January 19, 2022

God’s Abundant Love and Spiritual Gifts 16-01-2022

16th January 2022 (Second Sunday after the Epiphany) Title: God’s Abundant Love and Spiritual Gifts (Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1–11 & John 2:1–11)

By Heeyoung Lim

In what ways does God continue to bring abundance into the world today? In what ways does Jesus’ life and ministry reveal God’s abundance to us?

In John 2:1–11, Jesus’ ministry gains public awareness at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. There was His mother, Mary who seems to already know and trust in the works of Jesus. When the wine gave out, and the host got in trouble, Mary called on Jesus to help. She trusts Jesus’ ability to respond to this need and leads others to experience such trust too.

She tells the servants: “Do whatever He tells you.” This story emerges as a strong witness to Mary’s faith and trust, and the servants experience Jesus’ ability and work when they obey His words. When Jesus said, “Fill the jars with water”, servants “filled to the brim.” Those servants were obedient to the word of the Lord and showed faithful obedience. Through the turning of the water into wine, Jesus is revealed. This miracle speaks of God bringing abundance into follower’s obedience and activities. God’s glory is revealed, and the disciples believe in Jesus.

What is truly amazing in this story is the abundance of wine Jesus offers at the wedding party, and this story emerges as a strong witness to Mary’s faith and trust. Jesus provides the best wine at the end of the feast. Wedding celebrations in Bible times lasted several days with much food, drink, music, and fellowship, and hospitality was foremost. Jesus provided all participants with the best hospitality when the wine was gone.

This would have been unheard of at that time. It is a reversal of worldly expectations. The steward is confused about the origin of the wine, but the servants who obeyed Jesus’ word and had drawn the water know the work of Jesus and experience His miracle.

An impossible miracle happened, and the servants who obeyed the Lord knew that Jesus had done it. Jesus’ life and ministry reveal God’s abundance to us too. When was the time when we experienced God’s

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abundance in our life? It can be all different, but we should always remember and give thanks for the abundant love and grace that God has bestowed upon us. As an expression of gratitude, we should never overlook an opportunity for service, ministry, and work to others through our lives.

Jesus clearly understood and obeyed that his purpose on earth was to bring glory to the Father and to save people. Weddings or family celebrations can be opportunities for families to glorify God and witness their faith. In celebrations or gatherings, Jesus must be the focus of our lives. Weddings and gatherings create opportunities for service to God, and the master of the banquet and gatherings is Jesus. I believe that we can glorify God in our lives through our faith and obedience. On our special and precious days, I hope that we will all be able to take our Lord as the master and glorify God. Let us think about how Jesus has revealed His glory in us. May we glorify God in all aspects of our lives, including public worship and public parties.

In 1 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul touched spiritual gifts in the church and the value of the gifts. He explained the role of the gifts of the Spirit with the value of diverse gifts in the worship of God. The Corinthians’ pagan background made them susceptible to being misled by supernatural manifestations.

In this situation, Paul mentioned identifying the Spirit and the unity and diversity of the Spirit’s manifestations. The gifts of the Spirit are manifold, and each is important in the worship of God and the ministry of the church. There are different kinds of gifts, service, and working. Yet, each variety is associated with the same Spirit, the same Lord, or the same God.

We do receive spiritual gifts as God sees fit according to His grace. Spiritual gifts are primarily for the common good and the purpose of building up faith communities. The spiritual states of our fellow believers affect us personally because we are members of one another. We are all lovely church family and spiritual friends. May we be spiritual friends, family, and teachers to each other. If we do not use the spiritual gifts God has given us for the common good of the community, those precious gifts can be misused.

We need to look for ways to use our gifts in the service of the church and encourage others to do so as well. We must not take spiritual pride or

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feel superior in our spiritual gifts. On the other hand, we must not feel inferior if our spiritual gifts are not as impressive as the gifts of others.

There are noticeable or inconspicuous spiritual gifts, but nothing is more important or less important. May we actively pursue spiritual gifts rather than earthly desires. As God’s people, we live with abundant love and spiritual gifts that stand in contrast to the world’s realities. Although some kinds of spiritual gifts, services, and works go unnoticed in human eyes, God sees and pleases them, and it benefits the church.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are varieties of service, but the same Lord. There are many kinds of working, but the same God at work. (4-6) All spiritual gifts are all important to the church because they come from the Holy Spirit. Each one in the church has received different gifts, not because of differences in qualifications or circumstances, but according to only the standard the Spirit determines.

