May 16, 2021

Jesus Farewell Prayer for his People 16-05-2021

16th May 2021 Seventh Sunday of Easter
Title: Jesus’ Farewell Prayer for His People
(Scripture Readings: Psalm1; John 17:6-19)
By Heeyoung Lim
We live on earth, which is God’s creation and a gift from God, but India COVID-19 crisis, violence by Myanmar coup, serious conflict between the Israeli Army and Palestinian militants, and many kinds of problems and sufferings are continued in the world. For instance, the airstrikes by both sides continued to kill civilians including children, it raised alarm across the world. I expect that we can pray together for our sisters and brothers who are facing violence and conflict in the Middle East, and I hope God of the nations will give to all people the blessings of well-being, peace, freedom, harmony, and unity.
Psalm1 described God-blessed life. The godly does not walk in the counsel of the wicked; the righteous person does not stand in the way of sinners, and the person does not sit in the seat of mockers. In the text, the delight of the godly is in the law of the LORD, the person who knows genuine joy reads and meditates God’s Word day and night. (1-2) The person who delights in God’s law will be like a tree planted by streams of water. The godly are abundantly blessed because they are deeply rooted in God’s Word.
Verse 6 summarizes the two ways in life; the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked. The Lord watches over the way of the righteous, which means that the Lord has a personal relationship with the godly and is involved with them to guide, protect, and bless them. Blessed are the righteous who do not participate in the deceptions and defilements of this world and who internalize God’s Word. Psalm 1 invites us into the blessed life through God’s words. I hope we will be satisfied in the Lord and will be like a tree that yields its fruit in season. The joy and transformation through God’s Word are also seen in Jesus’ farewell prayer from the gospel of John.
John 17 verses 6 -19 focuses on Jesus’ concerns for the disciples. This passage is a part of the ‘High Priestly Prayer’ that Jesus offers up in his role as mediator between God and humanity. But Jesus is not portrayed in a priestly role in today’s text, this prayer shows the proximity of the end of Jesus’ ministry. It seems that Jesus is wrapping up his ministry by telling God what will be needed as the disciples move forward.
The first act of the Son was to tell disciples and show them what the Father is like. The disciples heard about God and his plan through the Son. Jesus identified his task in the world to His disciples.
Jesus prayed for His disciples; this prayer focuses on those believers God has given Him. In verse 10 Jesus says that glory has come to me through them. In Jesus’ prayer His disciples and believers represent the glory of the Son of God even though they are sinning human beings. In verse 13 Jesus said, “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world.” Jesus has come from God, and he is returning to God. This is Jesus’ farewell prayer for His disciples and us. In praying for them, Jesus entrusted His people to the Father when Jesus prepares to depart from the world.
God watch over Christ’s people who live in the world though they are not of the world. He wanted us as Jesus’ followers to be kept from evil; Jesus was asking the Father to preserve His people from the tricks and traps of the world. Living in the world does not mean being part of the world. The disciples were able to go into the world because they were not of the world. We are also not of the world; we are God’s people who belong to God the Creator, and through faith in Christ, we have become children of God. We are gifts from the Father to the Son and relate to Him by faith. For Christians who have faith and obedience, infiltration is a better strategy than isolation in the world. I hope we can all be God’s instruments to change the world in accordance with God’s will.
Jesus told his followers that they should be one in this world. Jesus said that they may be one, as we are one. Jesus wanted us to be one in our communities and witnesses to the world. There is no excuse for Christians not to passionately and newly work towards the unity Jesus prayed for, even though unity cannot be forced in any relationships. As we know being the same is not the basis of unity. Unity does not mean uniformity or a single standard, it is based on peace and love. We do not need to wait for someone else to make peace, we can be the first to try for reconciliation with love as a peacemaker. It will be a necessary process for us to be one in Christ.
The Father sent the Son into the world and now the Son was sending the believers into the world. (18) Jesus is praying that God protect for the disciples with the loving care that Jesus himself has received; this is God’s paternal care that will not leave us but prevents us everywhere. Jesus prayed for their protection and sanctification. Jesus wanted us to sanctify by the truth which is God’s word. God gave us the living words and opportunities to sanctify. The meaning of sanctification is that of being set apart for God’s special purpose rather than just doing of good deeds or pretending to be holy. Jesus prays for the disciples to be “set apart” when they live in the world, since they do not belong to the world. It is not a way of being taken out of the world but being sent into it. Jesus prays that his followers will be sanctified so that they may be witnesses of the Lord and bring the good news to the world.
Realistically, true peace and reconciliation are necessary between individuals and nations with conflict and violence. Prayerfully I hope the newly faced COVID risks in India, violence and tragedy in Myanmar coup, and the serious conflict between Israel and Palestine will disappear.
We live in a world where human dignity is tremendously broken, but hopefully the peace of the Lord will be upon all the people and relationships. We are called to love. In our faith we promise to respect the dignity of every human being. We share our love and praise of God with others and invite them to believe in Jesus with us. We are also sent by Jesus to transform this darkness and sadness of the world by being His witnesses and spreading the gospel to the world in faith and life.
How can our church be more faithful to Jesus’ demands? A sense of Christ’s presence that will allow us to live more faithfully in the world will influence us to be transformed and energized by the truth of God’s word. I believe that God will lead us to an act of dedication as Jesus has dedicated himself to God’s work. I hope we can trust God’s protection for our spiritual and physical life all the time and I pray that we can fulfill God’s will for the church by working to keep its unity. I expect that we can be the godly and peacemakers for the kingdom of God and disciples and leaders for the transformation of the world by our prayers, sanctification, and love.
If we are one in Jesus, there can be no reason why we may not be one in our lives and communities. I believe that unity and harmony in the church serve as a witness to the world. I hope that we can try to make a beautiful community and the world that pleases God by love, unity, and sanctification remembering Jesus’ farewell prayer.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)

