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This week's going to be an all-age worship. It also marks the beginning of the school holidays, which will be fantastic if today's awesome winter sun continues. Hope to see you all there!
A FEW WORDS
"The Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go."
Actually the Gospel reading this Sunday really excites me. It reminds us that Jesus didn't only send out apostles to spread the good news about God's kingdom; he sent heaps of other people also. Seventy of them in fact and although Luke doesn't say, there could well have been women among those ambassadors as well!
I love the relationships that are described in this story. They're sent out in pairs; obviously two people can encourage one another, pray together and share life's ups and downs along the way. The messengers bring peace to other people's homes. That means they recognize that there are God-sensitive, peace-hungry people in the places to where they go. And the peace giving flows both ways. The people to whom they go share food and hospitality; a real symbol of God's own hospitality.
It's a story about the earliest community of people who gathered around Jesus and attempted to share the joy of that life with others. They stepped out into the unknown and they took risks, and they did so because they understood that people are worth it and that God values people being together. I wonder what kind of peace-giving and hospitality-sharing awaits us as we discover the possibility that this sending and receiving movement of Jesus' original seventy followers is the blueprint for being church today?
MEANWHILE, THIS SUNDAY:
Reading (different from that on the roster)
Gospel Reading: Kelly Maxwell
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, "Peace to this house!' 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, "The kingdom of God has come near to you.' 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 "Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.'
16 "Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." 17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!" 18 He said to them, "I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19 See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
Welcoming: Stephanie Sturge, Penny Corbett
Prayers: Shared Activity
Ministry of Healing: Linda Adams, Angela Brown
Sidespeople: Dave Ramsell
Assistants: Mary Cropp, Andrea Ramsell
Crèche Space: Available for parents
Morning Tea: Gillian Perano, Amanda Cairns
Thanks again to all of you. As always I can be contacted either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at the office 351 7064. My cell phone is 021 201 4798 and home 351 7392.
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ be with each and all of you this week!