10th January 2021

It is a good thing you do each week that you join us in worship, to acknowledge the God who made us and to seek his help. For us as God’s creatures to worship him is not simply optional, or a good idea, but, as the prayer book says, “our bounden duty”. Because God is gracious, he will not hold our failures against us when we turn to him in the name of his Son Jesus Christ.

Sunday School and Youth Bible Study are on a holiday break at the moment returning 31st January. Children and Youth are warmly invited to join in the main gathering in church.

With Christmas over, we are in the season of Epiphany. The feast of Epiphany was originally more important than Christmas (ranking with Easter and Pentecost as one of the three most important Christian festivals). It was a celebration of Jesus’ baptism. Perhaps it became a festival in search of something to celebrate, because in the western church it moved away from Jesus’ baptism and became connected with the visit of the Magi (the three wise men) to the infant Jesus.

“Epiphany” comes from a Greek word meaning “appearance” or “manifestation”. The central idea is that God, through Jesus, has truly appeared, has manifested himself. He has shown himself to be real (not just an idea), knowable (not a mystery) and relatable (not aloof). This is seen in the visit of the wise men in that they were Gentiles (non-Jews), yet they were given the opportunity to worship the king of the Jews, who is the king of the whole world.

Nowadays we speak of “having an epiphany”: we mean a striking realisation, a revolutionary thought, which comes with such conviction that it will change the course of our life. My family and friends probably feel that I claim to have epiphanies a bit too often. There is a risk that the idea gets cheapened. We should not speak lightly about changing the course of our life. Not only that, but a mere idea is not, strictly speaking, an epiphany, because it is not a manifestation.

It is great to have good ideas and to put them into practice, but ultimately there is only one epiphany that really matters. God has shown himself to be real, knowable and relatable through the coming of his Son Jesus Christ. Have you had that epiphany? Is God manifest, real and present to you, through Christ, and living in you by his Holy Spirit?

In brief:

  • We have updated our COVID procedures in light of recent events. Please check the updated COVID safe card in your pew.
  • God willing, 8 am service will be back in person on Sunday 31st Jan, and we will hold morning tea after church.
  • Please continue praying for our new all-ages informal congregation starting later this year. There is a prayer and information afternoon at 4 pm on Sunday 31st.