Dear members and friends of St Peter’s Lutheran Church, Hobart.
Greetings in the name of Christ our crucified, risen and ascended King, who will soon return in glory to judge the living and dead and to take his own into his eternal kingdom.
Our readings are currently focusing on the end of all things as the Church year draws to a close, and as we then enter the season of advent. The end will also be a glorious new beginning for Christ’s chosen, repentant, forgiven and faithful followers.
Last Sunday's second reading from Hebrews 10 contained the following exhortation:
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
Where possible meeting together should be our aim. We are embodied people and our Lord became flesh and comes to us through the sacrament of his body and blood. We will be raised with spiritual bodies like Christ’s risen body. Where this is not possible due to health, work, lockdowns or for a whole host of reasons, the videos and stream is on offer, which we are so blessed to be able to offer and access. God comes to us through his word and sacrament with his grace in order to renew and strengthen us in faith.
Through his teaching on the end and eternity, our Lord is lovingly warning and calling us to be prepared for the great reversal to come, where the humble and those trusting in a childlike manner listen to his voice and will reign with him forever and ever, while those currently proud, arrogant, unbelieving and rebellious will experience ‘shame and everlasting contempt’ (Daniel 12:2). Let us, therefore, in loving obedience respond to our Lord's voice, seek his grace and life-giving presence, and patiently persevere. It is astounding how accurate the Scripture’s description of human nature in ‘the last times’ is. See, for example, the following from 2 Timothy 3 below which could describe many today. Do we see something of ourselves here? Yes, we desperately need our saviour and thank God for Him:
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people."
I was recently invited to write something on the Reformation for the College newsletter. I prepared something I titled ‘Monk married nun to make point’.The full article can be read on the Pastor’s Page of our website which is found here.
Our online Bible study resumes this Thursday evening and will focus on a crucial yet quite simple distinction that helps Christians better understand and communicate the faith. This distinction and the link to join the study are found in the notice immediately below. Please join us for this study if you are able. Below that is a notice about our last prayer breakfast for the year on Saturday week and below that is a notice confirming we will have one last daytime bible study and luncheon for the year on the first Tuesday in December.
Online Evening Bible study: Thursday 18th of November, 7.30pm. We will look at the value and importance, yet limit of general revelation (the revelation of God in creation) and the absolute necessity of God’s revelation of Himself in the Word (special revelation), with a special focus on Psalm 19:1-6 and Romans 1:20 (along with surrounding verses). Please join via the link here or on the St Peter’s website.
Prayer breakfast: Saturday 27th of November, 7.30am at the St Peters Centre. Topical faith and Scripture informed discussion followed by prayer for the congregation, College, Church, world, the festive season services and celebrations as well as much, much more.
Daytime Bible study and lunch: Our concluding study and luncheon for 2021 will be held Tuesday, 7th of December at Erika Plaschke’s home (address available by contacting email@example.com). Coffee from 10.30am, study 11.00am and lunch from midday. We will be looking at John 13. All are welcome to attend these encouraging, uplifting gatherings.
On Sunday the 5th of December Kim will be installed onto the General Church Board during our regular Sunday 10.00am service. Pastor Stuart Kleinig from the north will be present to conduct that rite as the Church-wide Bishop’s representative. All are invited to stay and join a luncheon that will follow the service (meat supplied, pooled salad or sweet welcome).
May the love, peace and joy of the Lord be with you all.
In joys and sorrows,
Warmest regards and blessings,
Saint Peter's Lutheran Church Hobart.
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