Paul listed nine manifestations of spiritual gifts: Message of wisdom, message of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. All gifts are given for the common good and may indicate that this manifestation of the Spirit takes different forms at different times. Today’s words offer a refreshing reminder that faith, while personal, is never private, and that the gift each person has been given is meant to be shared. Faith and service need to be individual as well as communal.

As in verse 11, all spiritual gifts are activated by one and the same Spirit. In the media and digital environment, many younger generations communicate through numerous social media accounts such as Tiktok, Tweeter, Instagram, and Facebook, etc. but sometimes they deactivate their accounts or indicate their status by displaying slow, rest, or busy. For many reasons, our lives and services sometimes seem to have been deactivated, and slow, rest, or busy conditions continue from time to time. As a Christian, may our lives and services be activated again by the power of the Holy Spirit. Today’s text tells us that all spiritual gifts are activated by the Holy Spirit.

The Season after the Epiphany is a good time to reflect upon the ways that God’s abundant love and Spirit are at work among us. We are lovely church family and spiritual friends in God’s unending love. Every Christian is a necessary, beneficial member of the church, and all members are precious because every single person is Lord’s sheep.

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We remember that Jesus turned water into wine and gave abundance out of nothing. Jesus will give us the best wine, the best gift of the Lord, even at a place that seems to be the last of the feast or the second half of our life. We can hope even where there seems to be none, for we are guided by the Holy Spirit in God’s abundant love. The Bible tells us today, “Do whatever Jesus tells us for the common good with our spiritual gifts in God’s abundant love. May we glorify God in all aspects of our lives through our faith and obeying Jesus’ words.

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

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Order of Service and Notices 16-01-2022

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

PLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP
WELCOME
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY PRAYER

LP 29

READINGS

TIS 666

Spirit of God, Unseen as the Wind

SERVICE OF THE WORD

1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11 We Are Marching

CHILDREN TIME 

SERMON:    God’s Abundant Love and Spiritual Gifts    

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

ATOK 313        Longing for Light, We Wait in Darkness        

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

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

BENEDICTION         God Be with You (v. 3)  

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics 

          1. Leighmoor Uniting Church 

          2. Protection for Families and Friends 

          3. Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need 

          4. Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations 

          5. Culture of Discipleship

          6. Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

          7. Pray for Environment & Sustainability

          8. Prayers around COVID & Across Australia

          9. Care and recovery of each part of God’s creation

        10. Spiritual Blessings in Christ

        11. Faith Growth

“O God, your desire for creation is abundance.
Elevate our vision and give us faith broad and wide enough
to see your plenty. Amen.”

                  God’s love stretches everywhere 

Marriage: Jason (first son of Henry Wan) & Rae Lim  

Saturday, 22nd January at the Melbourne Marriage Registry 

Traditional Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony: 

Sunday, 23rd January at Fellowship Hall of Leighmoor UCA

                     CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim 

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

Website: www.leighmoorunitingchurch.org 

 

God Is with Us 09-01-2022

9th January 2022 (Baptism of Jesus)

Title: God Is with Us
(Scripture Reading: Isaiah 43:1–7 & Luke 3:15-17, 21-22)

                                                                                   By Heeyoung Lim

Isaiah indicates promises of redemption for Israel in a creative way. Today’s words are God’s words of salvation for people who were in exile. The passage begins with a reference to creation and immediately moves to language of redemption. 

Although we often associate God the creator with power, sovereignty, and providence, and God the saviour with love, grace, and mercy. On the other hand, creation is a deeply loving act of God, redemption is an event of great sovereign power as well. The creating and saving acts of God are intimately linked in God’s relationship with creation. God recreates the world that is apart from God and restores the broken harmony that results from sin. Creation and redemption flow from the gracious essence of God. 

The God who had created Israel would redeem her from captivity. What is captivating us? What are we captive to? God listed the most dangerous barriers they would face on their journey and promised to overcome them. One of these was walking through fire without being burned. In accordance with today’s words, even passing through water and fire cannot hurt the people, rather, these elements were used by God to purify people and their powers in those times. Verse 2 tells us, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you” Even living in exile, Israel had no reason to be afraid. God was ready to do whatever was necessary to bring all His people from their places of exile. Even powerful nations of the day serve God’s redemptive purpose. 

God had placed His name on them because they were His sons and daughters. Isaiah assures that no matter what – fire or flood, wind or storm, relationship distress or broken heart, war or famine, COVID-19 or omicron, illness or difficulties, depression or frustration – God is with us.

Israel could count on the LORD, their Saviour who had delivered Israel from Egypt. As in Isaiah 43:4, God said to His people “You are mine; you are precious in my sight and honoured and I love you” God plans to redeem and protect them because He loves them. We are God’s Precious children because God loves us. We have no reasons for fear because God is with us and will be with us forever. 

