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Dec 10, 2017
Purpose of Christmas – Celebration

Some mates and I were talking over the last couple of weeks about how busy it is over the hristmas season. We are all involved in Christmas carolling events, planning extra special Sunday meetings for advent and finding presents for family and friends. On top of this we are all trying to work out the logistics of multiple Christmas gatherings with different parts of the family and different groups of friends. And then there's the decorating of trees, houses and halls. It’s all a huge effort that goes for at least a month.

During this discussion, one friend suggested that we should leave Christmas on 25 December, while moving the spiritual celebration of the birth of Jesus to some other time of year. Followers of Jesus could gather at some other time of year to sing carols and worship the newborn King of the world, the birth of our aviour. Then Christmas in December could just be about presents and family gatherings without having to worry about extra meetings and church commitments.

I think the suggestion was slightly tongue-in-cheek, but it made me think. I'm not sure that society in general would notice if we moved the spiritual celebration of the birth of Jesus. To many Christians it feels sometimes like the spiritual heart of the Christmas celebration has been lost in the middle of all the celebrating. This is why the phrase "Jesus, is the reason for the Season" has become so popular. We feel the need to remind people of what lies at the heart of this month long celebration. A celebration without a reason is futile and pointless, a pursuit of celebration. A party for it’s own sake is purposeless and shallow.

Fortunately we have the opportunity to meet together and to be reminded of what it all means. We can focus on the spiritual significance of Christmas and understand again the purpose of Jesus birth. From that understanding, deep in our souls, rises a true celebration. A true celebration of the coming together of humanity and the God of all the universe.

Join us over the next 3 weeks as we unpack the celebration, salvation and reconciliation of this event that redefined humanity, history and hope.

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  • Dec 10, 2017Purpose of Christmas – Celebration
    Dec 10, 2017
    Purpose of Christmas – Celebration

    Some mates and I were talking over the last couple of weeks about how busy it is over the hristmas season. We are all involved in Christmas carolling events, planning extra special Sunday meetings for advent and finding presents for family and friends. On top of this we are all trying to work out the logistics of multiple Christmas gatherings with different parts of the family and different groups of friends. And then there's the decorating of trees, houses and halls. It’s all a huge effort that goes for at least a month.

    During this discussion, one friend suggested that we should leave Christmas on 25 December, while moving the spiritual celebration of the birth of Jesus to some other time of year. Followers of Jesus could gather at some other time of year to sing carols and worship the newborn King of the world, the birth of our aviour. Then Christmas in December could just be about presents and family gatherings without having to worry about extra meetings and church commitments.

    I think the suggestion was slightly tongue-in-cheek, but it made me think. I'm not sure that society in general would notice if we moved the spiritual celebration of the birth of Jesus. To many Christians it feels sometimes like the spiritual heart of the Christmas celebration has been lost in the middle of all the celebrating. This is why the phrase "Jesus, is the reason for the Season" has become so popular. We feel the need to remind people of what lies at the heart of this month long celebration. A celebration without a reason is futile and pointless, a pursuit of celebration. A party for it’s own sake is purposeless and shallow.

    Fortunately we have the opportunity to meet together and to be reminded of what it all means. We can focus on the spiritual significance of Christmas and understand again the purpose of Jesus birth. From that understanding, deep in our souls, rises a true celebration. A true celebration of the coming together of humanity and the God of all the universe.

    Join us over the next 3 weeks as we unpack the celebration, salvation and reconciliation of this event that redefined humanity, history and hope.

  • Dec 3, 2017Love Like Jesus 3 – Breaking Bread
    Dec 3, 2017
    Love Like Jesus 3 – Breaking Bread
    How is it that anyone can ‘forget to eat’? It’s not uncommon for my entire day to be planned around eating. I love food, and I especially love when it’s good. When I’m visiting a new place or booking a holiday, one of my favourite things to do is to research potential food destinations and add them to my must-try list (I have an actual, physical list FYI). Call me crazy, but one of the best things that could happen on one of my food-ventures is turning up to a new, thoroughly researched restaurant or cafe, that has a line! If it’s worth lining up for, it’s worthy of my consumption. Maybe it’s a little sad, but good food brings me a whole lot of joy. And I feel like I’m totally justified in my passion for good food. Luke 7:34 tells us that, “The Son of Man came eating and drinking,” so it’s even biblical! I’m just trying to be more like Jesus. Alright, so maybe that’s a little out of context, but Jesus did take every opportunity he could to break bread with people. And I too am absolutely certain that food is so much better shared. My food-ventures wouldn’t be half as fun if I didn’t get to sit across from someone exclaiming how delicious my meal was. See, when we eat with people, we engage with people. We connect as we meet our common need to be fed and nourished. As Jesus ate with people he showed what it means to truly share the kingdom of God with everyone. As the early church ate with one another, they showed what it truly means to live in a kingdom community. We’re living in a time where technology has made us more connected than ever, but it’s also enabled so many of us to live at a distance. Personal, intentional and deep fellowship with other people is more important than ever.
  • Nov 26, 2017Love Like Jesus 2 – Wash Feet
    Nov 26, 2017
    Love Like Jesus 2 – Wash Feet
    I’ve got some great friends; friends who would probably do almost anything for me. However, about this time 15 years ago, when I was very, very pregnant with my twin girls, one of my friends went far beyond what I would consider to be an acceptable level of kindness. At a time when I was so pregnant that I hadn’t even seen my feet for months, she turned up to my door announcing that she was going to give me a pedicure. My first reaction was, ‘No Way!’ Feet are gross! Wel

