Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost
16 November 2014
A warm welcome to our Public Divine Service this morning. (Non Holy- Communion), especially to family, witnesses and friends of Levi Jameson Trofin, son of Steven and Dannielle, who is to be baptised into God's Holy Family.
THIS MORNING'S HYMN'S OF PRAISE:
826, 829, 855, 490, 793.
FIRST BIBLE READING:
Judges 4: 1-7 'Deborah, one of the judges' (GNB)
After (the Judge) Ehud died, the people of Israel sinned against the Lord again. So the Lord let them be conquered by Jabin, a Canaanite king who ruled in the city of Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived at Harosheth-of-the-Gentiles. Jabin had nine hundred iron chariots, and he ruled the people of Israel with cruelty and violence for twenty years. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help.
Now Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophetess, and she was serving as a judge for the Israelites at that time. She would sit under a certain palm tree between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel would go there for her decisions.
One day she sent for Barak son of Abinoam from the city of Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, 'The Lord, the God of Israel, has given you this command: "Take ten thousand men from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them to Mount Tabor.
I will bring Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, to fight you at the Kishon River. He will have his chariots and soldiers, but I will give you victory over him'".
SECOND BIBLE READING:
1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11
'Be ready for the Lord's coming' (GNB)
There is no need to write to you, brothers and sisters, about the times and occasions when these things will happen. For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief comes at night.
When people say, 'Everything is quiet and safe', then suddenly destruction will hit them! It will come as suddenly as the pains that come upon a woman in labour, and people will not escape. But you are not in the darkness, and the Day should not take you by surprise like a thief. All of you are people who belong to the light, who belong to the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
So then, we should not be sleeping like the others; we should be awake and sober. It is at night that people sleep; it is at night that they get drunk. But we belong to the day, and we should be sober.
We must wear faith and love as a breastplate, and our hope of salvation as a helmet. God did not choose us to suffer his anger, but to possess salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us in order that we might live together with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. And so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are doing now
Matthew 25: 14-30 The parable of the talents '
'At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there was a man who was about to go on a journey; he called his servants and put them in charge of his property. He gave to each one according to his ability: to one he gave five thousand gold coins, to another he gave two thousand, to another he gave one thousand.
Then he left on his journey. The servant who had received five thousand coins went at once and invested his money and earned another five thousand.
In the same way the servant who had received two thousand coins earned another two thousand. But the servant who had received one thousand coins went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master's money.
'After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The servant who had received five thousand coins came in and handed over the other five thousand. "You gave me five thousand coins, sir", he said. "Look! Here are another five thousand that I have earned". "Well done, you good and faithful servant!" said his master. "You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!"
Then the servant who had been given two thousand coins came in and said, "You gave me two thousand coins, sir. Look! Here are another two thousand that I have earned". "Well done, you good and faithful servant!" said his master. "You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!"
Then the servant who had received one thousand coins came in and said, "Sir, I know you are a hard man; you reap harvests where you did not plant, and you gather crops where you did not scatter seed. I was afraid, so I went off and hid your money in the ground.
Look! Here is what belongs to you". "You wicked and lazy servant!" his master said. "You knew, did you, that I reap harvests where I did not plant, and gather crops where I did not scatter seed?
Well, then, you should have deposited my money in the bank, and I would have received it all back with interest when I returned. Now, take the money away from him and give it to the one who has ten thousand coins.
For to every person who has something, even more will be given, and he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing, even the little that he has will be taken away from him.
As for this useless servant - throw him outside in the darkness; there he will cry and gnash his teeth"'.
NOTES ON THE READINGS:
JUDGES 4: 1-7:
For two to three hundred years after the entry into Canaan, the tribes of Israel had no formal unified government. Despite God's warnings through Moses and Joshua, there were periodic dalliances with the cultic idol worship of surrounding peoples. At those times the surrounding kings with the advantage of iron-age weaponry were able to either capture, control or harass portions of the nation.
The judges were charismatic-like leaders whom God raised both to recall Israel to repentant faithfulness and to lead the tribes into liberating military victory, often miraculously.
Deborah was one such judge. In this account she not only acted as an arbitrating judge, but assumed a role of prophetic leadership to instigate military action.
MATTHEW 25: 14-30:
All believers are given abilities and opportunities by God to carry out his work in the Kingdom. Some are given more outstanding gifts (talents) and some are given perhaps simpler gifts (yet important to God) (1 talent). In the parable the two who were given five talents and two talents respectively each bring back double what they were given. Even though the one brought back more than twice the amount of the other, they are both rewarded equally.
God's reward is purely of grace, therefore, but it is apportioned according to their faithfulness, which was equal. The man who hid his talent lacked trust and faithfulness.
Any return he might have brought would have averted the Lord's rejection.
Bible readings for Sunday 23rd November 2014:
Ezekial 34:11-16, 20-24,Ephessians 1: 15-23,Matt. 25: 31-46.
This week in the Lord's Service - 16th - 23rd November:
1. This morning - Sunday School.
Tuesday - 12.30 pm - Kaffeestunde
Friday - 9.30 am - Worship Team
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 - (H.C) followed by our 2015 Elections meeting.
2. Sophie Keller - Holy Baptism:
Next Sunday, we welcome Sophie Annabelle Keller, daughter of Brian and Penny, who is to be baptised into God's Holy Family.
3. District Convention 2014:
Our two delegates Graeme Huf and Mark Gerhardy are to present a brief report on the recent District Convention after worship on Sunday, 30th Nov.
4. 'How we got the Bible':
For those members who attended either the recent morning or evening study sessions on 'How We Got the Bible', and wish to purchase a pamphlet, 12 of these are now to hand. Cost is $6.99 each and
may be obtained from Wayne Schulz.
5. Nominations/Elections 2015:
Many thanks to those members who nominated to serve during 2015, we are indeed blessed by the response. The "Proposed Office Holders 2015" and the supplementary listings have been emailed to
members. For those members who do not have internet access, copies of these listings will be available from the church front foyer to take home this morning and in both instances with an invitation
to nominees to look over as to whether these are as intended. If there are any adjustment/s to be made or whereby any voting member (confirmed -18 + years) may wish to add to these nominations, this might be
made known to the church office no later than Wednesday 19th November. Voting members are reminded that nominations may also be made for any positions at the Elections meeting next Sunday.
6. G.L.C. - Office Manager 2015:
Geelong Lutheran College is seeking an Office Manager, commencing 2015. Please see notice board near kitchen for further information.
Applications close Friday 21st November.
Coming up for your diary:
Friday 28th November - 6.30 pm - YPQ&A.
Thursday 4th December - 2.30 pm - Advent worship service (with H.C.), followed by fellowship afternoon tea.
Tuesday 9th December - 6.30 pm - Church Council
Sunday 7th December - Sunday School
Sunday 15th February - A.G.M. - (after worship).
2015 Lenten Devotional booklets:
Final reminder that currently there are still three reflections (from quota of 10), to be allocated from 'Our Redeemer 'for the 2015 Lenten devotional booklets.
If anyone would like to contribute a reflection for this booklet, kindly let Wayne Schulz know at the earliest, as contributions are to be received at the church office
no later than this Monday (17th November).
RBC Ministries 'Our Daily Bread ' - daily devotions December – February 2015:
Members are encouraged to pick up a "Our Daily Bread" devotional booklet from the church front foyer to take home this Sunday. Members may also
wish to take the opportunity to subscribe to these devotionals by completing the 'sign up' slip inside, which will be mailed direct.