Order of Service and Notices 16-05-2021

PLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE

SERVICE OF APPROACH

OPENING & WELCOME
PRAYER

TIS 726 I Will Give Thanks to You  

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS Psalm 1:1-6; John 17:6-19

TIS 655 O, Let the Son of God Enfold You  

CHILDREN TIME

SERMON: Jesus’ Farewell Prayer for His People
[Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]

SRC 515 This Is My Desire

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
NOTICES – OFFERTORY

TIS 675 Lord, the Light of Your Love Is Shining

BENEDICTION God Be with You (v. 1)

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics

Leighmoor Uniting Church
Protection for Families and Friends
Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need
Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations
Culture of Discipleship
Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

“Loving God,
Who travels with us in the shadows,
You know who we are,
We long for life which is full and free
We long to know the truth…
From ‘Liturgies for the journey of life’

Church Council Meeting: Today

Sunday School & Messy Church

Friday Fellowship: Venue to be advised on Sunday
(Monthly in this stage)

CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim
M: 0432 054 369 E: hyfilm12@gmail.com
Website: www.leighmoorunitingchurch.org

CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim
M: 0432 054 369 E: hyfilm12@gmail.com
Website: www.leighmoorunitingchurch.org

You Are My Friends 09-05-2021

9th May 2021 Sixth Sunday of Easter
Title: You Are My Friends
(Scripture Readings: Acts 10:44-48; John 15:9-17)
By Heeyoung Lim
Happy Mother’s Day! May the Lord bless your home and the places of your work with His grace and blessing. I hope that today will be a day of blessing for all mothers, and God’s special grace and comfort will be with those who have parted with their mother on earth.
We saw and heard the cries that Black Lives Matter or All Lives Matter in the mid-2020 and witnessed hatred and violence against Asian in many nations and across the globe recently. Many people and protesters tried to call for equality, justice, and peace, but some of them had already died undeservedly, and many people around the world are still suffering from domestic violence and abuse. We cannot find love in all these pains, but today the Lord is telling us to love one another, follow my commands, and be my friends.
In Acts 10, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word while Peter was still speaking. (Acts 10:44) It happened before Peter had a chance to baptize Cornelius and his family, before he heard their confession of faith. Acts 10:44-48 refers to the ‘gentile Pentecost’. This is the fourth pouring out of the Spirit in Acts, this time prior to water baptism and upon even to the gentile. Peter exemplifies the transformation under power of the Holy Spirit. God is the subject of salvation; Peter was an instrument, not the source of salvation. The salvation has been through the inbreaking of the Holy Spirit even to the Gentiles. The Gentile believers also belong to the household of God because God accepts them as they are.
This accounts for the constant relational importance under the help of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who trusts in the name of Jesus for salvation receives the Holy Spirit and the privilege of baptism. Anyone who believes in Jesus needs to be welcomed to His body, the church, for God shows no boundaries and prejudices in the invitation of the gospel. (47) The gospel makes salvation in Jesus available to anyone who believes in Him.
Have you ever imagined that the Holy Spirit may have a hard time getting through our stubborn desire to stay the way we are? I think that the Holy Spirit is sometimes trying to break through our unnecessary boundaries and prejudices that have become rock hard in our lives. We can continue to pass on the good tradition from one generation to another, but we also need to open to the Holy Spirit that brings new message in accordance with God’s will.
The Holy Spirit broke the barriers between Jew and Gentile and propelled the witness of the resurrection beyond the boundaries of Jerusalem and Galilee. What seems clear is that Christians can rejoice and love in the Lord even in the difficulties of the world’s hatred and injustice. We live in the world full of boundaries, but Jesus’ invitation towards the salvation and the gospel is for everyone. Therefore, the boundaries of prejudice and exclusion need to be broken in the love of God.
