November 26, 2022

Reign of Christ 20-11-2022

20th November 2022 

(Christ the King Sunday)

Title: Reign of Christ 

(Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 23:1–6 & Luke 23:33–43)

                                                                                   By Heeyoung Lim

Grace and peace to you all. Today is Christ the King Sunday or Reign of Christ Sunday. It brings us full circle in the liturgical year. It means Today is the last Sunday of the church calendar. Next week, we will begin again in Advent, preparing for the birth of the Christ child.

In today’s texts, Jeremiah indicts leaders for not only failing to gather the people but scattering them. However, there is a message of hope in Jeremiah 23. The Lord promises to choose leaders who will care for scattered people like real shepherds. He declares that He will place new shepherds who will lead in accordance with God’s heart. He continues to declare that God’s people will no longer be afraid or terrified, not will any be missing. As in Jeremiah 23, the people scattered by the wrongdoing of their leaders will be brought back under the oversight of God as Shepherd. In Jeremiah, the term “shepherd” means “king”, and the prophet Jeremiah refers to God as a shepherd.

God will gather the scattered sheep from exile and provide a new ruler according to God’s plan. In verse 6, The Lord says, “As long as he is king, Israel will have peace and Judah will live in safety.” The name of this king will be called, “The Lord our Righteous Saviour.” The king will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 

God’s promise does not stop at bringing back the scattered ones and putting in place new leaders who will serve the people. This is beyond the past or present; it is a word of restoration that looks forward to the future and belongs to God.

Today’s text takes us from what humans have messed up to what God is able to accomplish. The promise of God comes even in our tough times. God’s word of promise re-creates the people’s trust in God. His word is the word of hope and restoration. Jeremiah 23 speaks as to both what God will do in the future and to what God is doing here and now. It is accomplished through the Servant-King and Good Shepherd Jesus.

We are able to see Jeremiah’s expectations for a righteous king here, and the king cares for all the people as a good shepherd. May we live with the Lord as our king and model what Micah’s call “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Christ is our king. 

As our world struggles with war, famine, heat wave, flood, bushfire, and many kinds of tragedies, how do we consider our call to live as God’s people? We long for God’s abundance and blessings in our lives, but we are suffering from something unexpected or difficult. What are our responses to the underlying issues of poverty, health, hunger, violence, and power? How do we get in on God’s restorative justice?

The reign of Christ is the reign of peace. Living under Christ’s reign means we are called to model Christ’s example to love God and neighbour. We are also called to work toward justice and God’s restoration for all people.

In Luke, while the religious leaders worked to destroy life, Jesus worked to save it. As Jesus prayed for forgiveness, the Roman soldiers mocked Jesus, took his clothes and casted lots for them. We can see that the word Psalm 22:18 was fulfilled in this act. God knew his Son would die, suffering for the sins of the world (Isa. 53). The crowd and soldiers continued mocking and testing until Jesus died on the cross.

Jesus’ chosen disciples had fled the area in fear while He was on the cross. He watched those who mocked him and crucified him and asked the Father to forgive them. (v. 34) Jesus is shown asking God’s forgiveness for his persecutors. He poured out grace on those who executed him. Jesus’ forgiveness and grace broke through darkness, ridicule, and even death, showing that he is the King of peace and love.

In Luke 22, the people gathered and called for Jesus’ crucifixion. In today’s text, they became bystanders and part of the audience even in front of Jesus’ death. (35) In addition, they challenged Jesus to prove his kingship and to save himself. However, Jesus refused to save himself, he provided salvation for the world. Jesus was not the political messiah people wanted; He was the suffering Servant Messiah who saved others by dying on the cross with life giving love. 

“Remember me when you come into your Kingdom” (v. 42) The repentant thief wanted to be remembered when Jesus entered his kingdom. The thief did not have to wait even one day, because Jesus’ response was immediate. He did not know all the truth about Jesus, but he had faith to ask to be part of what Jesus was up to. His faith and confession just before his death secured him a place with Jesus. He would be part of Jesus’ kingdom in paradise. Jesus did nothing to deserve a criminal’s death, but He died on the cross so that we might be part of his kingdom.