It is easy to feel alone and fear in life’s inevitable difficult times, but we have no reason to be afraid because God is with us. God created, formed, and rescued us, and today’s words are given to people who face difficulties. God will recreate and restore us as He created and restored people for His glory. May we all live for the glory of God and experience the restoration God provides. 

Where do we belong to? What makes us worthy? God’s gracious love. We often look for the answers in the wrong places. However, God speaks to us, “I am the LORD your God, your Saviour, do not be afraid, and you are mine.” We are God’s precious being. In verse 7, He continues to speak to us, “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” All creation and all people are the result of God’s love. God’s saving acts are meant for all people. May we all sit at a table in the kingdom of God. Today’s text has words of comfort and hope. God’s words of comfort and restoration are greater than people’s situations. May we find answers, comfort, and hope from God’s words. 

This passage is paired with Luke’s description of Jesus’ baptism in terms of becoming God’s children. In Luke 3, John the Baptist knew his role and baptized with water, seeking repentance and cleansing from sin. He knew that he was weak and insignificant in face of the coming One, Messiah who was mightier and more powerful. One greater than John is coming with the baptism of the Spirit and fire to bring judgment and salvation to the world. Christ’s ministry was to bring salvation and the Holy Spirit to people who believe in Jesus and to bring judgment on those who refused to repent and believe in Him.

In the waters of baptism, God seals God’s love for us, no matter what we might have done and what might happen. In the waters of our baptism, God gives evidence of what God says to Jesus in Luke 3:22. The voice from heaven blesses “You are my child, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” In Jesus’ baptism through John the Baptist, God draws near and rejoices in him. The beginning of Jesus’ ministry is marked by his baptism. As in verse 21, when all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. At the place where Jesus was baptized, the voice of God was heard, and the Holy Spirit was with Him. Today’s readings remind us to listen for God in words of hope and encouragement, and in the Holy Spirit’s work in our communities. May each individual and our faith community please God through abiding in our Lord, in God’s word, and in the Holy Spirit in 2022.

Where do we hear God’s voice in our life? In the Holy Spirit, God’s voice speaks to us in prayer, in worship, and in loving actions, and in all who thirst for justice. The Holy Spirit dwells in us and renews us. The comforting and hopeful words of Isaiah 43 are a passage we need to return to over and over, just as we need to be reminded of our baptisms. God’s words and the love of Christ take time to be believed and absorbed. 

May we trust and hope in the God who is with us and will protect us, even in the midst of the floods of chaos caused by our mistakes and irresponsibility as both individuals and communities. We are God’s children, listening and responding in the light of God’s grace. We are those who belong to God, baptized by water and by fire. We are a family who are in the glow of God’s glory. 

Luke carefully notes that Jesus prays after he is baptized. For Luke the act of prayer will be the most important feature of the baptism and will clearly indicate the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus and the believer. May we pray for an awareness and experience of the Holy Spirit guiding our life. Our prayers are significant ministries for our church and the kingdom of God. A church that prays and a church that doesn’t pray are completely different. I pray that 2022 will be a year in which the ministry of prayer blossoms from every single church member. May we serve for the Lord and carry out our ministries including the act of prayer by seeking what God has called us to be and do.

Faithfulness in ministry is so precious, but it does not protect us from earthly hurt, suffering, and injustice. However, to depend upon God in prayer for the strength to live and to love, and to hear God’s words as the source of our calling and purpose in life are joys of life. These are the blessings of our life together in Christ as the church. May you encounter God who restores us amongst prayer, life, and service and become those who glorify God.

God speaks to us today, “You are my son, my daughter.” “You are Beloved.” “I am well pleased with you.” We are all still having some kinds of difficulties, but we have no reason to be afraid because God is with us. 

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

Order of Service and Notices 09-11-2022

pastedGraphic.png Worship at LEIGHMOOR UCA

Sunday 9th January 2022 – 9.30 a.m.

