Monday, 22 January 2018

Sermon Sunday 21st January: Hope for the New Year

Jer 17:5-14, Rom 8:18-39

People always start the new year with optimism – but it does not last long, and hope dissipates.  Every year we look for something better, every year we are disappointed!  Do you have hope for 2018?  Is there any reason for hope?  What reason do YOU have?  For the world, for you personally?

Decline is a NORMAL part of existence!  There is natural deterioration in all.  It is even a quantity in engineering – entropy, where a small increase is good. But it will increase!  This includes spiritual things, so these also deteriorate.  So hope is false, it is presumption … Unless God gives it!  He is the creator!

As Christians, we do have hope!  First because there is a resurrection (Acts 24:15).  Paul writes, “If for this life only …” (1 Cor 15:19).  We know that eventually things will be OK, but more than this, we have resurrection life NOW (cf Jn 6:40 etc)!  A foretaste only of what will come.

Secondly, we have hope!  Because God loves us (Rom 5:5).  This is because we know salvation.  So our hope comes out of suffering (Rom 5:3), both from His and our’s – what was experienced.  It is the Spirit who gives hope (Rom 5:4) - do you know the filling of God’s Spirit?

Having hope then affects us, because if we know we will meet God we must be pure (1 Jn 3:3), living a life worthy of our hope.  We shall be like Him (1 Jn 3:2).  Our life should reflect our hope.

Then we can GIVE hope to a generation that has lost it.  Hope gives a reason for our witness so be ready to explain your hope (1 Pet 3:15).  If we have hope, then we can be bold! (2 Cor 3:12).

This hope does not get lost, but abides (1 Cor 13:13, Heb 11:1), throughout 2018, and forever.  It stays as it is based on faith which gives eternal life.  It then results in a love which is also eternal.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Farewell to Harold and Irene Nicholls on Sunday 13 January 2018

The St Patrick’s Chapel congregation and friends said farewell to the much-loved couple of Harold and Irene on Sunday 13 January 2018 at Elangeni. The couple are moving to Howick to be closer to their family after 15 years of being been part of the social fabric of the village. They have contributed enormously to Hogsback and St Patrick’s.  At the chapel they have contributed as Chapel Warden, pianist, sidesmen, gardener and have supported in many other ways. At the Bring and Braai the Congregation gave them a painting of the chapel and Josef Steyn took these photos.