Jesus showed compassion and grace even on the cross. Salvation and eternal life are God’s gifts given through Jesus who died on the cross. Christ’s promise to the thief extends to all who believe in him. When we acknowledge our sin and seek his salvation, Jesus responds with a word for today. May we experience life in Christ’s kingdom today by believing in him. Living word of Christ will lead us in all circumstances and let us experience the kingdom of God even in this world. 

People’ sins led Jesus to the cross, but Jesus gave people opportunities to be saved by faith and places to be entered in His kingdom. Jesus has a place in paradise for believers. The cross revealed the glory of Christ by his obedience to God and his love by his care for other people. May we live a life that is dedicated to God and God’s way of peace, justice, and love above all else.

The reign of Christ for scattered, excluded, and people who are lost will continue in our lives. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, seeking and saving those who are lost. May we praise God for all he has done for us on the cross and live in expectation of the kingdom.

How can we express that God is the ruler of our lives? We are called to look to the Lord as king manifested in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. May we constantly look at Jesus and proclaim to whom we encounter the justice and love of Christ. This Sunday offers us the opportunity to proclaim God’s way and Christ’s reign. We can reflect on the truth that divine love and forgiveness are for each person. Christ’s peaceful reign does not know national boundaries. The reign of Christ holds us together and binds us by grace.

I believe that we will be closer to the Lord and live the life God wants. Just before Advent, may we think of our spiritual life over the past year or last ten years regarding closeness to God. I pray that our church family will be filled with divine love, peace, and justice in the reign of Christ. 

Thanks be to God! Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)

Order of Service and Notices 20-11-2022

pastedGraphic.png Worship at LEIGHMOOR UCA

Sunday 20th November 2022 – 9.30 a.m.

CHRIST THE KING

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

pastedGraphic_1.pngPLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE 

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP

WELCOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

PRAYER

TIS 675                      Lord the Light of Your Love              

    

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS             Jeremiah 23:1-6; Luke 23:33-43     

TIS 417                             Loving Spirit        

  

CHILDREN TIME 

SERMON:                     Reign of Christ            

               [Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]           

TIS 655                   O Let the Son of God Enfold You           

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

TIS 526                         Lord Jesus Christ   

BENEDICTION          God Be with You (v. 2)  

NOTICES:

Sunday School @Fellowship Hall

Morning Tea @Fellowship Hall 

Potted Palms Concert: 20th November 2PM @Leighmoor

Entry is by donation & Funds raised will go towards roof repairs

Music & Afternoon tea

Sausage Sizzle & A Book/Plant Stall: On Election Day, Saturday 26th November

Church Council Meeting @Middle Room, 27th November 

Friday Fellowship: 9th December 11AM @Fellowship Hall

Christmas Lunch – Bringing Dishes

Christmas Journey: Saturday, 24th December 4PM 

For Children and their families
Chilling + Interactive Christmas

Christmas Bible Fashion Show with Christmas Carols

Carols and Dancing + Treasure Hunt + Christmas Photo Zone 

Christmas Carol & Candle Service: Saturday, 24th December 8PM
For All Generations
Candle Service + Christmas Music + Words + Carols
Christmas Gifts Talk

Christmas Service: Sunday, 25th December 9.30AM

                     CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim 

M: 0432 054 369 E: hyfilm12@gmail.com 

Website: www.leighmoorunitingchurch.org 

God is Creating with his Infinite Possibilities 13-11-2022

13th November 2022 (Pentecost 23 & Remembrance Day) 

Title: God is creating with His infinite possibilities

(Scripture Readings: Isaiah 65:17–25 & Luke 21:5–9)

                                                                                     By Heeyoung Lim 

Today’s text invites us toward the Reign of Christ and Advent when we prepare to welcome the Messiah who came to us to embody God’s creating work and saving love and the infinite possibilities of “new heavens and new earth”. As we move toward the end of the church year, we long a renewed world healed by God’s love and justice for all people and all Creation.

Most scholars believe Isaiah 65:17–25 was written after the people of Judah returned from exile in Babylon. Their return was not as triumphant as they had hoped. Their homeland was destroyed and had to be rebuilt with so many risks. The prophet speaks to those facing the task of rebuilding Jerusalem. He speaks God’s word of hope that God will not remember Israel’s disobedience. The word remember in scripture means bringing a past event into the present with all costs. Just as God will not bring past transgressions into the present, the people are called to leave behind the fear and anguish of exile and embrace God’s infinite possibilities of “new heavens and a new earth” (v. 17). 