BAPTISM OF JESUS

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

pastedGraphic_1.pngPLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE 

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP

WELCOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

PRAYER

TIS 134                Praise My Soul the King of Heaven  

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS         Isaiah 43:1-7; Luke 3:15-17, 21-22  

TIS 10                         The Lord’s My Shepherd          

  

CHILDREN TIME 

SERMON:                    God Is with Us   

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

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

TIS 569               Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer     

BENEDICTION         God Be with You (v.2)  

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics 

          1. Leighmoor Uniting Church 

          2. Protection for Families and Friends 

          3. Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need 

          4. Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations 

          5. Culture of Discipleship

          6. Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

          7. Pray for Environment & Sustainability

          8. Prayers around COVID & Across Australia

          9. Care and recovery of each part of God’s creation

        10. Spiritual Blessings in Christ

        11. Faith Growth

“O Lord, you have mercy on all. Take away my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me the fire of your Holy Spirit.
Take away my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore you, a heart to delight in you,
to follow and to enjoy you, for Christ’s sake. Amen.”
(By Ambrose)

Spiritual Blessings in Christ 02-01-2022

2nd January 2022 (Second Sunday after Christmas)

Title: Spiritual Blessings in Christ

(Scripture Reading: Isaiah 60:1-3 & Ephesians 1:3 -14)

                                                                                   By Heeyoung Lim

Happy New Year! Today is the second Sunday after Christmas, and 6th January is Epiphany. It is more than celebrating the wise ones’ visit to the child Jesus. The light of God’s glory invites each one of us on a pilgrimage road. How was the journey of the wise ones a pilgrimage? How might we plan a day-long or a year-long pilgrimage? May we plan and travel a day-long or a year-long pilgrimage on our faith journey, either alone or in community, as wise men traveled a great distance to discover what the “star sign” might reveal and to meet a newborn king, Jesus. The wise men understood the newborn child as a divine gift to be worshiped and honoured. The special star light led the wise ones to discover the birth of a new hope, a gift to the world, and the light of the world.

Isaiah 60: 1-3 invites us to the light of God’s glory and God’s restoration. God’s people had returned to their city and had tried to rebuild it and the temple, but something was missing. Their hopes and dreams had not been brought to reality, and despair and frustration were deepened. The prophet’s words reassured his people and called them to attention. God was going to act for them. The darkness of despair and defeat would cover the earth, but God would shine his glory upon them, so that the light of his glory would attract the nations to Jerusalem.

God will glorify his people by bringing them back to His house of worship. That light described in Isaiah 60 will attract people from far and near, and God will restore His people to righteous living and glorious worship. God no longer shows anger but compassion to his people and lets Jerusalem to receive foreign delegations who have come to worship Him. God shows that He is their Saviour and Redeemer. Righteousness and peace will replace violence and destruction. God wants to bring peace to His people so that all sorrow will vanish. He wants His people to be a light to all peoples of the world. God maintains sovereign control over all the nations of the earth. His people will in the light of God’s glory and be filled with rejoicing and praising in accordance with God’s word. 

Today’s text at the start of this New Year begins with a blessing “Blessed be God.” In Ephesians 1: 3-14, God the Father is to be praised because God is God, and He has given us every spiritual blessing in Christ. We have been chosen and adopted by God to be His spiritual children. God’s love and word make us holy and blameless in his sight. His decision to do salvation for us grew out of God’s grace which he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. God the Son redeemed us, forgave us of our sins, enlightened us to know His will, and has given us an eternal inheritance. Because we have believed in and received Jesus as our Saviour, all our sins are forgiven in Him. It means our sin is paid for by the death of Christ. In addition, God the Spirit sealed us, made us secure in Christ, and led to our redemption. Because of all God has done for us, we can see ourselves as someone very significant. God graciously bestows grace on us so that we would praise God’s grace-filled glory. May we appreciate the fact that we belong to the family of God and praise God’s glorious grace.  

In the Bible, God predestines or chooses us in Christ, but He does not choose those who will not be saved. That is, the door of salvation is open for everyone, and God waits for everyone’s salvation. The promises God made were already extended to a larger population and are still opened to those who are not believers. Some verses seem to tell us about human freedom and responsibility, and we can see many kinds of refusals against faith or salvation. 

However, we have received the blessing of being chosen by God, adopted by Him as his spiritual children, claimed as God’s possession, and marked by the Holy Spirit. May we be grateful that God has forgiven our sin and given us spiritual blessings. As Christians and Jesus’ disciples, we can pray for people who are believers or not believers because God hears us and waits for them. We do not know what will be happening this year, but may we live and rest in God’s love, which is expressed in His offer of salvation. May we humbly ready to be used by God, allowing Him to accomplish His will through us as the wise men responded to the king with great joy and devotion.

In 2022, I hope we can tell someone else the experience we had when God became our personal Saviour and Redeemer. May we seize opportunities to share our faith and love in Christ with others, exercising wisdom in reaching out toward those who are not believers.

God wants us to arise and shine in our family, communities, and the world. He wants His people to be a light to all people of the world. May we share the light of Christ in the world. I believe our light will be shined in Christ more and more in 2022. People everywhere seek illumination or a light to see, but may we be the necessary light that can lead towards Jesus, and our light shine forth in the world so that more people can be the children of God. 

