In today’s text, we can find that the wise men from the east saw the star rising in the sky inquired where the King of the Jews has been born. Of all the people in Matthew 2, these Gentiles wise men from the east were the only ones seeking out and coming to worship the newborn king. The Jewish religious leaders basically responded to Herod’s questions of prophecies of the coming Messiah with indifference (verse 4). Three groups of people and three different responses to Jesus’ birth are present in the first six verses of Matthew 2. Herod was troubled. The Jewish chief priests and scribes were indifferent. But the Gentile wise men were ready to worship. It is not hard to see the same three responses of people today when it comes to celebrating the birth of Jesus: some are troubled, others are indifferent, and there also are people ready to worship.
When Herod was told what the prophecies said about the birth of the coming Christ from Micah 5:2, his plan was for the magi to lead him to the home of this young threat of his throne. However, later King Herod was getting anxious at the delay from these wise men who were supposed to return with good news of Jesus’ whereabouts. In fact, he “gave orders to kill all the boys who were two years old and under in Bethlehem” (vs. 16).
Here we see that Herod is jealous of his people’s affection and does not so much love his people as he is consumed by a passionate need to be loved by them. God, on the other hand, first loves his people, and seeks thereby to prime our pumps to return his love. Herod’s passion is centred on himself and his own desires and needs whereas God’s passion is centred on his beloved and on our eternal welfare. At Christmastime, we are never far from the love of God. The birth of the Christ child, together with his inevitable violent death and glorious resurrection, has the power to free us from the deadly deception that is Herod’s love, and free us for the living truth that is holy love.
Annual General Meeting. This Sunday the 26th we will be having a congregational meeting at 11am. During the meeting we will be presenting the audited financial statements of 2016-2017 and the successful Church Council nominations will be announced. Digital copies of any of the documents presented for the meeting are available on request and if there is anything you feel needs to be discussed please contact Robbie Kell.
Free Christmas book for kids from the Bible Society. As part of its 200th anniversary celebrations, Bible Society is giving away over 70,000 children’s books telling the “really good news of Christmas”. Artist Emma Randall has woven the words of poet Dai Woolridge into colourful illustrations, aimed at children aged 5-7.
Christmas Eve Event We are holding our Christmas Eve Event for the second year this year and would love your help. We are currently looking for donations of bags of lollies to be given out on the night in the gift bags. If you feel like you could donate 1 or 2 bags of lollies over the next 3 weeks can you please leave them in the box in the kitchen.
We are also looking for volunteers to help out during the night running from 5:30 – 8:00pm on Sunday the 24th December. We are looking for volunteers for the following areas: Setup, Activities (Face painting, Jumping Castle, Climbing Wall), BBQ, and Packup.
If you are to help in any of the following areas please put you name down on the sheet in the foyer or contact Rob Kell on 0401 843 422 or firstname.lastname@example.org Many thanks, Christmas Eve Event Team.
Love Comes Softly. Based on Janette Oke’s best-selling book series, and directed by Michael Landon, Jr., Love Comes Softly is inspired storytelling for the whole family. Marty and Aaron Claridge (Katherine Heigl and Oliver Macready) travel west in search of new opportunity. But when tragedy strikes and Marty is suddenly widowed, the young woman must face the rugged terrain, bleak weather, and life among strangers – alone. That is, until a handsome widower named Clark Davis (Dale Midkiff) suggests a platonic ‘marriage of convenience’ until Marty can return home. As the months pass, though, Marty and Clark discover an unexpected new live where there was once only loss.
The Gospel of Luke. The Lumo Project is a ground breaking series that revolutionises the way we encounter the story of Jesus and the world of first-century Palestine in which he lived. Redefining the standard of visual biblical media, each Gospel film brings the actual Bible text to the screen, word for word.