2017 EM CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION: “GOOD NEWS!”
Have you heard the good news about what happened at Christmas? Come join us at the EM for a special evening of fun with a Christmas play telling the Christmas story, Christmas carols to sing, followed by Christmas prizes, gift exchange, and a buffet dinner. Come celebrate with us the good news of the birth of Jesus Christ!
Date: Saturday 16 December 2017, 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., at SLPC 7th Floor.
Cost: FREE! So bring family and friends.
CHRISTMAS PAPER CRAFTS
To celebrate the beauty and joy of Christmas, join Sarah at 1:00 pm on Sunday 17 December to make paper Christmas decorations. This is a free event, so come join in!
CHRISTMAS SEASON EVENTS
Join us in the EM for a Christmas season full of fun and joy! We have a lot of great events coming up to fill us with the joy and excitement of Christmas. So mark your calendars and watch for more details:
• 16 December (Sat.): EM Christmas Carols/Play and Party
• 17 December: Christmas Paper Crafts
• 23 December (Sat.): Carols singing for children at Mackay Hospital
• 24 December: EM Christmas Service
• 24 December (4:00pm): German language Christmas Service
• 28 December (Thu.): Innocents Service
• 7 January: Epiphany Service
CAROLS SINGING AT MACKAY HOSPITAL
On the morning of Saturday 23 December, we will bring some Christmas cheer to sick children on the wards at Mackay Hospital. We will sing songs and hand out small gifts. If you would like to join us, please sign up at the Welcome Table on Sundays before 17 December.
“HIGH FIDELITY”: EM YOUTH GROUP
The EM has a fun new group for young people aged 12+. High Fidelity meets Sunday mornings 10–11 a.m. for breakfast, games, Bible study, and music sharing. Sign up by sending your details to Yvette at email@example.com
EM ENGLISH KIDS' CLUB!
The EM English Kids' Club is for kids from 0–11 years old. It's a fun time when kids can get together to sing songs, play together, and learn about God. Join us from 11:00–12:00 every Sunday in the 7F Kids’ Room. Please send your child’s name and age to Yvette at firstname.lastname@example.org
CARE CELL NEWS
Join a mid-week Care Cell to study the Bible and share time together!
SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE COURSES
Do you want your faith to grow and develop? Deacon Amos Lu is offering a range of 1-on-1 courses in spiritual direction and guidance. Courses normally run from 5 to 8 weeks, and can be planned to suit you. These courses are free! For more details, email Amos directly at: email@example.com
Join us on Facebook!
Come and join us on our Facebook page to see:
• information on our activities and events
• latest photos and videos
• weekly devotional recordings
Visit our Facebook page here!
Bible Verse for the Week
“When all these things begin to happen, stand and look up,
for your salvation is near!”
Reading through the book of Isaiah, we’ve gotten used to hearing lots of prophecies of judgement against the countries surrounding Israel. But that doesn’t mean that Israel itself was innocent and holy. Quite the opposite. Many of Isaiah’s harshest words were saved for Israel, because the Israelites were supposed to know better and behave better, and yet they were just as corrupt and evil as everyone else. In chapter 48, we see an example of this judgement against Israel.
The Israelites are supposed to belong to God and be God’s people. The Israelites use God’s name, and they talk about being a holy people and a holy city. But despite all their talk, they don’t live like holy people at all. They lie and cheat, they refuse to listen to God or do what God wants them to do; they worship all kinds of false gods and commit all kinds of evil; they are stubborn and unwilling to do what is right, they aren’t even willing to listen to God’s word let alone do it. No wonder then in v. 8 that God accuses them of being a nation of traitors and rebels.
But Israel’s terrible sinfulness puts God now in an awkward position, because these people carry God’s name! Since everyone knows that Israel is connected to God, when others see all the evil that Israel is doing, that reflects badly on God. As God stresses in vv. 9–11, Israel is destroying his name, destroying his reputation and honour, and causing him to lose face. So what should God do about this?
If it were us, we would probably distance ourselves from Israel and let everyone know that we had nothing to do with those evil people. But surprisingly, that’s not what God does. Instead, God promises that he will work to heal and purify Israel. Through his judgement, God will burn away all Israel’s sins and leave it pure. He will refine Israel like silver or gold, placing it in a furnace until all its impurities are gone.
It’s a great blessing for us Christians today that we can learn from Israel’s many mistakes – because the last thing any of us want to do is tarnish the name of Christ through our sinfulness and bad behaviour. Instead, our vision and goal in the church should always be that God may use us to draw the world to him. Our hope is that the world will come to God through our good witness, seeing our actions of love and care for one another, and through that witness knowing that God is a God not of evil and nastiness, but a God of goodness and love for the whole world. May God truly use us to spread that message today.
With blessings for the week ahead,
Pastor Stephen Lakkis