When God Came Near
In these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:1-3)
Theophanies or God encounters are often big, awesome and sometimes scary moments in the bibles’ story- after all God is awesome and holy (Isaiah 6:1-8, Ezekiel 1:1-28, Daniel 10-12, Exodus 33-34 & Revelation 10-12). People often end up on their faces and the words- “do not fear” have to be uttered a lot. There is an otherness and awesomeness to God- that is apparently a little overwhelming. That is what makes the Christmas story all the more amazing.
Matthew in his story of Jesus, speaks of an angelic figure that appears to Joseph after he becomes aware of his fiancées pregnancy. He intends to quietly divorce her but the angel told Joseph that the child, born of a virgin and would be called Emmanuel; which means “God is with us.” At Christmas we celebrate another awesome theophany. However this one comes in a “less awesome manner.” This one comes in the form of a baby- born in humble circumstances, flesh and blood dependency, in obscurity and poverty. Crying, needy and humble and yet- in this baby we no less meet the great and awesome God.
Hebrews 1:1-3; tells us that this is so- when it says that in the past God spoke in many and various ways but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son. Jesus is power wrapped in apparent weakness; came to redeem us, entering into our story to bring us into his. So let’s celebrate with awe and wonder the greatness of God revealed in Jesus. He is after all- the exact representation of his being
Grace and peace from Marcus
Invite your friends and family to our celebration of Christ’s birth.
Please join us in celebrating our Saviour’s birth with carol singing and items from our church and PlayDate kids. Please bring a plate of food for morning tea.
As we remember the timeless message of Christ’s birth, help us worship our king by joining us at our Sunday service. Note the earlier time of 9:00 am.
May God bless your Christmas day. Send an e-mail to a missionary today
Every gift to the Christmas Appeal contributes to the transformation of entire communities; helping families to bring about change that lasts for generations to come. Our Christmas day offering will be to Baptist World Aid. Give now at biggifts.org.au or phone 1300 789 991.
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” Luke 2:13-14
Please join us before each Sunday morning service at 9:15 am near the kitchen to pray for our service and kids ministries, our Cross-Cultural and Vocational workers, our home groups, Stone Fish, the Bridge Café, church growth, PlayDate, each other and the Riverstone community.
At last Sunday’s Annual General Meeting we voted to continue with our existing church servants:
Children's Ministries - Play Date, The Ark, WAVES, JAM Time
Stone Fish Youth - Years 6-12, Friday nights, 7-9pm at the church
Sermon Recordings - missed a service? download them for free from our website.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain. - 1 Corinthians 15:58
This verse begins with the word therefore, and whenever we see this word in scripture we must, according to Rick Warren ask- what is it there for? Well; Paul has just finished arguing for the resurrection. The resurrection of Christ is on the one hand, and then the hope of resurrection for those in Christ, on the other. Paul says; because of the resurrection of Jesus and our hope in him and indeed because of his victory over death itself everything is different and because everything is different Paul says; “stand firm”. Don’t get distracted. Don’t lose heart. Don’t let your faith give way- stand firm on the fact that Jesus is raised, making him King of all, and giving us an invisible hope in Him. Don’t let anything shake you Paul says. Instead give yourself fully to the work of the Lord.
This is a wonderful encouragement. If Jesus is raised from the dead, then any other task, any other god (lower case “g”), is not worthy of our time or energy what matters most is the “work of the Lord”. What is this work- anything we might do to the glory of God of course; but surely right at the guts of that work is the work of making disciples of the King. The death conquering King. We are to give ourselves fully to that work- why because such work is of eternal value- it is not in vain. Jesus was raised from the dead. So let’s be a people who give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord.
Grace and peace from Marcus