As in verse 18, God is creating “new heavens and a new earth.” May we be glad and rejoice forever in what God is creating. The new creation would differ greatly from the old one, being dominated by joy instead of sadness. The joy would be shared by God and by people. In God’s new creation, sadness will vanish, and weeping will be replaced by joy and peace. God’s people are participants in this new Creation.

This new Creation is described as a place where God’s people will live and enjoy meaningful lives in a close relationship with God. These messages reverse situations of human distress and difficulties and speak a word of God’s ultimate Justice and infinite love to all who have suffered. God’s living words influence our daily lives, and His people participate in this new Creation. The work of creation involves human participation now and in the future. Each of God’s faithful people would enjoy the works of their hands.

Even though Isaiah 11:18 declares that on God’s “holy mountain” the serpent and humankind will live in harmony, here the prophet suggests that God is limiting His creature from the beginning of this new Creation. In Genesis 3:14, the serpent is “cursed” for its part in the disobedience of Adam and Eve, but in this region of the Middle East, serpents were symbols of wisdom and fertility. What signs do we observe of “new heavens and new earth” in our lives?  What does it mean to live into this vision and help shape it? 

In today’s text, labour would be rewarded, every newborn would escape the sudden disaster, and curses would disappear. Every generation would be blessed by God. God’s people find joy in signs of God’s new creation. May we find joy as a new creation in Christ. 

In the time of Jesus, the Jews praised the beauty and wonder of their temple. They depended on fortresses for protection, or they were interested in beautiful architecture. Herod had built and decorated the temple with a huge amount of white marble stones and silver and gold gates and doors.

However, Jesus said, “The time is coming when not one of them will be left in place. He repeated his warning that the temple would be completely destroyed, and Jesus’ followers asked when this would happen. They wanted to know what signs would warn them. 

Jesus was not the only one who promised signs for the future. In those times, many teachers insisted on having more knowledge than Jesus did, and false messiahs wanted people to follow them as God’s Messiah. Deceivers will always try to gain glory and power by pointing to false signs of the last times.

Jesus who called people to “follow me” but now says, “Do not follow them.” The one we should follow is Jesus. In the following words, there are many signs Jesus mentioned, and they take place before Christ returns. Every generation has its wars or signs, but those are not the end, and they take place before the end comes. Christ has given us the signs so that we can pray and get ready for His second coming and the kingdom of God. In verse 18 and 19, Jesus promised that we will be saved by faith, and we will win life if we stand firm. May we lean on Jesus in all circumstances rather than depending on worldly values for protection from the sinful world.

Christ will return in glory, and he expects His people to be ready for His return. May we pray that God will give us strength and protection in the fears, uncertainty, and chaos we are experiencing. We do not know when Christ will come again, but signs of the times will help us realize the end is near so we can prepare for Jesus’ return. May we be alert to what is happening and be prepared to stand firm as a faithful and true follower. I believe that God gives us strength and protection for our daily lives and the last days. 

Luke 21:5–19 offers a vision, with enough trouble, loss, and sadness to make the strongest person shake with fear. When the gospel of Luke was written, the temple and Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Romans. God, loving and mighty creator, speaks His word into our weary world and makes all things new. May we live in the harmony God makes and leads. We are called to live out the gospel in this renewed world of God’s justice and peace. Jesus’ word is true and can be trusted for now and eternity. 

Luke mentions the fears, uncertainty, and chaos people are experiencing firsthand. Yet in the gospel, they hear Jesus’ words that even when all looks lost, they can trust in the creative presence of God. He will put a word on their lips, a song in their hearts, with the wisdom and strength they need for the most difficult of times. Even when it appears all is lost, God calls us to participate in the healing promise of God. One day God’s praying people will see a new heaven and a new earth, paradise restored, with no more violence, no more injustice, and peace and joy for all. I believe that we are also to “be glad and rejoice forever in what God is creating” 

Today’s text provides an opportunity for worshippers to rejoice in God’s promises, express gratitude for God’s blessings, review experiences of God’s assistance in times past, and commit their trust to God for the future. I believe that worship that promotes joyful experiences through fellowship, music, prayer, teaching, and proclamation will offer and deepen a spiritual foundation.

In Christ, may we stan firm in all circumstances. 