John 15:9-17 continues Jesus’ teaching on abiding in love and the command to love one another; it tells us to keep the connection between Jesus and us so the relationship will never be broken. The quality of relationships is related to the life, message, and commands of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we remain in Jesus, our lives will be filled with joy and a lasting friendship with the Lord. Love is an absolute command for believers and the chief fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22-23). It is also the essential factor in our relationships.
John 15 emphasises the great love six times in today’s text the disciples will be told to love one another. The Father loves first; then the Son shows that love by obeying God’s will; remaining in the Lord’s love also requires obedience and brings joy. God is pleased when we obey Christ’s commands and follow His examples.
The Lord told the disciples he wanted them to experience the joy he had already found in obedience. He said to them, “I have told you this to make you as completely happy as I am.” Jesus wants us to rejoice in the Lord. It is a blessing that Jesus calls his followers into joy. Christian life is characterized by ‘unexhausted passion for the Lord and unconditional love for others.
Jesus’ command is to love each other as He has loved us. He taught us that the greatest way to show love for friends is to die for one’s friends. Jesus said that you are my friends if you do what I command. (12-14) Only Abraham had been called ‘God’s friend’ in the Old Testament; but now the scope widened, and the Lord invited His disciples in. We are Jesus’ friends if we obey Him.
But we sometimes forget the fact that friendship is connected to obedience to Jesus’ command to love. A genuine love for one another is one of ways to show love for God; it can be a way to become Jesus’ friend. The disciples were Jesus’ servants, but Jesus taught them the way to become His friends. We need to remember Romans 5:8: “God demonstrates His own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God finds and loves us first. Loving each other is central to bearing fruit of life and will be a significant defence against the evil world. Jesus wants us to love others faithfully and fervently.
In Matthew 7, Jesus said that “every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit, by their fruit you will recognize them” Christians can glorify God by producing fruits as a spiritual character and a lifestyle as long as they remain in the vine our Lord Jesus. God wants us to enjoy being loved and to joyfully bear the fruits of love, He wishes us to take pleasure in living in love. I hope we can love each other as Jesus has loved us and choose unity instead of conflict, trust instead of mistrust, and obedience instead of disobedience in Jesus.
As we abide in the vine as branches, we have opportunities to relate to the other branches in right way. Many of us are vulnerable, but we can be a strength and comfort by our sacrifice for each other, sincere interaction in our communities, and respecting one another until everyone feel like blessed one.
The love God offers us in Jesus is unconditional and overwhelming. It is not leftover love tossed to us; it is life-giving love for us. Jesus says, “I love you in the same way that I am loved by the Father. We are being invited to share in the full depths of love that exist in the relationships within God, the relationships of sincere love between the Father, the Son and the Spirit. Jesus points out that there is no greater expression of love than to lay down your life for your friends, and then he does just that. He lays down his life for us!
In John 15, Friends of Jesus remain in His love (15:9-11); Friends of Jesus obey his commands (15:12-14); Friends of Jesus love one another. (15:15-17) Remaining in the Lord’s love also requires obedience and brings joy. I pray we can abide in Jesus’ love, and I believe Jesus is in us and we are in the fullness of Jesus’ love. I hope His joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
I hope that we can reflect on the process of growing into the words of Christ, discover how the life of a faithful community leads it into the joy, love, friendship, and being saved by Christ. We are all Jesus’ friends if we love each other as Jesus has loved us. Jesus calls us His friends if we do what He commands. I pray that we will love one another by understanding sympathetically, appreciating often, praying fervently, listening carefully, and sharing generously.
Being Jesus’ friends is truly a special blessing. I believe that God will renew us and transform our church by His steadfast love.

