2 January 2022

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10 January, 2022Rev Brian Hoole

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Matthew 2:1-12

1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ ”

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.


DISCUSS

1.   How has your week been? 

2.   How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3.   Read the passages again. 

4.   What are the signs that you see of God at work around you?

5.   Matthew lists three responses to Jesus - hostility(Herod), indifference (his advisors) and worship (wisemen). How do you respond?

6.  What is challenging in these passages?

7.   Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

8.   What am I going to do about it?

9. Who am I going to share it with?

10. Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY  

Lord, may we be like the Wise Men who were guided to you by a star.

Give us the wisdom to seek you, light to guide us to you, courage to search until we find you,

graciousness to worship you and generosity to lay our gifts before you, who are our King and our God for ever and ever.

Amen. 

More From 'Sermons'

9 January 2022

9 January, 2022 Rev Brian Hoole

READ

15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

The Baptism of Jesus

21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

DISCUSS

1. How has your week been?

2. How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3. Read the passages again.

4. What do we learn about Jesus from John?

5. What do we learn about Jesus from God?

6. Luke emphasises Jesu' focus on prayer. Look up the following references

here at the baptism (3:22),

at the selection of the twelve disciples (6:12),

at Peter's confession (9:18),

at the transfiguration (9:28),

in Gethsemane (22:41),

on the cross (23:34). He tells us that

Jesus went repeatedly to the wilderness to pray (5:16)

Loving GodJesus spent whole nights in prayer (6:12).

6. What is challenging in these passages?

7. Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

8. What am I going to do about it?

9. Who am I going to share it with?

10. Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY

Loving God

we thank you for the gift of your son and for his life and witness.

Like Jesus may we draw closer to you in prayer.

Like Jesus may we hear your words "You are my Son or daughter, my Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

May we know and live out this truth in our life.

In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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25 December Something is here - Jesus

24 December, 2021

READ

Is 9:2-7

2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;

those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.

3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy;

they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.

4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders,

the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.

5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood

shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders;

and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Lk 2:1-20

1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And sud-denly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

DISCUSS

1. How has your week been?

2. How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3. Read the passages again.

4. How does the first passage relate to the second passage?

5. We all know the story of the birth of Jesus. Did you notice anything different today?

6. How do you relate to the shepherds in the story?

7. What is challenging in these passages?

8. Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

9. What am I going to do about it?

10. Who am I going to share it with?

11. Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY

Sweet Child of Bethlehem, grant that we may share with all our hearts in this profound mystery of Christmas. Put into the hearts of men and women this peace for which they sometimes seek so desperately and which you alone can give to them. Help them to know one another better, and to live as brothers and sisters, children of the same Father. Reveal to them also your beauty, holiness, and purity. Awaken in their hearts love and gratitude for your infinite goodness. Join them all together in your love. And give us your heavenly peace. Amen.

–Pope John XXIII

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19 December - Share the Story - Love

19 December, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ

Micah 2:2-5a

2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the LORD GOD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted.

5 Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.

6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Lk 1:39-45, (46-55)

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Mary’s Song of Praise

46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,

47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,

48 for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.

51 He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;

53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,

55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

DISCUSS

1. How has your week been?

2. How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3. Read the passages again.

4. What surprises you in Mary’s words?

5. What resonates for you in Mary’s words?

6. What is challenging in these passages?

7. Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

8. What am I going to do about it?

9. Who am I going to share it with?

10. Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY

“Let me turn the spotlight on God’s greatness!

With all that I am I dance with joy over God, my saviour!

God has smiled upon me, though I was no one special.

Now I’ll be remembered forever as the favoured one.

The supreme God has done wonderful things for me.

No other name is in the same league as God’s.

In every generation, those who treat God with respect

are rewarded with showers of mercy.

With sleeves rolled up, God has made a show of strength,

and sent packing those who were so full of themselves.

God has kicked the power mongers out of office,

and lifted the downtrodden back to their feet.

God has put on a feast for those who were hungry,

and slammed the door on the rich without giving them a bite.

The Lord’s servant Israel receives a helping hand.

God always remembers them with tender care.

This is exactly what God promised long ago,

a vow made to Abraham and Sarah for every generation.”

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Translation of Luke 1:46-55

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