Second Sunday in Advent – Peace
Today is the Second Sunday in Advent. This week as I read the lectionary readings (which are printed each week in the bulletins), I really had a sense that I was moving towards something very special and significant. I love the journey that the Christian Church takes us on in Advent – in this time of waiting and preparation for Christmas. Amid the media hype and commercial garish glitz of Christmas, the Christian Church holds fast to a counter cultural focus on Christmas that point us to a loving God who took a radical and risky option to become ONE OF US. What an amazing and crazy choice that was! What a brilliant gift we’ve been given. So join this advent journey. We begin each worship service by lighting the Advent candles and each week another theme is represented:- last week we emphasized HOPE and this week we are focused on PEACE.
The signs of Christmas are all around us and last night we hosted in partnership with Youth With A Mission a wonderful Community Carols evening. I must thank all the workers and volunteers who assisted. Another partner in the Carols event is the Ashmore Rotary Club and we thank them for their commitment to serving the local community as they cooked up hundreds and hundreds of sausages. The Ashmore State School has also been very generous and supportive as we have conducted our 4th Community Carols on their premises and the involvement of the School choir continues to increase. I believe that our “reaching out, changing lives” vision continues to drive us forward in mission to the community around us. All to the Glory of God.
In the past week, we’ve been able to thank and acknowledge the work and ministry of our Kids Hope Aus mentors and prayer partners and on Friday our Playgroup celebrated the conclusion of another year. Our Coordinator Liz Martin is to be applauded for her wonderful commitment to each of the families and the way she encourages each of the volunteers from our church who keep the ball rolling. (We maintain our prayers for, little Zac Jensen and his parents Renee and Gary, as they continue the fight with Zac’s tumours and ongoing treatment.) I’d like to thank the many volunteers who have caught the vision and been obedient to God in serving the community through these particular ministries.
Next Friday, 13th December will be that last day of trading this year for our Op Shop. I must again thank the many, many volunteers who have contributed to the ongoing success of this valuable ministry. Kelly and Trish have concluded their second year as managers and they and their volunteers are certainly living out the values of Ashmore Uniting Church which include Welcoming friendship, Empowering leadership, Spirit-led serving, Creative outreach, Transforming people and Authentic worship.
At the time of Jesus’ birth we find an amazing story of God bursting into the world in a unique and unusual way. We find that God interrupts a whole heap of people in surprising ways in this dramatic entry. Today we will focus on Joseph who finds himself having to make a choice about surrendering to God or saving face and maintaining his public profile as a carpenter in his community in Nazareth. These are some of the words from Joseph’s Song by Michael Card, that I’ll be using today:-
Father show me where I fit into this plan of yours
How can a man be father to the Son of God
Lord for all my life I’ve been a simple carpenter
How can I raise a king, how can I raise a king?
Joseph responded to the interruption in this way:-
Divine Intervention + Yielded Submission = Eternal Significance
May you continue to navigate the unexpected interruptions through God’s Spirit…..this week….Rev Brad Foote