Seventh Sunday after Epiphany
This morning's sermon:
' The best gifts God has are for everyone'
(Matthew 5: 38-48)
23 February 2014
¯ THIS MORNING'S SONG'SOF PRAISE:
501, 356, 179, 877.
FIRST BIBLE READING:
Leviticus 19:1, 2, 9-18
'Be holy - the Lord is God'
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.
You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another. And you shall not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God: I am the Lord.
You shall not defraud your neighbour; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a labourer until morning. You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God:
I am the Lord. You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbour.
You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbour: I am the Lord. You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbour, or you will incur guilt yourself.
You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord.
SECOND BIBLE READING:
1 Corinthians 3: 10-11, 16-23;
Built on Christ alone - God's wisdom
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid;
Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.
Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness," and again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile."
So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future - all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
Matthew 5: 38-48
'Loving your enemies'
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer.
But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
NOTES ON THE READINGS:
1 CORINTHIANS 3: 10,11,16-23:
Beset by false teachers who supplanted the gospel with their own self-styled 'knowledge', the Corinthians also split into different groups following and acclaiming one favoured preacher/teacher whom they pitted against the others.
Paul reminds them that all their ministers had simply served God's purpose to build the members into a spiritual body that he compares to a building, ie a temple. He himself had laid the only foundation which can be laid, namely by preaching Christ and his gospel alone. Their subsequent ministers built further on that foundation. Therefore no one should destroy that temple either by false teaching or by division.
Everyone and everything they had received for their salvation was their possession through Christ from God.
MATTHEW 5: 38-48:
Jesus here calls on his followers to be imitators of God in their response to evil, rather than modelling their perfection on popularly accepted human models. God made salvation freely available to the very worst of sinners at his own expense in the person of his Son. The Christian's response to evil in all the examples of this section is not to respond to evil by returning it in kind, but rather to bear it. Christian love also follows the Lord's own example of prayer for those who were crucifying him. Love is always extended regardless of accepted human friendship patterns.
Bible readings for Sunday 2nd March 2014:
Deut. 8: 7-18,
2 Corinthians 9: 6-15,
Luke 17: 11-19.
This week in the Lord's Service - 23rd Feb - 2nd March:
Wednesday - 4.30 pm - Confirmation class.
Saturday - 10.00 am - 11.00 am - 'Sing - along' time for those who wish to learn songs for the Sunday.
Saturday - 11.00 am to 12 noon - Choir practice.
Next Sunday - 9.30 am - Thanksgiving Public Divine service - (Non - Communion).
Members are encouraged to bring along garden produce and non- perishable food for display at the church altar. Leftover produce to be
made available to 'Give Where You Live' and non- perishable food donated to Uniting Care Geelong
2. Baptism of Pippa Richmond:
Next Sunday, we welcome Pippa, daughter of Sonya and Simon Richmond through baptism into God's Holy Family.
3. 'God's Gift of Forgiveness' booklet:
The 2014 daily devotional resource booklet 'God's Gift of Forgiveness' for Lent and Easter is now available from member's church boxes to take
home. Any donation to assist with their cost would be most welcome and may be passed onto Treasurer Phil. Also available from the hall table are a number
of free previous Lenten devotion booklets which members are most welcome to take home.
4. Geelong Lutheran College:
Geelong Lutheran College is holding Twilight Tours of its facilities at 5.30 pm, 6.00 pm, 6.30 pm and 7.00 pm on Thursday 20th March as well as an Open
Morning led by students between 9.30 am and 12noon on Friday 21st March. For further information, please see note board near kitchen.
5. Free Suicide Prevention Workshop:
Wesley Life-force will be conducting a Suicide Prevention Workshop at Mercure Geelong Hotel - Otway Room, Cnr Gheringhap & Myers St,
Geelong on Tuesday 11th March 2014, from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm. There is no charge to attend the workshop. he training is open to community members
aged over 18 years. Please see notice board near kitchen for further information.
Coming up for your diary:
Thursday 13th March - 10.30 am - Ladies F'ship.
Friday 14th March - 9.30 am - Worship Team.
Tuesday 18th March - 12.30 pm - Kaffeestunde.
Tuesday 1st April - 7.30 pm - Deacons.
Tuesday 29th April - 7.00 pm - Combined meeting of Church Council, Deacons. Worship Team and other interested members, (including those persons
involved and interested in our Youth Ministry) re vision for future spiritual direction of 'Our Redeemer'
Below are some items previously announced of interest to members.!
• 'John the Baptist' - Sermon Series:
Pastor Lester has made available in booklet form, the complete sermon series of 'John the Baptist' - No Greater Prophet'. If anyone would like a copy,
please contact the church office in person or by email: administration@ourredeemer- geelong.org
• 2014 Lenten Worship Services:
Ash Wednesday 5th March - 11.00 am - Our Redeemer' - 7.30 pm - St John's Yarra St.
Wednesday 12th March - 11.00 am - St Paul's Grovedale - 7.30 pm - St John's .Yarra St.
Wednesday 19th March - 11.00 am - 'Our Redeemer' - 7.30 pm - St John's Yarra St.
Wednesday 26th March - 11.00 am - St Paul's Grovedale - 7.30 pm - St John's Yarra St.
Wednesday 2nd April - 11.00 am - 'Our Redeemer' - 7.30 pm - St John's Yarra St.
Wednesday 9th April - 11.00 am- St Paul's Grovedale - 7.30 pm - St John's Yarra St.
• 'Sharing Table' - From 2nd March:
Commencing from Sunday, 2nd March, a 'Sharing Table', will be available in the church hall for members to donate and purchase garden produce
with proceeds to Australian Lutheran World Service and left-over produce given to 'Give Where You Live'.
• Thanksgiving Worship Service:
Our annual service of Thanksgiving will take place on Sunday 2nd March.
Members are encouraged to bring along garden produce and non- perishable food for display at the church altar. Leftover produce to be made available
to 'Give Where You Live' and non- perishable food donated to Uniting Care Geelong.