30 November 2014

19, (v 1, 3, 7), Ps 80, 736, 15 (v 1, 2, 5).


Isaiah 64: 1-9.
'Open the heavens and come down!' (NRSV)

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence - as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil - to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways.
But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.
Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever.
Now consider, we are all your people.


1 Corinthians 1: 3-9
'As you wait for Christ's return' (NRSV)

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind - just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you - so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


Mark 13: 24-37
'No one knows the day or the hour' (NRSV)

'Jesus said to Peter, James, John, and Andrew:'
"But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
"From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
"But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father, Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.
Therefore, keep awake - for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.
And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."

ISAIAH 64 : 1-9:
God's people had again departed from him through their own deliberate turning from him and his ways. Isaiah here prays for them. If only the Lord would show his awesome presence through the cataclysms of nature as he had done for Israel long ago!

But he won't, because the present Israel has hardened itself in its sin and become spiritually listless, and is therefore left only to sink lower into its transgression and iniquity. The final verses of this selection offer a beautiful placatory prayer that God would still change and mould them as his people.
Even though he is going to have many severe words to say in this letter, St Paul's opening greeting to the Corinthians is greatly affirmatory and encouraging. It is always important that Christians realise and remember that it is solely God's grace which has first called them to faith, established the necessary knowledge to be saved, and then distributed marked gifts to serve his purposes in his kingdom.
God for his part will faithfully continue to do this right up until the day of Jesus Christ as Christians continue in the testimony (the word) of Jesus Christ.
MARK 13: 24-37:
Once more the readings of Advent direct our attention to the end of all things in the return of our Lord. Jesus here refers to cataclysmic cosmic disturbances among the signs immediately prior to his coming. Other signs mentioned earlier in the same chapter give protracted warning that the end is impending. As nature's harbingers herald the coming summer, so believers should be reminded of the end.
As only the Father knows in his deep counsels exactly when this will occur, believers need constantly to be spiritually awake and working.

Bible readings for Sunday 7th December 2014:
Isaiah 40: 1-11, 2 Peter 3: 8-15a, Mark 1: 1-8

This week in the Lord's Service - 30th November -7th December:

1. Thursday - 2.30 pm - Advent mid-week worship service (with H.C.), followed by fellowship afternoon tea. All welcome to come along!
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 - (With Holy- Communion);

Parents please note: also Sunday School.

2. Jonathan Krause - ALWS:

Next Sunday, we welcome Jonathan Krause from ALWS who will speak at the conclusion of the worship service on the important ministry of ALWS as
a prelude to the 2014 'Christmas Action' appeal.

3. Advent Carols Service:
An Advent Carols Service for the Geelong Lutheran Community and friends will be held at St John'sSchool on Sunday 30th November on the School
Oval. Begins at 5.30pm with a Sausage Sizzle; 6.30pm start for carols service; 7.30 pm finish. Please bring along picnic rug and/or chairs and gold coin
donation for sausage sizzle.

4. 'Come, Lord Jesus' Devotions:
A booklet containing inspiring daily devotions for each day of Advent is available at the door this morning.
Each of the 29 short devotions can be read at the beginning of the day, at the close of the evening, or any time you have a few minutes to commit to God's
comfort, compassion and forgiveness. Also includes:an order of family worship and suggestions for making your household Advent Wreath. A gold coin
donation would be appreciated to recover costs. 

5. 'How We Got The Bible':
A further reminder for those members who attended either the morning or evening study sessions on 'How We Got the Bible', and wish to purchase this 'time
chart'; eleven of these resources are still available .
Cost is $6.99 each and may be obtained from Wayne Schulz at the church office.

Coming up for your diary:
Tuesday 9th December - 6.30 pm - C.C./Deacons
Thursday 11th December - 12 noon - L.F.G. breakup at home of Fay Tepper,1 Somerset Court, Bannockburn.
Sunday 15th February - A.G.M.- (after worship)