LPUC eNews – Sunday 26 August 2018

Our Mission is to
Connect with people in Jesus;
Build each other up in faith; and to
Become Like Jesus.



Mark 10:13-16, Little Children and the Kingdom of God

In today’s text, we can find a phrase “The kingdom of God” that is used for a couple of times.  In fact, Jesus uses the term ‘the kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven’ over 100 times in the Gospels, and the main aim of Jesus ministry is to proclaim the good news (Mk 1:14-15) that is “the kingdom of God has come near.”

Today’s episode begins with the disciples attempting to enforce the standard social customs. Children should not be allowed to disturb the teacher and his students (vs. 13). However, after affirming that the reign of God belongs to children, Jesus challenges his disciples: “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it” (vs. 15). Children were not considered persons in their own right. They had no status or power. Yet Jesus insists that God’s rule exists for the lowly – for those little children (vs. 14b).

I guess Jesus would not use comparison with a child to point out about who belongs to the kingdom of God rather he highlights that anyone who has childlike vulnerability might enter the Kingdom of God. In Jesus, born in a manger and crucified on a cross, he became one with them and we also must be one with them if we want to be heirs of that same Kingdom.

This is something that the Church is called to do, but it’s also something that we are called to do as individuals, if we would be followers of Jesus. We are called to imagine what it was like to be a little child, to see things from a little child’s point of view, to pray for the weak and the vulnerable, to stand alongside them, to support them, to act to help them, just as God in Jesus acted to help us.  IL-WOONG.

Niki Vasilakis Story.  Niki Vasilakis is a concert violinist who has felt God’s hand guiding her life’s journey. She believes she is created for a purpose but at the times she is uncertain about what that purpose is, she reminds herself that God has predestined her steps and has prepared a path for her.  When I play my violin I’m playing prayers.

Here’s the secret to revival. We are living in a broken world. Families are struggling. Addictions are rising. Immorality is increasing. Racism and sexism abound. Royal commissions…

Waiting for a result.  “We are still waiting for the release of (and the government’s proposed response to) the report of the Expert Panel set up to by the Prime Minster on the freedom of religion in Australia. Australians are interested. The panel received 15,620 submissions in the few months it met. If handled right, this could be a seminal moment for the country.”

Kamal Weerakoon steps up.

DVDs of the Week:

Alison’s Choice.  DVD.  When young Alison finds herself pregnant by a dead-beat boyfriend, she turns to abortion.  There in the clinic, as she waits for her name to be called, she encounters a cast of quirky characters, each with their own words of advice for her.  Among the mix, Alison meets a gentle-faced janitor with mop “eternally” in hand (Bruce Marchiano, The Encounter movies).  The two begin talking and it quickly becomes clear he is no mere janitor, but the living God manifest – and He’s come to make a last-ditch plea for the life of her baby.  With the clock ticking, it is a fight for life or death.  What will Alison choose?

Superbook – King Solomon.  DVD.  Chris is in charge of a major exhibit when his father’s most important invention disappears.  Can he solve the mystery?  Travel back to ancient Israel as Superbook takes Chris, Joy and Gizmo to meet King Solomon.  Witness the suspense as he is faced with a baffling dilemma – and the surprising way he uncovers the truth.  Our heroes discover that true wisdom comes from God.

Australia’s top book. The trendy inner-city bookshop Readings in Melbourne described it this way: “A must-read for sceptics, the curious, the lapsed, the devout, the believer, and non-believer.” Perhaps prophetically, Rachel Franks in the Dictionary of Sydney website wrote “The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History will surely dominate the short lists of every major literary award over the coming months and will certainly come to be regarded as one of the most important Australian history books of the year.”

Prominent pastor Carl Lentz on fame, criticism and #MeToo.

How Aretha sang and spoke her faith.

Special Religious Education Needed – Please consider joining with other Christian Churches SRE Team to teach our primary school children at Lugarno Public school every Tuesday during school term. First class – 9.00-9.30am, Second class  – 9.30-10.00am. Training and resources are all provided for you. Please speak to IL-Woong or Nathalie as they look for someone to take a class or even to assist occasionally when there is a need.

What working with God looks like.

All aboard new Scripture in schools campaign.

Life is but a breath – How a near-death experience helped one man embrace all of life – the beautiful and the ugly.