Monday, 22 August 2016

Sunday 21st August: Temple of the LORD (David Williams)

This Sunday David had, as per usual, a special message for the young at heart:

The reading for Sunday the 21st of August: Ephesians 2:20-22 

We have now been in our house for over a third of a century, and grown to love it.  Do you love this building?

Does it matter to us that we have a church?

In a sense it is not necessary, and costs time and money which could go to other things.  The early church grew most before it had buildings (before 318AD).

But a building has value.  It is a visible witness, reminding people of God.  It enhances our worship, by the "atmosphere" of worship - we naturally think of God. We must pray always, but a special time and place help.

Because of this, Israel had a Temple.  More exactly there was a tabernacle in the Exodus, before Solomon built the Temple. David was not allowed to build it as he had shed much blood.  It was built with love and reverence - do we reflect that? It was then destroyed in the Exile, rebuilt on the return, prompted by the prophecy of Haggai, later developed under Herod, and destroyed again by the Romans in 70AD.

Why did God allow these things? Because the Church is now God's Temple.  1 Peter 2 tells us that Jesus is the cornerstone, Christians are living stones.  So we have those functions of reminding people of God and enhancing worship. Do we know and show God's presence?

What do we do when we own a house?  We look after it, and as God's house we can be sure that he cares for us.  And we are particularly concerned that it will fulfil its function, so fix roof leaks etc.  God is concerned that we are good servants.  Maintenance may then require chopping out what is bad, which is why Jesus drove out what was rotten in the Temple - this was also stopping its functionality. Maintenance is hard work, needs zeal.  In Jesus' case, his concern for us cost him his life (cf Jn 2:17).

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Prayer for Sunday 14 August

Heavenly Father, we thank You for this day, for your creation and the promise of Spring to come, for all You have provided in this beautiful place for our delight. In all the distractions of our world help us to keep our eyes, our minds, our hearts focused on our Lord Jesus Christ, the Root of our faith and our Hope in all things. Thank you that You love us unconditionally in spite of all our weakness.

We pray for Your Church throughout the world: for those who must worship in secret while we are free, for those who have lost their faith or who worship false gods. We bring to you the leaders of the church In our own country and pray that they may be bold in speaking up for right living.

In our World, Lord, we remember the many areas of conflict, especially in the Middle East, and bring to You those living in fear, in pain, anguish and without hope.

In our own Country we pray for the political leaders negotiating with one another to create municipalities that will serve the people, not themselves. Please give them wisdom, patience, vision  and  a care for others. May Your will be done .

We bring to You our own Hogsback community, those frustrated beyond patience, waiting for answers and actions to their requests which have been simmering for many years. Show us how we, as Christians, should behave, should help, should stand beside those who are angry and who vent their frustration by committing acts of destruction and violence. Help us to be loving, compassionate and understanding.

We pray for the Sick here and elsewhere and for those who care for them

Lord , please be with our Families and those who are dear to us wherever they may be.

Finally, we pray for Ourselves : Lord God, give us the strength to follow Your calling, to run the race that You have set before us in the week ahead. Wherever we are, whatever we do, whoever we meet, may You be there in us and  with us and O Lord, let us not forget to be KIND .  Amen

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

A thank you from Hobbiton

Afrikaans in ons kerkie

Wie het geweet dat ons hier in St Patricks ook Afrikaanse dienste het?

Die St Patricks gemeenskap strewe om 'n inklusiewe  vergaderplekkie te wees waar ons, ons liefde vir die Here kan uitleef in ons moedertale, wat dit ook al mag wees! So hierdie Sondag was dit die beurt om so bietjie in Afrikaans te aanbid.

Ons is baie bevoorreg om Ds Leon Van Niekerk te he wat elke paar Sondae opkom na die "Mountain" om ons in Afrikaans te kom bedien. Sy preek hierdie Sondag het ons gedwing om te kyk hoe God ons liefde vir Hom en vir ons naaste toets. Dit is maklik om vir mense lief te wees onder maklike omstandighede, maar wat van as ons daar moet wees onder moeiliker, ongemaklike omstandighede? Waar is ons dan?

Die volgende Afrikaanse diens is Sondag die 2de October.