Our series on joy has come to an end, but, as I mentioned on Sunday, joy goes on! It fills our prayers for one another. It is our strength in difficult times. It sustains us as we model Christ’s humility. It is our confidence that we are ‘in Christ’. It accompanies (and enables) our grace and our generous giving to one another.
Joy goes on!
One way we can continue ‘rejoicing in the Lord’ is through our Advent series – reading reflections written by others in our church and maybe even writing a reflection yourself!
From Monday 4th December we will send an Advent reflection each weekday until Friday 22 December. Could you write one of these?
The themes for each week – and the deadline for each week’s contributions – are below. Usually, people choose a Bible verse that has been significant to them (that ties into one of those themes) and writes a short piece (around 200-300 words) about it.
4-8 Dec – Holding Hope (deadline for contributions Wed, 29 Nov)
11-15 Dec: Bringing Peace (deadline for contributions Wed, 6 Dec)
18-22 Dec: Practicing Joy (deadline for contributions Wed, 13 Nov)
I would love to hear from you if you can be part of this! Text me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org It is a real highlight of Advent to hear the stories of what God is doing in the lives of people in our church!
This Sunday, please join us for worship as we mark the end of the church year with a rather unusual sermon! (The new church year begins with the first Sunday of Advent 3 Dec.) And, following morning tea after the service, we are meeting as a church to consider a number of important matters: the New Vision for Mission proposal, affiliating with the Open Baptist Association, our church financial report and Christmas Offering and our regular ministry updates.
To finish, below is a poem I found which picks up on the themes of how our identity in Christ (rejoice ‘in the Lord’!) sends us out to be people of love, joy and reconciliation in our world. I was intrigued that it was written jointly by Mother Teresa and Brother Roger from the Taizé Community.
May it inspire your ongoing love, joy and work of reconciliation in our community and world!
Grace and peace,
Prayer of Mother Teresa and Brother Roger
Oh God, the father of all,
you ask every one of us to spread
Love where the poor are humiliated,
Joy where the Church is brought low,
And reconciliation where people are divided. . .
Father against son, mother against daughter,
Husband against wife,
Believers against those who cannot believe,
Christians against their unloved fellow Christians.
(From Kathryn Spink, Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography, New York: HarperCollins, 1997)