A Prayer for People of Courage

We offer to you, O God, our prayers for those who seek justice and resist evil. We pray for those who need your presence and strength to stand firm; for those who are oppose the use of violence in any form in faithful response to the Prince of Peace. We pray for those are prepared to be firm to protect those in danger. We pray for those who walk with others who need strength. We pray for those who protest, those who organize letter campaigns, those who give sacrificially on behalf of others. 

We pray for those who speak the unpopular truth; who protect the unpopular victims; who choose the unpopular path of peace.

We pray for those who do not let their desire for peace hinder the requirements of justice, and for those who do not let their zeal for justice override the call for peace.

Thanks be to God! Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials) 

Order of Service and Notices 13-11-2022

pastedGraphic.png Worship at LEIGHMOOR UCA

Sunday 13th November 2022 – 9.30 a.m.

PENTECOST 23 

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

pastedGraphic_1.pngPLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE 

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP

WELCOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

PRAYER

TIS 156                         Morning Has Broken              

    

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS             Isaiah 65:17-25; Luke 21:5-9      

TIS 217 (i)                             Love Divine           

  

CHILDREN TIME 

SERMON: God Is Creating with His Infinite Possibilities            

               [Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]           

TIS 123                               Be Still My Soul           

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

TIS 569                                   Guide me     

BENEDICTION          God Be with You (v. 1)  

NOTICES:

Sunday School @Fellowship Hall

Morning Tea @Fellowship Hall 

Potted Palms Concert: 20th November 2PM @Leighmoor

Entry is by donation & Funds raised will go towards roof repairs

Music & Afternoon tea preparation

Sausage Sizzle & A Book/Plant Stall: On Election Day, Saturday 26th November

Friday Fellowship: 9th December 11AM @Fellowship Hall

Christmas Lunch – Bringing Dishes

Christmas Journey: Saturday, 24th December 4PM 

For Children and their families
Chilling + Interactive Christmas

Christmas Bible Fashion Show with Christmas Carols

Carols and Dancing + Treasure Hunt + Christmas Photo Zone 

Christmas Carol & Candle Service: Saturday, 24th December 8PM
For All Generations
Candle Service + Christmas Music + Words + Carols
Christmas Gifts Talk

Christmas Service: Sunday, 25th December 9.30AM

                     CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim 

M: 0432 054 369 E: hyfilm12@gmail.com 

Website: www.leighmoorunitingchurch.org 

Zoom Service: Henry Wan (0403 150 404)

Closing time for Notices is 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.

God’s Truth 06-11-2022

Leighmoor, Murrumbeena, Coatsville combined service

Sunday 6 November 2022

All Saints

Readings: Psalm 98, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17, Luke 20: 27-38

Title: God’s truth

Rev Anneke Oppewal

Psalm 98 is a beautiful song of praise filled with joy and bubbling with imagery that is uplifting and heart warming. Rivers clapping their hands, mountains that jump for joy, the sea bubbling with excitement while trumpets and other musical instruments play jubilant tunes. It sings of a God that conquers the world with justice and faithful love, that comes to save and shows the world what righteousness, a life according to God’s hopes for the world look like. 

In the Church of my youth in Holland there was a hymn that caught that mood perfectly. And to this day it is still one of my all time favourites. Even hearing the first notes lifts my mood and my heart and I’ll keep humming it for hours after I have heard or sung it. I’m sure there is an equivalent in English, but, up till now, I’ve never encountered an English rendition of Psalm 98 that does the same as the Dutch one does for me. 

I hope you have hymns or songs or music like that. That lift you wherever you are or whatever you are doing or feeling at the time and will take you to another level of being. If only for a little while. 

That Jesus would have known and sung this psalm makes it even more precious I think. It was the spiritual food he would have been raised on. Words that accompanied him on his journey and shaped his way of worshipping and prayer every day. Singing God’s praises with words that went back to the time of Kin David and some of them even to before that, singing and reciting words that have stayed with his followers for centuries after. 

Old, old songs and words that have renewed, revived and revitalised people for thousands of years now. And we are still singing them. How good is that? 

What happens in the gospel reading is in stark contrast to the joy and boundless energy with which the Psalm speaks to us. The mood is cold and dark, the words are clipped and angry, the imagery conjured up is one of confusion, conflict and angst. Jesus has entered Jerusalem, he has entered the temple, he is in the place where that joy for God should have been more abundant than anywhere else and the tension and simmering passive aggression is palpable. 

