Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost
9 November 2014
THIS MORNING'S SONG'S OF PRAISE:
235, 309, 540, 167 (V 1, 4), 85.
FIRST BIBLE READING:
Joshua 24: 1-3a, 14-25
'Israel promises to serve the Lord' (GNB)
Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem. He called the elders, the leaders, the judges, and the officers of Israel, and they came into the presence of God. Joshua said to all the people, 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has to say: "Long ago your ancestors lived on the other side of the Euphrates River and worshipped other gods.
One of those ancestors was Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor. Then I took Abraham, your ancestor, from the land across the Euphrates and led him through the whole land of Canaan..."
'Now then', Joshua continued, 'honor the Lord, and serve him sincerely and faithfully. Get rid of the gods which your ancestors used to worship in Mesopotamia and in Egypt, and serve only the Lord.
If you are not willing to serve him, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your ancestors worshipped in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are now living. As for my family and me, we will serve the Lord'.
The people replied, 'We would never leave the Lord to serve other gods! The Lord our God brought our fathers and us out of slavery in Egypt, and we saw the miracles that he performed.
He kept us safe wherever we went among all the nations through which we passed. As we advanced into this land, the Lord drove out all the Amorites who lived here. So we also will serve the Lord; he is our God'.
Joshua said to the people, 'But you may not be able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God and will not forgive your sins. He will tolerate no rivals, and if you leave him to serve foreign gods, he will turn against you and punish you. He will destroy you, even though he was good to you before'.
The people said to Joshua, 'No!' We will serve the Lord'.
Joshua told them, 'You are your own witnesses to the fact that you have chosen to serve the Lord'.
'Yes', they said, 'we are witnesses'.
'Then get rid of those foreign gods that you have', he demanded, 'and pledge your loyalty to the Lord, the God of Israel'.
The people then said to Joshua, 'We will serve the Lord our God. We will obey his commands'.
So Joshua made a covenant for the people that day, and there at Shechem he gave them laws and rules to follow.
SECOND BIBLE READING:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
'Questions about the Lord's coming' (NIV)
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like those who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.
'Parable of the wise and foolish girls '
Jesus said: 'At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there were ten girls who took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish, and the other five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any extra oil with them, while the wise ones took containers full of oil for their lamps. The bridegroom was late in coming, so the girls began to nod and fall asleep.
'It was already midnight when the cry rang out,
"Here is the bridegroom! Come and meet him!" The ten girls woke up and trimmed their lamps. Then the foolish ones said to the wise ones, "Let us have some of your oil, because our lamps are going out". "No, indeed", the wise ones answered, "there is not enough for you and for us.
Go to the store and buy some for yourselves".
So the foolish girls went off to buy some oil; and while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived.
The five girls who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was closed.
'Later the other girls arrived. "Sir, sir! Let us in!" they cried out. "Certainly not! I don't know you", the bridegroom answered. And Jesus concluded, 'Watch out, then, because you do not know the day or the hour'.
NOTES ON THE READINGS:
JOSHUA 24: 1-3a,14-25:
After the people of Israel had settled in Canaan, Joshua could see that their covenant made by God at Sinai needed renewal. On calling the people together at Shechem he offered them the choice of whom they would serve, the gods of the peoples surrounding them, or the Lord who had formed them as a nation and brought them to the land of promise. Unless obedience were given from a willing heart, it would not be meaningful or lasting. Joshua's discouragement of their profession of willingness was to stop a shallow and false piety offering an easy and shallow commitment which would in time collapse.
To ascribe the same power and majesty to the Baals of Canaan which belonged only to the God of Israel alone would be a sin that would bring destruction upon themselves. Their ultimate answer led to a renewed sealing of the covenant which God had made with them.
1 THESSALONIANS 4: 13-18:
Paul here reassures new Christians who were worried that those who had died since he had first preached the gospel to them would not meet the Lord at his second coming.
He states quite clearly that those who have died in faith will accompany Jesus when he comes to be joined by those who are still alive on the earth. Note that it is the word of the Lord which precipitates this great event. The sound of the trumpet of God could be describing the same exercise of power.
MATTHEW 25: 1-13:
In this parable the 'bridegroom' represents the Messiah and the 'maidens' represent professing Christians. That they all slumbered indicates the unexpectedness of the Lord's coming. That the five who had no oil were shut out from the feast teaches that there is a proper time for spiritual preparedness which cannot be put off. The 'wise' were unable to share their oil not because they were selfish, but because it is an unalterable reality that each believer can only believe and act for him- or herself.
Bible readings for Sunday 16th November 2014:
Judges 4: 1-7, 1 Thess. 5 1-11, Matthew 25: 14-30.
4. Family of Christa Mol:
May God, with His mighty presence, comfort Traute
and George Wolf and family as they mourn the
passing of Christa this week. (Funeral service at
2.00 pm tomorrow (10th November) at East Geelong
Uniting Church, 195 Ormond Road).
This week in the Lord's Service – 9th - 16th November:
1. This morning - Nominations Committee meets.
Thursday - 10.30 am - Ladies Fellowship Group
Saturday - 10.00 am - 11.00 am - 'Sing - along' time. 11.00 am to 12 noon - Choir practice.
Next Sunday - 9.30 am - Public Divine service - (Non Holy- Communion).
Parents please note: Also Sunday School.
2. Levi Trofin - Holy Baptism:
Next Sunday, we welcome Levi Jameson Trofin into God's Holy Family through Holy Baptism.
3. Lenten devotional booklets 2015:
There are now just three (of 10) reflections from 'Our Redeemer' still to be allocated. If anyone would like to be a contributor, please contact Wayne Schulz, in person,
or phone 03 52 782443, or (email) administration@ourredeemer- geelong.org
Completed reflections should be presented to the church office, no later than 17th November.
4. Vacancy 2015 - St John's School:
St John's Lutheran School is seeking a part- time Specialist Music Teacher from term1 2015.
Please see notice board for further information.
Applications close Friday 14th November.
Coming up for your diary:
Tuesday 18th November - 12.30 pm - Kaffeestunde
Friday 21st November - 9.30 am - Worship Team
Sunday 23rd November - 2015 Elections meeting
Thursday 4th December - 2.30 pm - Mid-week worship service (with H.C.), followed by fellowship afternoon tea.
Tuesday 9th December - 6.30 pm - Church Council.
"HOW WE GOT THE BIBLE":
For those members who attended either the recent morning or evening study sessions on 'How We Got The Bible', 12 of the pamphlets showing the time line of key
events in the history of the Bible have now been received. For those members who may have indicated they wished to have this pamphlet, the price is $6.99 each
and may be obtained from Wayne Schulz at the church office.