    l, my feet are gross. I actually feel bad on those occasions when I hand over money to someone for a pedicure, even when it’s their business to touch my feet. Yet my friend insisted that the thongs I had been living in were no longer an option while my feet looked as bad as they did. I gave in, and as she proceeded to fix my feet I really did know, without a doubt, that this friend loved me. Some may have thought that her love for me was shown most clearly when she asked me to be her bridesmaid a few years later, but for me, this humble act of fixing my worn feet was the truest gift of love.

    Love acts! Love isn’t just a feeling. Jesus constantly shocked people with irrational acts of love. John’s gospel says that Jesus loved his disciples completely, and demonstrated this by kneeling down and washing their feet. This was a low, humiliating and filthy task - their feet would have been way more gross than mine after continually walking on dusty roads in primitive sandals. This was normally a job for the lowest servant. Jesus, however, continually loved people by humbly serving them.

    Join us as we take a look at this acted parable, and continue to better learn how to love like
    Jesus.

  • Nov 19, 2017Love Like Jesus 1 – Forgiveness
    Nov 19, 2017
    Love Like Jesus 1 – Forgiveness

    'Jesus loves you!’ It’s a phrase scrawled on signs, graffititied onto walls and painted on banners. In my church growing up it was the primary message that we tried hard to communicate to everyone we could.

    Of course, there's no point speaking one message and living another. The real challenge is to “love like Jesus.” This challenge but can seem a bit vague. What does it actually mean? When someone says, ‘Jesus loves you,’ do they simply mean that Jesus feels warm and fuz

    zy when he thinks about you? When I am challenged to ‘love like Jesus’ am I supposed to feel warm and fuzzy about people? The reality is that there's no way I'm going to feel like that all the time.

    Over the next three weeks we are going to consider three concrete ways in which Jesus acted out love for people; radical forgiveness, radical humility and radical hospitality.

    Tune in as we learn from Jesus example, and are encouraged to love like he does by forgiving like he does. #welovesundays #lovelikejesus#forgiveness

  • Nov 12, 2017Find The Hope
    Nov 12, 2017
    Find The Hope
    Series: Unfair
    A couple of years ago, I had all of my wisdom teeth removed. I wasn’t excited about the operation, but went ahead with it to avoid the potential future pain that could come if I dismissed my doctor’s advice. I was prepared for the fact that my mouth was going to be sore. I needed several stitches, so I assumed I’d be in a bit of discomfort. What I was not prepared for was the amount of swelling that would follow the surgery. A couple of hours after the operation, I looked like a human chipmunk. My cheeks were so swollen that I was almost unrecognisable - I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I looked in the mirror. 3 days later, I still looked like a pufferfish. The only thing that made me feel better that week was scrolling back through old photos to remind myself that my face was actually normal once, and would eventually be restored to its less-puffy self. At least that’s what I hoped.

    After a week, I returned for a follow up with my dental surgeon. My cheeks were still ginormous, my mouth still hurt and my tongue was still partially numb, so you can imagine how good I was feeling. The surgeon however, was stoked. Apparently, the healing process was going ‘perfectly’ and he promised a full recovery if I continued to follow his plan. I was slightly less miserable knowing that my doctor was sure I’d be ok, even though I still looked awful.

    Sometimes it’s hard for us to see beyond our present circumstance and find hope in seemingly hopeless situations. I was convinced my swollen face was my new reality at that time (ok, maybe I’d also had a few too many pain killers), but looking back reminded me of what my face was actually suppose to look like, and the promise of recovery from my doctor gave me hope. The prophet Habakkuk gives us examples of what we can do to find hope despite our situation. God did not give Habakkuk the solutions to all of his problems, but by remembering what God had done and trusting in what God would do, he could live with a ‘no matter what’ type of faith.