Tell us Jesus….. The sadducees, priests that were in charge of the temple grounds, wealthy, powerful and considered authorities on matters of religion, come and put an absurd question to Jesus. Not because they want to learn something. Not because they are interested in debate. But because they want to cut Jesus down to size, diminish him in the eyes of the people, embarrass him if they can. 

The question is in the same category as the question that kept theologians in the middle ages occupied for a while about how many angels would fit on the top of a needle. 

And the answer is very simple: We don’t know. 

So, if the law in Jesus day, designed to protect widowed women and make sure males had a maximum chance of continuing into the future through their offspring, even if they died, could result in an absurd scenario. Should brothers continue to die and a widow continue to be handed down the line of a group of brothers, what would happen if they all turned up in heaven after the resurrection is a question we cannot know the answer to and that the scriptures don’t, anywhere, even attempt to solve. 

What Jesus does, when that absurd and unanswerable question is put to him, is show up the people that ask it as people that lack faith and imagination in even coming up with the question. 

They take a law that was designed to keep women, who at that time lost everything when they got married, safe by ordering that their new family would continue to look after them. And that a man who died without children might still have his name continue into the future through a child his brother might have with his wife. So the brother, through this child, could be present when the end of times would come to bring praises to God. 

The sadducees, with their question, turn a law that was designed to protect and secure life into an absurd questioning of what might happen after we all die in a place that none of us can know exactly what will happen about. 

Look, says Jesus, as he shows them up quoting from their own sacred scriptures. All I know is that God is a God of the living, even after they have died. Moses, Abraham, Isaak, Jacob: God has never stopped loving them and they are, still, alive, for God as well as for us in who they were and how they lived. For God that difference, that may be such a big thing in our minds and hearts, the boundary between life and death, is simply non existent and of no importance. God is here. And in God all who have lived are still alive. And all who have lived we may know are still loved, known and cared for by God. As we are loved, known and cared for. 

That’s all we need to know. And how that works out? Well, perhaps all we need to do there is trust that in God’s way, in God’s time, in God’s world that will be worked out in a way that we may simply not be able to imagine. 

What the sadducees at the time of the question didn’t know, but what Luke, at the time of writing did know, is that the temple where this debate takes place, the home ground of the sadducees where they feel confident enough to waylay Jesus with their questions, will soon no longer be. That the whole structure of how the Jewish faith is organised and especially the priestly caste of the Sadducees is about to disappear completely from the face of the earth. 

Those who Luke was writing for would have also know that, as we do. Which makes the question of the Sadducees even more poignantly absurd. They worry about what might happen to a imaginary woman in an imaginary scenario after death, while their own death and all that they stand for is imminent without them realising it. Where will they be when the time comes? How will they live on in God’s love and care? Where will they be when the time comes? 

Even larger of course, for Luke, for the people he writes for and for us, looms the death and resurrection of Jesus and how in him life after death will take on a completely different meaning and dimension. Here, now, God is the God of the living Christ and the living Christ a reality that continues in our midst. Here, now, life after death, the death of Jesus, is taking shape in our lives and faith. Here, now, a new temple has come about, not one of bricks and mortar but of living faith in Christ. 

We, and if we read those few verses from 2 Thessalonians correctly, they too, keep struggling to come to terms with that. While we continue to quibble about minutiae that really don’t matter that much in the context of eternity and the eternal and limitless love and care of God for all people, present, past and future, we find it hard to focus on the bigger picture. 

The God who Moses met at the burning bush, the God who called Abraham and travelled with his offspring, the God who kept widening the circle of grace and love until it included all of creation in his longing for life and light, that God is not going to let us go. That God will be around after our buildings and theological systems and dogmatic constructs have gone to dust and will continue to love and care and save and bring justice and joy to those who open their heart to that God. 

That is all we need to know. God is faithful, God will remain faithful, God has been faithful in love, in the pursuit of justice, in the working of miracles that bring and sustain life in abundance. Here, now and everywhere. 

Sing a new Song says the Psalm and it is really a very old song we are called to take up anew. For a God that works miracles, that comes to bring justice, peace, healing and righteous living, a God that loves, cares and guides towards a life filled with joy and praise into eternity.   Amen. 