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

Order of Service and Notices 09-05-2021

PLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE

SERVICE OF APPROACH

OPENING & WELCOME:
PRAYER

SRC 180 Holy Spirit, Come  

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS Acts 10:44-48; John 15:9-17

SRC 566 What a Friend We Have in Jesus  

CHILDREN TIME

SERMON: You Are My Friend
[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 154 Great Is Your Faithfulness

BENEDICTION God Be with You (v. 4)

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics

Leighmoor Uniting Church
Protection for Families and Friends
Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need
Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations
Culture of Discipleship
Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

Sunday School & Messy Church

Friday Fellowship: Venue to be advised on Sunday

CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim
M: 0432 054 369 E: hyfilm12@gmail.com

The Vine and the Branches 02-05=2021

2nd May 2021 Fifth Sunday of Easter
Title: The Vine and the Branches
(Scripture Readings: Acts 8:26-40; John 15:1-8)
By Heeyoung Lim
Philip was sent by an angel from Samaria to the desert, and he was empowered by the Holy Spirit. The lay disciple Philip went wherever God sent. (Acts 8:26) Philip was in God’s plan and ministering through the Holy Spirit. (27) When Philip was doing his missionary work among the Samaritans, he received a divine invitation to broaden the boundaries of the Christian message from the familiar surroundings. (40) The mission field has been extended to the desert for everyone’s salvation.
God led him to meet an Ethiopian eunuch, treasurer to the queen. The man was on his way home from temple worship, and he was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” (29) Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. The man invited Philip to come up and sit with him; he asked the questions that lead to an introduction of the Saviour. (34) The Ethiopian man was baptised and continued his journey home, “rejoicing.” The joyful return is introduced throughout Luke’s gospel many times.
Philip listened to God’s voice through the angel of the Lord, ran to the chariot by the Holy Spirit, and explained the meaning of the Scripture with joy. Leading other people to Christ requires that we be ready, unafraid, able to use God’s Word, and filled with the Holy Spirit. (39)
Philip may have felt mixed emotions of the loneliness in the desert and the regret of leaving Samaria where he put his efforts; he would have hoped that this stranger could really understand the Messiah written by the prophet.
We know that the Holy Spirit takes place when a willing Christian spread the gospel to a prepared listener. (30) There was a willing servant, living Scripture, and the empowering Spirit in the desert. (39) What a combination.
So many Christians own Bibles, but they usually struggle to use them effectively in family worship, personal spiritual growth, and spreading gospel. I hope many more people can come to Christ through our prayers and efforts. Philip is called to share the good news revealed in Jesus without any prejudice. (40) God does amazing things through lay people just like Philip. Luke emphasises that the good news about Jesus is for everyone through the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts.
I hope we can also be ready to go any place for God at any time just like Philip. There would be lots of unknown deserts and possible chariots in our lives. We do not know when and how God will send us for others in a cooperation of servant, Scripture, and the Holy Spirit, but I believe we need to be ready to catch our chariot whenever and wherever it comes along. Sometimes we need to go to others who still do not know Jesus instead of holding back. To do this, believers need to be ready to spread and explain the gospel after knowing the Bible well. I believe our ability to use the knowledge of the Bible needs to be grow in faith. All service for the Lord must be empowered by His Spirit and seeking Christ in our lives as often as possible.
In John 15, Jesus said that I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener: God cuts off every branch of mine that does not bear fruit. He says, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. The branch cannot bear fruit by itself, but only if it remains in the vine.” (4) I am the vine; you are the branches. Without me, you cannot do anything. (5)
In today’s text, we listened to one of the “I Am” statements of Jesus. We have to go beyond the actual words and discover the meaning because Jesus sometimes spoke in allegories and images. We are grafted to Jesus and so can receive our strength from Him as His followers. If we break away from Him, and fail to live his ways, we will be like unproductive branches and die and bear no fruit.
Branches that remain in the vine, and submit to the pruner’s knife when necessary, live and bear fruit. How do we remain in Him? We must have faith in our community that believes in Him and celebrates Him as its Lord. We can bear good quality fruit by God’s pruning knife. Though it hurts, we need to be in front of God’s pruning knife. However, within the faith community, we must abandon our own pruning knife because we are not qualified as a gardener. We all belong to Jesus; we are all in God’s beautiful garden as His branches. We cannot go it alone; we need to remain in Jesus and our lovely faith community by worship, prayer, and fellowship. It can be the ways to remain in Jesus. Verse 7 says, “If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want, and it will happen for you. My father is glorified in this: that you bear plenty of fruit, and so become my disciples.” What a blessing.
There are extraordinary promises about prayer and bearing fruit; our personal relationship with the Lord by prayer and our divinely appointed mission by bearing fruit will be our true blessings in our faith communities. Remaining in the Lord is not a temporary work, it is related to long-term health and productivity. It has nothing to do with our age, gender, and situations. We are members of God’s true people and Jesus’ disciples if we are belong to Him and remain in Him. The vine and the branches are about who Jesus and His people really are, and what is going to happen to them.
We can bear fruit by living a productive life as we follow Jesus. Whenever we are faced with situations of need in our lives, we can also ask ourselves the question “What and how would Jesus do?” We can be fruitful through helping and serving others because we are taking the opportunity to serve the Christ who is already beside people.
We need to cultivate our relationship with Him. How can we strengthen our relationship with Jesus Christ? How can we remain connected to Him? I believe that we can do it by participating in worship, serving the Lord and others, celebrating the Holy Communion, reading the Bible, and living out the gospel in our lives. I hope and pray we can all be productive and healthy branches, grafted to the true vine Jesus.
Abiding in the Lord is our blessing and happiness. Our saviour Jesus can be expressed as our home where we can be loved and nurtured, lifeline that leads to salvation, the source of peace and security where we can live to our full potential, and the place of spiritual nourishment. Our spiritual address we should live is Jesus. That is why we can live fruitful and productive lives in Jesus. When we allow Christ to live in us then we can bear fruit, because we are evidence of God’s love, deeply joined to Him, and dedicated to Him. Bearing fruit means engaging for ourselves as individuals and as the church in God’s work.
Fruitful branches need to be pruned and cleansed so they may bear more fruit. May we continue to live and grow as fruitful branches all grafted to Jesus our true vine. May we continue to let Christ live in us as we live in Him. For then we will be fruitful followers of Jesus. Jesus is the true vine, and we are the branches and disciples. No branch can bear fruit by itself. I hope we can all glorify God by abiding in the Lord, and I pray we can remain in Christ and His word to be fruitful.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)

