This Sunday has two dimensions to it. Often, within the UCA, we think of it as “Palm Sunday” to celebrate Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. Be we also think of it as “Passion” Sunday as it marks the beginning of the week of events that leads us to Easter. With both of those dimensions though we are invited to consider the character and person of Jesus.
A Baptist minister in Melbourne, Nathan Nettleton, produces his own translations of scripture into ordinary English that are often very enlightening. Here is what he offers for Philippians 2:5-11. Note the way he lays out the text. It’s like verses in a song. It’s very likely that these are words from a very early song about Jesus that Paul co-opted when he wrote to the Philippians.
Model your attitude on the attitude of the Messiah, Jesus.
Although Jesus was the same as God in every way,
……..he did not think of his God-like privileges
……..as something to milked for all they were worth.
Instead, he laid it all aside
……..and, with no more privileges than a slave,
……..was born as a human being.
Having become a human being,
……..he was the model of humility.
He didn’t demand his own way
……..but let God set the agenda;
even when it included his own death,
……..and a gruesome public death at that.
Because of all this,
……..God has raised him to the status of number one
and honoured him more highly
……..than anyone else in the universe.
So now, just the mention of the name ‘Jesus’
……..should bring everyone to their knees;
……..everyone who has ever lived or ever will.
Everyone, everywhere will honour God
……..by openly acknowledging
……..that Jesus the Messiah is Lord of all!
Doing this for the long haul
The novelty of the new rules and conditions is wearing off. Now they are becoming just wearing. Yet it is important that we stay consistent and clear about how we engage with each other. We are all finding ways to stay in touch with each other. Phones are running hot. Letters and cards (properly handled I assume) are doing the rounds. Let’s keep encouraging each other to stay the course.
Staying Indoors – from the Prime Minister Scott Morrison
“There is strong advice – this is not a compulsion, this is strong advice – that people aged 70 and over should stay at home and self-isolate for their own protection to the maximum extent practicable,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“This does not mean that they cannot go outside. They can go outside and be accompanied by a support person for the purposes of getting some fresh air, some recreation. But they should limit contact with others as much as possible. These arrangements should also apply to those with chronic illness over 60 and Indigenous persons over the age of 50.”
As we are not gathering regularly, we are not also collecting our gifts and offerings each week. Yet the ministry and mission of the church continues. Now may be a good time to consider giving through a regular bank transfer. Please contact us if you need advice in this.
Secret Men’s Business
Hope you are keeping well during this time of isolation and uncertainty. Because SMB is in recess for a while, I have decided to put the kitty money into the Balhannah Uniting church account to keep it safe. Because the projects we normally support, (eg, Breakfast Club) is also in recess, the kitty is around $300. I have been in touch with the Treasurer, Jodi Lisk, to confirm that the money will be kept under our banner and made available again when things are back to normal.
I hope you are all ok with this.
Ray McDonald phone 08 8388 4592 mobile 0417 358 973 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayers of the People
Pray for each other. Picture each other’s faces and imagine what each is doing at that moment. Offer a short thanksgiving for that person and ask that God will bless them in that moment.
Pray for those who are already suffering for illness and disability. Ask that they will find protection from the threat of Covid-19 and other illness at this time.
Pray for those in Nursing homes who are not only vulnerable but also socially isolated.
Pray for those in countries with fewer resources than ours to deal with this current crisis. Pray also for that who are slipping from our attention due to short media news cycles.
Pray for our church, and all churches in our area, that we will demonstrate God’s goodness and Christ’s love without the use of our buildings
If you have specific requests for prayer then send them through to email@example.com and I will include them in our Sunday service and our Intouch mailout.
Jo Scott’s Mum
Would you please include my 98yr old Mum, Joyce, in the prayer requests this week.
She had only just been placed in a nursing home (two weeks) before the whole place was locked down. This means she had hardly time to get used to her new environment before she was deprived of any familiar family faces. We, all five of her offspring, are sending constant cards and letters to ensure her she is not forgotten but, as with so many, it’s not the same as a hug and a familiar smile.
So I would pray for her health and welfare, that she does not feel neglected, indeed that she feels the love of her family. That prayer I would also pray for all seniors in a similar position and their families. – Jo Scott
This Sunday at 9.30am I will be offering another short worship service online. Go to our website at https://balhannah.org to see it. It was very well received last week.
Grace and Peace
Geoff Hurst (firstname.lastname@example.org)