Order of Service and Notices 06-11-2022

pastedGraphic.png LCM Combined Service 

at LEIGHMOOR UCA

Sunday 6th November 2022 – 10 a.m.

PENTECOST 22  

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

SONG OF PRAISE          Hear our Praises

PRAYER OF CONFESSION 

DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS 

CHILDREN TIME 

BIBLE READING   Ps 98; 2 Thess 2:1-5, 13-17; Luke 20:27-38

CHILDREN SINGING     Creature Praise

MESSAGE 

SONG & OFFERING        Seek Ye First 

OFFERING PRAYER 

SONG             Give Us Hearts to Know You Lord

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

HOLY COMMUNION 

TIS 693                     Come as You Are     

BENEDICTION              

BLESSING SONG

NOTICES:

Sunday School @Fellowship Hall

Morning Tea @Fellowship Hall 

LCM Fellowship & Iris’ 100th Birthday 

Potted Palms Concert: 20th November 2PM @Leighmoor

Entry is by donation & Funds raised will go towards roof repairs

Music & Afternoon tea preparation

Sausage Sizzle & A Book/Plant Stall: On Election Day, Saturday 26th November

Friday Fellowship: 9th December 11AM @Fellowship Hall

Christmas Lunch – Bringing Dishes

Christmas Journey: Saturday, 24th December 4PM 

For Children and their families
Chilling + Interactive Christmas

Christmas Bible Fashion Show with Christmas Carols

Carols and Dancing + Treasure Hunt + Christmas Photo Zone 

Christmas Carol & Candle Service: Saturday, 24th December 8PM
For All Generations
Candle Service + Christmas Music + Words + Carols
Christmas Gifts Talk

Christmas Service: Sunday, 25th December 9.30AM

LCM Christmas Events: Further Notice

Transformed Witnesses 30-10-2022

30th October 2022 (Pentecost 21 & Reformation Sunday) 

Title: Transformed Witnesses

(Scripture Readings: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12 & Luke 19:1-10)

                                                                              By Heeyoung Lim 

In 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12, a community has been praised for its steadfastness in the face of persecution. Paul expressed his gratitude for the connection between the faith growth and the community’s growing love. God’s love is made visible in many ways, through a transformed life, the love of an individual, and the change of perceptions and growing intimacy of a community. We find an inner strength and shared feeling when we recognize and give thanks for how individual and collective beings witness God’s abundant grace every day. May we consider the many ways God’s love is made visible in our days, in our communities and the world.

In verses 1-4, Paul greets the congregation at Thessalonica with love and gratitude. He notes that their increasing faith and love and spiritual maturity are growing stronger and steadier. Their maturity and growth are considered as an example of Christian stability for other communities. In verses 11–12, Paul assures that he, Silvanus, and Timothy will continue to pray for them. He believes that God may continue to empower them, help to fulfill their calling, lead to the glory of their Lord Jesus.

We need growth and maturity to be strong as a witness of Christ in the midst of changing times and a challenging world. Paul boasts of the faith of the Thessalonians and highlights their growth. He focuses on their improvements and commends not only their performance but their effort. Paul’s applause for the Thessalonians should today be understood as affirming their love for God and love for people and churches that seek to be a community of faith.

The writer notes with gratitude that “the love of every one of you for one another is increasing” (v. 3). The faith community has been bound together by faith and love, even in its suffering. Their mutual love and their regard for one another has been increased even under the pain of persecution. God will not forget such steadfastness. 

In verses 11 & 12, God is the one who through His own power and grace makes people worthy of God’s call so that the name of Jesus is glorified in the world, and they are glorified in Jesus. These are the points of their prayers. After praying that the Thessalonians would experience God’s grace and peace, Paul offered thanksgiving for those believers because they continued to develop in faith and love. Although experiencing hardship, this church was an example to other churches because of their community life and love. This requires change and growth, and the story of a changed witness is found in the Gospel of Luke 19. 

In Luke 19:1-4, Jesus continued his journey up the dangerous hills toward Jerusalem. A tax collector was determined to see Jesus. As an administrator for the Roman government’s tax office, Zacchaeus had great wealth. He may overcharge the Jewish people and take a cut from the taxes gathered by other tax collectors whose work he administered. However, his wealth could not provide the one thing he wanted more than anything else. He was not able to see over or get through the massive crowd swarming around Jesus, Zacchaeus ran ahead, found a tree, and climbed up into its branches.

