52.