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Sunday 21st January 2018 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Third Sunday of Epiphany
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Nathanial

Sunday 28th January 2018 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Fourth Sunday of Epiphany
Celebrant: Rev'd Nathanial
Preacher: Jack Noonan

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3rd December 2017 – First Sunday of Advent – Jack Noonan

Sermon (Click Link to Listen)

Readings: Isaiah 64. 1 – 9 ; 1 Corinthians 3. 1 – 9 ; Mark 13. 24 – 37

Today, the First Sunday in Advent is the beginning of the New Year for most churches in the Western Christian tradition.
Our ushering in of the Christian New Year stands in stark contrast with ringing in of the secular New Year in 4 weeks time.
Instead, the Church invites us, from now until Christmas Morning to quietly, in the midst of rampant commercialism and materialism, to step outside the mainstream and, deliberately create a reflective time and ‘space’ for ourselves. Jesus knew that we’d all need time out and said to His disciples:
“Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going…’

The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival.”
As with the season of Lent, Advent is a penitential season. A time of taking stock, sorting out, tidying up and flushing out the accumulated gunk that dims the Christ-Light, the Christ-Life and the Christ-Love in us.

Advent’s key words are: Preparation and Anticipation.

Preparation for.. and Anticipation of …2 God-ordained cosmic events…all centring on Jesus the Christ of God.
His first coming as our Redeeming Saviour and in His Second coming as King of Kings.


In 3 weeks we’ll sing:

‘Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail incarnate Deity, Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel”………..God with us….
But how do we prepare for ‘God with us’ ?

1.We prepare ourselves by revisiting , between now and Christmas, our spiritual-life journey into faith….just like Joseph and Mary were doing over 2000 years ago.
For such journeying we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we will leave our comfort zones and travel with Him into our shadowlands. For saying ‘Yes’ to God can be costly.
Remember both Joseph and Mary said ‘Yes’ to God’s angelic messengers… and it ‘cost’ them their good name and reputation.

In our walk with Jesus ,though we trip and fall, but we are not utterly cast down . By His resurrection power/love we rise strengthened. So regardless of what the natural eyes see and heart feels, let us offer song and prayer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. For in faith we learn: all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose…

2.We prepare for our celebration of Christ’s birthing, by calling on Christ’s appointed Helper, to assist us sorting through, identifying and shedding all sorts of excess baggage….Not just physical baggage , but also crippling emotional and psychological baggage. Baggage that dims horizons, that blinkers vision and obstructs our journey into the Christ’s gifts of eternal love, joy, and the peace that passes all understanding that keeps our hearts and minds close to God.

3.We prepare by confessing to the Lord and repenting of our sins. So that a clear conscience is our companion. Hebrews tells us: ‘Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us..”

4.We prepare by asking the Lord to deliver us from any toxic unforgiveness that clings to our hearts. Then co -labouring with God’s Spirit to cleanse our hearts of wrong doings born out of stubbornness, pride, and anger.

‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.’

Can we expect forgiveness is we give none?

The baby whose birth we’ll celebrate in 3 weeks will grow in the image and nature of His Father-God…. into….

Jesus the Suffering Servant, Jesus the Man of Sorrows, Jesus, the Lamb of God, by whose stripes we were healed. Jesus,Whose death and resurrection would opened the way of Eternal Salvation.
We eternally celebrate His commitment to both the Father and to us, for

He came to seek, save and serve the lost.

He came to reveal and do the will of our Father-God and bear witness to the truth.

He came to destroy the power of evil in our lives giving us His fullness +abundance.

He came to bear and die for our sins and by offering His sinless life, released us believers from eternal death.

We have much to celebrate in Jesus …


In His Second Coming Jesus returns to us and for us. No longer the Suffering Servant but, the glorious, victorious, triumphant, King of kings and Lord of lords… Judge of the Living and the Dead whose kingdom has no end.

The prayer cry of Isaiah heart :
O that you would rend/tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence–to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
will be answered.

This climatic picture is reinforced in the synoptic gospels.

“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.

John in Revelation gives even greater detail:

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war…his name is the Word of God.
The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations….. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Down the generations, Christians have anticipated the Lord’s immanent return. Our generation is no exception. But trying to figure out the precise time for these events risks reduces biblical prophecy to the level of a horoscope…. For God’s time is not our time.
As both psalmist and Peter declare:
”with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.”
Jesus leaves us in no doubt. Decisions in relation to the timing of these events is exclusively God’s;
“…about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Jesus does however tells us to observe/read the signs of the times.

‘ from the fig tree,learn its lesson… when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.’

The Lord leaves us in no doubt as to what is expected of us. Four times He repeats :
1. ‘Be aware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.’
2. ‘be on the watch.’ 3. ‘keep awake’ 4. ‘Keep awake.’

Today, by the grace of God, we enter in to the refreshment of the Penitential Season of Advent. The Lord’s Word to us this day is to Be aware….keep watch…..keep awake…..In short….pray unceasingly.
Our responsibility is to reach out, in this grace, and co labour, in love, with His Holy Spirit so that we align ourselves in body, mind, heart and spirit with the radiance of His will and love.
Let us take this time to become more aware of His guidance and shed those things that obstruct and hinder our desire to serve Him and each other… as He eternally serves us. This Advent let us seek and be found by Him who loves us.

‘Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.’ .