Order of Service and Notices 02-05-2021

PLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE

SERVICE OF APPROACH

OPENING & WELCOME:
PRAYER

TIS 738 My Jesus, My Saviour  

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS Acts 8:26-40; John 15:1-8

TIS 229 Jesus Loves Me This I Know  

CHILDREN TIME

SERMON: The Vine and the Branches
[Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]

TIS 699 A New Commandment

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS, 
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
NOTICES – OFFERTORY

TIS 675 Lord, the Light of Your Love

NOTICES – OFFERTORY

TIS 675 Lord, the Light of Your Love

HOLY COMMUNION

BENEDICTION God Be with You (v. 3)

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics

Leighmoor Uniting Church
Protection for Families and Friends
Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need
Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations
Culture of Discipleship
Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

“Loving God
How deeply you have loved us, Jesus,
How willingly you stepped into our experience,
How completely you empathize with all that we endure. Teach us to love as you have loved us…
We pray in Jesus’ name, Aman.”
by John van de Laar

Sunday School & Messy Church

Ormond Learning Hub: 2021 courses (Faith Learning)
Refer to the poster on the bulletin board
Enquiries: learninghub@ormond.unitingchurch.org.au

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)

Good Shepherd and the Sheep 25-04-2021

25th April 2021 Fourth Sunday of Easter
Title: Good Shepherd and the Sheep
(Scripture Readings: Psalm 23; John 10:11-18)
By Heeyoung Lim

