PARISH NEWS REFLECTION – Luke 3:1-6 Preparing for Christmas
We all work hard preparing to celebrate the coming of Jesus the king at Christmas. We might have family coming to stay with us which means cleaning out spare rooms. We might have a special meal with friends or family which require planning, shopping, and cooking. We need to think about gifts to buy, holiday plans to make, finances to get in order. Christmas requires lots of preparation. In Advent, the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas, our focus is on preparing our hearts and our minds to celebrate again Jesus coming as the child in Bethlehem, but it is also about us preparing to receive Jesus when he returns. Today’s reading picks up on the ministry of John the Baptist preparing the way for the Lord. Here is an outline.
1. Preparing the barren land for the coming of God’s king:
a. The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord’ (4)
b. Make his paths straight.
c. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth (5)
2. Preparing dry hearts to receive God’s king:
a. The word of God came to John, son of Zechariah in the wilderness (2)
b. He went… proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins
c. What preparation do we need?
To Think About: Is there some sinful thing in your life you have often wanted to change, but you just can’t seem to find victory over it? Bring it to God and ask him to prepare you.
OUR HYMNS FOR THIS SUNDAY
MP 75 Christ is surely coming
TIS 286 Light one candle for hope
MP 457 Make way, make way for Christ the King
MP 442 Lord of the church
TIS 270 On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
SUNDAY EVENING SERVICE – TONIGHT @ 6pm
A reminder that the monthly evening service is TONIGHT @ 6pm. This service is a more relaxed service with more contemporary style of music with a music group leading the worship. We hope to see you there.
GIFTS FOR OUR CHRISTMAS TREE
Please bring unwrapped toys and books for children and leave under the Christmas tree BY NO LATER THAN 19 DECEMBER. These will be distributed as usual by the Andrews Centre.
CHRISTMAS NIGHT MARKET Saturday, 11 December, 6-10pm
Bring your family! Bring your friends! Bring your neighbours! to our Night Market. A large array of delicious food stalls as well as cakes, jams & pickles, books & CD’s, gifts, plants, a raffle and lots more! There will be musical entertainment, as well as some carol singing. Please note this is a ‘cash only’ event.
MONDAY MEALS CHRISTMAS – 13 December
Our final Monday meals for the year will be on 13 December, in the church garden. Our guests are already excited at the thought of sitting together at tables again. We would appreciate your prayers for the weather and for a meal together that is steeped in the joy of the gift of Jesus to us all. As always, any contributions from our St James community of wrapped sweets, chocolates, chips shortbreads or mince pies would be fantastic. There is a box at the back of the church to leave them. Last day to donate is 12 December. Thanks, Ros Daniel.
CHURCH SAUSAGE SIZZLE AND CAROLS
On Sunday 19 December we want to gather the church community together for an evening Picnic/Sausage sizzle on the front lawn followed by a simple Carol Service in the church. Keep the date free.
FROM THE ARCHIVES - JANUARY 1999
Farewell to Ian Morrison -Today we say Farewell to two very special people. Ian and Lorraine have been part of our Parish for the last three years. Ian started first as Curate and ended as Assistant Priest of St James. On Wednesday, 3rd February, Ian Morrison will be commissioned as Priest in Charge of the Parish of North Frankston. The service will be held at St Luke’s Carrum Downs. We assure Ian and Lorraine of our loving prayers as they begin this new ministry. Congratulations to Alma Yeaman - Our warmest congratulations to Alma on receiving The Citizen of the Year Award for the City of Casey. This award will be announced on Australia Day. Alma Well Done.
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; Margaret; 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 Anglican Church of Burundi; Theological Colleges, Church Schools & Church Kindergartens; Church of the Ascension Springvale; All Saints’ Kooyong; St Andrew’s Aberfeldie; Red Door, Caroline Springs; St Mark’s Emerald; Archbishop Philip and all our Bishops in their ministry this week.
LAWN MOWING ROSTER:
11 December: David & Marg
18 December: Heinz & Vic
READINGS FOR NEXT SUNDAY: 12 December, 3 rd Sunday of Advent
Zepahaniah 3:14-20; Song of Isaiah; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18.