Eyes Fixed on Jesus
On the Tuesday after Easter, it registered on my emotional gauge that I was soon finishing up here at GSPV. It has arrived quicker than I expected. This Sunday will be my last sermon as your pastor here at Good Shepherd.
Last words can be poignant and impacting. The “last words” I want to share with you are not mine, but God’s! God has spoken to us most clearly and personally in his Son: Jesus – the Word made flesh. In Jesus we discover that our Father’s heart is always beating with love for us, wanting us to be in relationship with him, and to join his work in this world.
In John 21, we read how Jesus again appears to his disciples at Lake Galilee. After a futile night of fishing, Jesus helps them catch 153 large fish. He then invites them to breakfast; and afterwards restores Peter.
People often encounter Jesus over a shared meal. Jesus ate and drank with people labelled as “sinners” and marginalised by the religious leaders of his day. He was showing in actions louder than words that he accepted them and wanted to be their friend. I wonder how we might demonstrate that same ethos in our acts of welcome, hospitality and care…?
In the ancient world, covenants were often celebrated with a meal. It still happens at weddings. Jesus often used the image of a wedding banquet to illustrate how things will be in the kingdom of God.
Every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we remember and receive the benefits of the new covenant established by the blood of Jesus. There we encounter Jesus – personally and intimately. And we look forward to the feast of victory when the Lord calls us home.
The writer of Hebrews warns his audience not to return to their old way of life in the Jewish faith, but to walk in the freedom and life that Jesus has for us. He urges his readers – and us – not to get distracted by lesser things, or things that have no future in God’s plans; but to run the race trusting God’s promises and keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.
Here’s a delightful paraphrase of Hebrews 12:1-3 from The Message:
Do you see what this means – all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running – and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honour, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he ploughed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
I thank you for the privilege of sharing the Scriptures with you and pointing you to Jesus. As I bid you farewell, I encourage you to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.
He is always watching over you to do you good! Praise the Lord!
Peace and Joy in Jesus!
John 21:1-19 Jesus is watching and caring for his disciples.
Hebrews 12:1-3 Running the race that Jesus has marked out for us.
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Decade of Bible Translation Service in PNG
Australian Lutheran Hanna Schulz has marked 10 years since she arrived in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to start serving the people there through Bible translation. While Hanna said in a recent newsletter to supporters and friends that ‘so much has happened in that time’, she said it ‘also feels like I am only just getting started’.
‘Praise God for his faithfulness through this time’, Hanna said.
LCA International Mission partners with Wycliffe Australia to support Hanna as she serves in linguistics and translation in PNG.
Read more about Hanna’s story here: https://bit.ly/3vPM4gY
Grow Ministries Update
A topic that has been discussed at our workshops is “What is the church’s role in resourcing and equipping parents, grandparents and carers to pass on their face to their children?” As we rethink this role, here are some questions for us to dwell on:
How can we help our families feel like they belong to our community?
How could we help our families build connections within our community?
How could we provide for our families to share their faith experiences with our community?
What might it look like on a Sunday morning for families to serve and worship together?
Let’s continue to seek Holy Spirit’s leading and discuss how we can work together to support the parents, grandparents and carers who worship with us.
A community which intentionally develops intergenerational relationships to grow faith in Jesus so that He can build His Kingdom here and now.”
Grow Team Leader
Lutheran Family Care Support
Due to the upcoming long weekend and the current school holidays, the next food collection for LC will be Sunday 1st May, after our single 10:30am service.
Requests for April:
- tinned spaghetti
- individual soaps
Thank you for continuing and very generous support.
No meeting in the hall this week as we are having lunch at the Clovercrest Hotel at 12 noon. All members who wish to attend should have booked through Dorothy. The address is 450 Montague Rd Modbury North.
Family Support Coordinator News, from Georgie
Growing Faith at Home
Dear Church Family,
Ever heard the term ‘elephant in the room’? Not sure if Peter ever encountered a real elephant in his lifetime, but I’ve got the feeling that there was an invisible one right there on the beach that day when Jesus cooked breakfast for his disciples. Jesus’ conversation with Peter was… emotional and confronting!
Conversations that lead to the restoration of relationships can be like that. Have a look at this week’s GFH resource for some great caring conversations to share with people you care about. ‘Have you ever let someone down or been let down? How did Peter let Jesus down? Jesus gave Peter a new start. How has Jesus given you a new start? Do you find it hard or easy to give others a new start? Why?
So much can be learned through sharing examples of these very real situations that we all face, one way or another.
God bless your week.
Unfortunately, at this time I have not had any people from church respond to the opportunity to be part of a team to serve our community through this valuable way (I had one parent from the ELC indicate an interest, but then considered that this might not be the right time for her.) Serving families with young ones remains a wonderful way to ‘Reach into the community with the gospel, that all may know Jesus and come to worship Him’.
Please pray for this ministry. If you know anyone who has a heart for serving families in this way, please let me know.
Night Works from 1st May
There will be night works along Montague Road between Nelson Road and Berryman Drive, commencing 1st of May from 6pm – 7am. These works are expected to conclude in early June, and will not take place on Saturday nights. Speed and lane restrictions will be in place; please take extra care when workers are on site. A speed restriction of 40km will also remain in place during the day, subject to on-site conditions.
Parking for Sunday May 1
Parking will be available in the Good Shepherd Early Learning Centre car park and can be accessed via Hillary Cres without having to enter the church grounds. A parking sign will be placed on Hilary Cres to assist in finding the entrance. Please consider leaving the parks close to the entrance of the church as a blessing for any visitors.
If you are attending the community luncheon, please remember to bring a plate of cold finger food to share. Plates can be placed into the kitchen and main fridge prior to service if you wish to do so. I encourage members to maintain a 1.5m distance around the food tables to comply with our COVID plan once lunch commences.
Holy Communion – Serving
Holy Communion will be celebrated this Sunday. Worship hosts will guide you to the centre aisle and you can return to your seats via the wings. Serving of the sacraments will remain the same.
The office will continue with volunteer staff and Rachel working remotely. Please be patient as the office may not be open on some days and will continue to be closed on Fridays. Messages left on the answering system or email will be responded to as soon as practicable.
“I have come that they may have life;
and have it to the full.”
The church is required to comply with current Covid-19 arrangements as mandated by the State Government. From 15th April 2022 masks and check-ins are no longer required, however please respect the safety of staff and others by complying with continued physical distancing and by exiting the church through the café doors.
Please do not attend the church if you are feeling unwell. Thank you!
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Regular Electronic Giving (REG): BSB 704 942; Acc 100 354 939
Church Office Hours: Tuesday-Thurs 9am-3pm (closed 12:30pm-1:30pm for lunch)
Church Website: www.paravista.org.au Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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388 Montague Road Para Vista SA 5093 | Phone: 8263 5087 | PO Box 306 Modbury North SA 5092