Today we recognise the 106th Anniversary of ANZAC Day, when we honour a generation of young men from Australia and New Zealand and elsewhere who gave their lives so we can live in the freedom and peace. We need to remember the troops and veterans and their self-sacrifices.
As we know ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC day is the day that we remember their loss and sacrifice of the young people who protect other people’s freedom. In this time of peace, we will remember them and pray for them and their families.
My previous church, the Korean Church of Melbourne invited Australian veterans who fought for South Korea in the Korean War about 71 years ago and their families to express our gratitude and love once a year. Five years after the end of the Second World War, more than 17,000 Australians with the UN forces served during the three-year Korean War, of which 346 were killed there. They lost their lives for others in a foreign country.
We worshipped with them together, shared special meals, gave thank you cards and gifts. Especially all children prepared the thank you cards, sang a song in front of them on the day, gave warm hugs and gifts, and expressed sincere thanks to them every year. We taught children about the history and the meaning of their sacrifices. Sadly, the number of veterans is decreased because time passes by. But we deeply appreciate their sacrifices and commitments which are unforgettable.
On the other hand, South Korean government sent face masks and COVID-19 supplies to overseas Korean War veterans in 22 countries. They showed gratitude to every single Korean War veteran who is alive by sending COVID-19 protection items and the delivered boxes contained a message that South Korea has never forgotten them. There are lots of appreciation stories. For instance, a professional Korean photographer visited and photographed worldwide of 1400 of Korean War veterans in 14 countries including Australia. The veterans receive their portraits for free from a thankful young man from the country they fought for. The young photographer was using his own expense for that, he was not looking to be compensated. However, he said that there have always been so many supporters. He believed that photos can be an important tool that can document and convey today for tomorrow. Whenever he was asked about payment from the veterans, he answered that we have a lot of debt, this is just paying it back. He said that he learned the value of freedom, freedom is not free. It has a price, and the price was the life of those veterans. They tried to make nations peaceful and served for liberty and security through their sacrifices. The photographer wants to continue this so that the next generation can also remember and appreciate the valuable sacrifices.
We are at peace wherever we stan with God, but the peace maintained and kept by someone else’s sacrifices and commitments. Our salvation has a price too; the price is Jesus’ life-giving love and sacrifice.
Jesus told us that he is the good shepherd. The definition of a shepherd’s task is to feed the sheep adequately, care when they sick, keep them gathered, and put their well-being before his own. Such model shepherding might require the laying down of one’s life, it also needs recognition and trust between sheep and shepherd.
Through the Psalm 23 we found and felt God’s presence that enables us to overcome the fear that rises in us when being confronted by death. We know the fact that the Lord is our good shepherd even when walking through the valley of death
In John 10, we hear that “the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Jesus expressed himself as good shepherd. This verse shows us how the good shepherd who is not working for his own profit differs from that false shepherd who runs away from dangerous situations for himself. (10, 14)
In contrast to those who steal and abuse the sheep, Jesus is a caring shepherd who takes care of the sheep even to the “laying down his life”. The good shepherd who sacrifices his life for the sheep also relates to them in trust and intimacy; good shepherd dies for the sheep when predators appear.
The good shepherd knows his sheep in the same way the Father knows the Son; the sheep know the shepherd in the same way the Son knows the Father. The Lord talked about laying down his life for the sheep five times in eight verses. The shepherd intentionally becomes the sacrificial lamb. (18)
Jesus said that He must bring those who have not yet been brought into the one flock which is one body of Christ. (16) His death on the cross did not occur because earthly powers were stronger than the power of the heavenly Father. He willingly laid down his life for the sheep in accordance with God’s will. (17) Christ is the Word of God, the message of the self-giving love of God, who did not want the world to perish. (18) The shepherd alone decides who may enter the fold, but the voice of Christ calls out to all people.
The shepherd’s voice is key, but sometimes we go astray just like sheep. Sheep may follow the voice of a stranger, get lost and fall into valleys. Many other voices and distractions tempt us from the right path. However, our good shepherd, Jesus will never leave us, and His voice will bring us back because we belong to him. Sometimes we are getting into troubles and struggling in difficulties, but we always have opportunities to listen to the voice of our good shepherd in our daily choices. We also have chances to be faithful as the Lord’s sheep. We can say ‘No’ to some tempting voices that is not the will of God and say ‘Yes’ to the Lord because Jesus is here and there going before us and leading us.
The Good Shepherd makes the sheep feel safe, guards the sheep, provides for them, and cares for them. A true shepherd provides the sheep with a genuine shelter, but a hired hand runs away and turn the fold into a dangerous place.
Good shepherds are keeping watch over their flocks by night and seeking out the lost or those in need of being rescued. The sheep feel secure just to hear the voice of the shepherd. I hope the good shepherd’s voice will be conveyed through us to the lost and hurting.
Our good shepherd does not merely care for the sheep, but also gathers the flock continually. I pray that people who see, hear, and believe in Jesus will belong to the kingdom of God and will grow continually. God’s community needs to be open and inclusive. We need to become more like Jesus who embraced the outcast, the oppressed, and the overlooked. We are to provide a space where all are welcome so that all church members can experience the culture of the kingdom of God in our church and related faith communities.
The image of the Good Shepherd is giving us a powerful influence for us who thirst for a true relationship in a society that values individualism and secularism. Our good shepherd, Jesus takes good care of us who experience the moments of loneliness and hopelessness, He responds to our deepest fears and anxiety by offering peace and hope. Jesus is our good shepherd who willingly died on the cross to save us and he offers shelter and security to all who follow Him. Following Him means becoming more like Jesus. We can all become loving and caring good shepherds to each other. The term of good shepherd is not just related to ministers or leaders, but It is also connected to all of us.
Risen Jesus asked and said to Peter three times. “Do you love me?” Whenever Peter answered Jesus “I love you”, Jesus told him “Feed my lambs” (21:15), “Take care of my sheep” (21:16), and “Feed my sheep” (21:17). There was love and care between the good shepherd and the sheep. I hope and pray that we can demonstrate our total trust in the Lord by true loving and caring.
The Good Shepherd offers salvation and shelter for the Lord’s sheep. He will protect at any cost those followers who are intimately known to the shepherd. No one can tear us away from Jesus’ love and His shepherding. I believe that we are safe and secure when entrusting our lives to the Good Shepherd. I pray we can faithfully respond to the Lord’s shepherding by our ‘gathering’, ‘listening’, ‘caring’, and ‘blessing’.