In 19:5, the clever tax collector did get a view of Jesus, and Jesus spotted him up in the tree. Jesus even invited himself to dinner at his house. Jesus said it was necessary for him to visit Zacchaeus. A necessity initiated by God to show one more time Jesus’ mission on earth. In 19:6-7, he overjoyed at this unexpected privilege, the short man rushed down the tree. 

The big crowd or his short height does not prevent Jesus from coming to Zacchaeus’s tree, making eye contact with him, calling him down, and inviting himself into the tax collector’s home and life. Jesus is going to eat with a sinful man, and the crowd must have complained. In going to dinner with Zacchaeus, Jesus showed his love and dedication to seeking and saving the lost rather than catering to the proud. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, not to fulfill religious demands.

We are sometimes hindered from seeing and experiencing the grace of God. Our sinful condition or worldly wind eclipses the light of God from shining into our lives from time to time. However, when God gives light into our hearts, He leads us to the glory of God in Jesus Christ.

As in verse 8, after meeting Jesus, the tax collector was no longer the same person. He would enter the kingdom of God, but not as a wealthy man. God’s house is a place of prayer, not of business. He would take half of what he owned and give it to the poor. He would find the people he had overcharged on their tax bill and refund four times as much as he had cheated them. 

Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem to face his death when he encounters this man whom we might rightly expect him to rebuke. However, Jesus stops and gives Zacchaeus the honour of staying at his house that night. He responds to this with great joy. When the crowd grumble that Jesus is staying with a sinner, Zacchaeus stands up on his little feet, stretches up as tall as he can, and declares that he will give half his possessions to the poor and repay any deception fourfold. This goes far beyond what Jewish law demands. Jesus declares that “salvation has come to this house” (v. 9).

Zacchaeus seems to have accepted the penalty of the law and applied it to himself more than demands. Acceptance by Jesus made money insignificant. Repentance came in the form of action. Salvation brings repentance and change of lifestyle. He had a new lifestyle because he had a new Lord. He is a transformed witness. This story tells us that the gospel is about commitment to God, but it is also about joy and looking for Jesus. May we take a step toward Jesus as Jesus walks to find us time and again.

Jesus dedicated his earthly ministry to finding people who were lost and showed them God’s way of salvation. His purpose was to bring salvation to lost people. The mission of his followers is to seek and save the lost. Jesus is the one who came in the name of the Lord to bring peace and salvation. May we search for lost people and tell them about the Saviour. 

In today’s text, Jesus seeks not only the lost in general but Zacchaeus in particular. This is one of heavenly initiated divine calls. In the Bible, Jesus sometimes selects individuals from crowds and extends personal invitations to them to become followers. When God calls us, we respond with faith and obedience. May we spread Lord’s salvation and love to our family, friends, and the lost.

Do we need to renew our commitment to the Saviour? May we prepare ourselves in faithfulness and prayer to be ready when the Saviour returns. I hope we can confess Jesus as king of our lives and of the universe. Turning from our sins and confessing Him as our Saviour and Lord bring our lifestyle changes. Zacchaeus is a transformed witness as a new creation. He goes from being a distant observer of Jesus to being a faithful disciple of Christ. 

May we also respond to the Lord through the maturity of our faith and changes in our lives on this Reformation Sunday. I also hope that our faith community will grow in love and faith for each other and become a more beautiful community where we can boast of each other in the Lord.

Thanks be to God! Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials) 

Order of Service and Notices 30-10-2022

pastedGraphic.png Worship at LEIGHMOOR UCA

Sunday 30th October 2022 – 9.30 a.m.

PENTECOST 21 & Reformation Sunday 

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

pastedGraphic_1.pngPLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE 

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP

WELCOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

PRAYER

SRC 185            How Deep the Father’s Love for Us             

    

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12; Luke 19:1-10      

ATFG 531 Let’s Remind Each Other How the World Was Won          

  

CHILDREN TIME 

SERMON:            Transformed Witnesses           

               [Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]           

TIS 685                            Lord I Come to You          

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

TIS 659                       The Lord is My Shepherd    

BENEDICTION          God Be with You (v. 4)  

NOTICES:

Sunday School @Fellowship Hall 

Morning Tea @Fellowship Hall 

Church Council Meeting: Today after Worship @Middle Room

Friday Fellowship: 4th November 10AM @Middle Room

Setting and Music Rehearsal for LCM Combined Service

Saturday 5th November 2PM & Sunday 6th November 9AM

LCM Combined Service: 6th November 10AM

LCM: Leighmoor, Coatesville, and Murrumbeena UC

@Leighmoor Uniting Church & Zoom 

Morning tea is to be provided by the Leighmoor Congregation

Potted Palms Concert: 20th November 2PM @Leighmoor

Entry is by donation & Funds raised will go towards roof repairs

Music & Afternoon tea preparation

Sausage Sizzle & A Book/Plant Stall: On Election Day, Saturday 26th November

Uluru Statement Studies @St. David’s UC, Oakleigh

Sunday afternoon, October 2, November 6, and December 4

Order of Service and Notices 23-10-2022

pastedGraphic.png Worship at LEIGHMOOR UCA

Sunday 23rd October 2022 – 9.30 a.m.

PENTECOST 20  

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

pastedGraphic_1.pngPLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE 

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP

WELCOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

PRAYER

TIS (i) 217            Love Divine, All Loves Excelling            

    

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS             Ezekiel 47:1-12; John 4:1-30     

TIS 745                                Seek Ye First         

  

CHILDREN TIME 

SERMON:                Abundant Love            

               [Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]           

TIS 650                    Brother Sister Let Me Serve You         

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

TIS 256          From Heaven You Came, Helpless Babe   

BENEDICTION          God Be with You (v. 3)

NOTICES:

Welcome: We welcome Rev. Anneke Oppewal to our Service. Anneke represents Pastoral Care at Port Phillip East Presbytery.  

Sunday School @Fellowship Hall 

Morning Tea @Fellowship Hall 

Church Council Meeting: October 30 @Middle Room

Friday Fellowship: Postponed (further notice)

LCM Combined Service: 6th November 10AM

LCM: Leighmoor, Coatesville, and Murrumbeena UC

@Leighmoor Uniting Church & Zoom 

    Morning tea is to be provided by the Leighmoor Congregation.

Potted Palm Concert: 20th November @Leighmoor

Sausage Sizzle & a Book/Plant Stall: On Election Day, Saturday 25th November. 

Uluru Statement Studies @St. David’s UC, Oakleigh

Sunday afternoon, October 2, November 6, and December 4. 

Order of Service and Notices 16-10-2022

pastedGraphic.png Worship at LEIGHMOOR UCA

Sunday 16th October 2022 – 9.30 a.m.

PENTECOST 19  

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

pastedGraphic_1.pngPLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE 

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP

WELCOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

PRAYER

LP 62                 Be Still for the Presence of the Lord            

    

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS                         Luke 18:1-8    

TIS 491                Father Welcomes All His Children        

  

CHILDREN TIME 

SERMON:                 Service of Prayer           

               [Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]           

TIS 685                            Lord I Come to you         

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

LP 20                                   In Christ Alone   

BENEDICTION          God Be with You (v. 1)

NOTICES:

Welcome: We welcome Rev. Devanandan Anandarajan to our Service. Dev represents Intercultural Leadership Development Coordinator at Synod.  

Sunday School @Fellowship Hall 

Morning Tea @Fellowship Hall 

Friday Fellowship: Postponed (further notice)

LCM Combined Music Event: 23 October 1PM @Coatesville UC (Cnr Mackie and North Road, Bentleigh East)  

LCM Combined Service: 6th November 10AM

LCM: Leighmoor, Coatesville, and Murrumbeena UC

@Leighmoor Uniting Church & Zoom 

    Morning tea is to be provided by the Leighmoor Congregation.

Potted Palm Concert: 20th November @Leighmoor

Sausage Sizzle & a Book/Plant Stall: On Election Day, Saturday 25th November. 

Uluru Statement Studies @St. David’s UC, Oakleigh

Sunday afternoon, October 2, November 6, and December 4. 

Heeyoung’s Annual Leave

From 3rd to 27th October (9th,16th, and 23rd October)

                     CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim 

M: 0432 054 369 E: hyfilm12@gmail.com 

Website: www.leighmoorunitingchurch.org 

Zoom Service: Henry Wan (0403 150 404)

Closing time for Notices is 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Forward to Rohini Mendis (0421 318 545)