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

Order of Service and Notices 25-04-2021

PLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE

SERVICE OF APPROACH

OPENING & WELCOME:
PRAYER

TIS 156 Morning Has Broken  

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS Psalm 23:1-6; John 10:11-18

TIS 590 What a Friend We Have in Jesus  

CHILDREN TIME

SERMON: The Good Shepherd and The Sheep
[Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]

TIS 586 Abide with Me

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS, 
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
NOTICES – OFFERTORY

SRC 1 The King of Love My Shepherd Is

BENEDICTION God Be with You (v. 2)

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics

Leighmoor Uniting Church
Protection for Families and Friends
Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need
Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations
Culture of Discipleship
Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse
ANZAC Day & Liberty and Security

“Shepherding God.
You guide us with your voice,
Help us to listen and follow
No matter where your voice leads.
Help us to trust you…” by Rev. Abi

Sunday School & Messy Church

Ormond Learning Hub: 2021 courses (Faith Learning)
Refer to the poster on the bulletin board
Enquiries: learninghub@ormond.unitingchurch.org.au

CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim
M: 0432 054 369 E: hyfilm12@gmail.com

To This We Are Witnesses 18-04-2021

18th April 2021
Third Sunday of Easter
Title: To This We Are Witnesses
(Scripture Readings: Acts 3:12-19; 1 John 3:1-7)
By Heeyoung Lim
“Peace be with you.”
As we have seen the video, in the first part of John 3, Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer at three in the afternoon. A man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful. Peter looked straight at him when the man asked them for money. (1- 4) They were on the way to pray, but they looked and helped him first instead of passing their way.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (6) Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. (7-8) All the people saw this well-known beggar walking, jumping, and praising. No one doubted what had happened. (9) This happened at the beautiful gate. Where is our beautiful gate? I hope we can all feel the church door is “beautiful” whenever we are coming to church where we worship God together and look after each other. I look forward we can open wide the door toward the wider community and the world beautifully through our faith and lives. The physical and spiritual miracle occurred in the same man at the same time by walking, jumping, and praising in the name of Jesus.
God never asks us to give what we do not have; he expects us to give to those in need from what He has given us, and always to do it in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I hope we can thank God daily for all the great blessings we have in Christ.
When we call Jesus’ name? Luke uses “in the name of Jesus” thirty-three times in the Book of Acts. How was this man healed? How is all this possible? Because of Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him. However, using the name of Jesus is not a matter of new kind of magic, there has to be faith in the one who speaks His name.
When Peter and John were surrounded by an amazed crowd after the miracle, they said to the crowd “why do you stare at us?” (12) It was not though by our power, it was not us, it was Jesus. After healing Peter and John completely denied their own power and immediately said that all healing power came from Jesus. They proclaimed that God has glorified his servant Jesus; His name itself has made the man strong. (13, 16) Jesus has given him this perfect health through the disciple’s faith.
We also remember John the Baptist once said, “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30). All Christian ministries need to centre on Jesus. Our service for Jesus begins and ends in Jesus’ name, but God works through His people to accomplish His Mission.
In Today’s text, Peter reminded us that people rejected the holy and righteous one, Jesus and sent Him to His death; he said “your sins may be wiped out” by repentance in faith. Acts 3:12–19 invites us not to repeat the crucifixion of Christ and leads us to repent and turn to God. Repentance refers to a change of mind, sometimes it describes turning around and walking in a different direction. They crucified the Messiah, but some of them returned to God by repentance accepting Him as their Saviour. They killed our Saviour, Jesus on the cross, but God raised him up. God wants us to be God’s people who does what is righteous.
By God’s grace, repentance brings forgiveness through Christ, and that forgiveness is available to all who call upon His name in faith. The name of Jesus makes us grow up, rinses out our sins, and renews us. The resurrection and His work of bringing new life continues to be at the heart of the church. Most importantly, we are witnesses of risen Christ and God’s work. Repenting sins can be a sign of Christians and loving others can be a mark of authentic witnesses. Obedience to God’s commands is also a mark of our love for Him.
In 1 John 3, God is righteous and loves us with a great love, and God’s children do not try to live in sin. Especially Ongoing, wilful sin is incompatible with true Christianity. True Christian experience is revealed not just in our beliefs but in our behaviour. 1 John 3:2 starts, “My dear friends, we are already God’s children”, and it says, “we know that we will be like Him when Christ returns”. This hope will make us keep ourselves holy just as Christ is holy as in verse 3. We are witnesses of Christ in the hope.
We are loved by unconditional love and redefined as nothing less than God’s children and Jesus’ witnesses. We are also adopted into the family of God even though we have more changes to undergo.
Sometimes our lives are twisted by a combination of our own sin and the effects of the sins of others, but our risen Christ gives us His peace when we are broken and imperfect. From time to tome the world does not understand us because we have been given a new identity in Jesus. On the other hand, when we look at ourselves, we know that sometimes our old identity is too strong to ignore and too powerful to escape.
We may reflect “Am I a true child of God? when we do fearless self-searching, but we are precious God’s children and Jesus’ witnesses. We may face physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties in the experience of our own brokenness, but we can have a rest on the love of God and the peace of the Lord. We need to remember that God’ saving promise is far much bigger than our vulnerability and brokenness. God’s grace is much greater than our sins or pains. God will surely restore us in His way. By grace we are the Lord’s witnesses who purified by faith, hope, and love. In hope we cling to what God is doing to us and we seek solidarity, forgiveness, and peace in our lives.
I look forward to the wonderful change that will occur when we look at Jesus and become like Him. I believe we can get encouragement, motivation, and strength from the hope of resurrection. I pray we can commit ourselves completely to following Jesus and obeying His commands. I hope we are willing to help our brothers and sisters in Christ if they are in need and if we have something to help them in the name of Jesus.
God knows our heart, and He does not condemn those who are in Christ. However, no compromise can be made with evil. I believe that we are witnesses of risen Christ. God gave us opportunities to serve the Lord and others with love and willingness. Some ministry opportunities come when we least expect them and have not planned them into our lives. But we need to be ready for any opportunity for ministry God has given us. Our age, gender, and our circumstances do not matter to serve the Lord.
I hope we can think and thank more how much the Father loves us and I pray we love one another just as Jesus has loved us. I believe God will restore us by healing, comfort, and strength, and we can please God by looking, repenting, sharing, helping, praying, and loving until the very end. May God fill us with His joy.

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

Order of Service and Notices 18-04-2021

PLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE

SERVICE OF APPROACH

OPENING & WELCOME:
PRAYER

TIS 210 O For a Thousand Tongues  

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS Acts 3:12-19; 1 John 3:1-7

TIS 491 Father Welcomes All his Children  

CHILDREN TIME

SERMON: To This We Are Witnesses
[Sermon on Web / Hardcopies at the Door after worship]

TIS 607 Make Me a Channel of Your Peace

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS, 
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
NOTICES – OFFERTORY

TIS 380   Yours Be the Glory

BENEDICTION God Be with You (v. 1)

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics

Leighmoor Uniting Church
Protection for Families and Friends
Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need
Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations
Culture of Discipleship
Protection from Violence, Racism, Elder Abuse

“Guide the feet that walk in doubt and uncertainty and have lost their way on the long roads of the world…”

Sunday School & Messy Church

AGM (Annual General Meeting): 18th April

Ormond Learning Hub: 2021 courses (Faith Learning)
Refer to the poster on the bulletin board
Enquiries: learninghub@ormond.unitingchurch.org.au

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)