I hope we can allow God’s glory to shine in our lives and others will come to God’s house. God assures His people of a safe and peaceful journey, protects them from harm in unexpected ways, and restores them from their suffering and darkness. What are the roads God is encouraging you to travel this year? What is our star on our pilgrimage road that indicates Jesus? It can be all different, but may our path be filled with spiritual blessings in Christ, and our faith growth will be added on the promise of salvation.

We are still in uncertainty and some kinds of darkness, but I pray our heart shall be filled with joy, our vision shall be clear in Christ, and our whole being will be shining. May we place our trust in God’s love and care and serve the Lord with joy, even during the dark and difficult hours. However, the light is not for us, it is for our Lord. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of all God’s promises to us. In 2022, may we lift our eyes and look up to Jesus more and more and appreciate our spiritual blessings in Christ. 

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

Order of Service and Notices 02-01-2022

pastedGraphic.png Worship at LEIGHMOOR UCA

Sunday 2nd January 2022 – 9.30 a.m.

SECOND SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

pastedGraphic_1.pngPLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE 

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP

WELCOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

PRAYER

TIS 161                              Tell out My Soul 

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS         Isaiah 60:1-3; Ephesians 1:3-14         

TIS 447                       Lord Your Almighty Word         

  

CHILDREN TIME 

SERMON:            Spiritual Blessings in Christ   

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

TIS 465                              Father in Heaven       

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

TIS 523            Here, Lord We Take the Broken Bread   

HOLY COMMUNION  

BENEDICTION          God Be with You (v. 1)  

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics 

          1. Leighmoor Uniting Church 

          2. Protection for Families and Friends 

          3. Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need 

          4. Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations 

          5. Culture of Discipleship

          6. Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

          7. Pray for Environment & Sustainability

          8. Prayers around COVID & Across Australia

          9. Care and recovery of each part of God’s creation

        10. Spiritual Blessings in Christ

        11. Faith Growth

“Grant Lord, that as the years change, we may find rest in your eternal changelessness. May we go forward into this year with courage, sure in the faith that while life changes around us, you are always the same, guiding us with your wisdom and protecting us with your love….in the name of Jesus. Amen (by Harold E. Evans)”

      

Morning Tea: After Sunday Service, Fellowship Hall 

                     CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim 

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

Website: www.leighmoorunitingchurch.org

Growing in God’s Word and Wisdom 26-12-2021

26th December 2021 (First Sunday after Christmas)

Title: Growing in God’s Word and Wisdom

(Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:12–17 & Luke 2:41-52)

                                                                                    By Heeyoung Lim

Yesterday was Christmas day, but now is the first day of Season after Christmas among 12 days until Epiphany. When we look back a year or COVID related two years, what did we experience? Some people refuse to look back on their journey and give themselves credit for the gains they have made. 

In today’s story, told only by Luke, we hear about Jesus around the age of 12. In Luke 2:41–52, Jesus’ family becomes disconnected from their son and overwhelmed with all the worry and fear that brings. When they eventually found Jesus in the temple, they were amazed because Jesus related to God and enjoyed the time of sharing God’s word. His mother said, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been very worried, and we have been searching for you!” Jesus answered, “Why did you have to look for me? Didn’t you know that I would be in my Father’s house?” Disconnection often brings anxiety and depression into our lives, but we need a time of solitude before God to truly connect with God. We all have experienced anxiety, depression, and loneliness amidst many difficulties that have continued throughout the year, but even these disconnection times will be a way to deepen our relationship with God and enrich our relationships with people.

In Luke’s gospel, Jesus’ parents did not look back on the way home. They were busy looking ahead and walking for a long time without Jesus. 12-year-old Jesus’ earthly growth was preparing him for heavenly mission. At the temple he showed he was more than ready. While his parents absorbed in preparations for the journey, they did not notice the missing child in the crowd. When people feel that they have a shared responsibility, they sometimes fail to take care of someone or something, and they pass the responsibility on to others. What was their priority? What is our priority? 

Sometimes you and I lose Jesus just like Mary and Joseph. We get so busy in our daily routine that we never give him a thought. Then, one day we realize that he is gone out of our lives. Would you know what we need to do when that happens? We need to go back to the place we left Him. That is where we will find Jesus, right there waiting for us. Today, the last Sunday of 2021, may we look back on whether we are walking with Jesus in our hard and busy daily life.

Jesus is the promised Messiah and Saviour who brings salvation to all people, and His role as Saviour was proclaimed before his birth. Jesus’ salvation, however, does not come automatically. People retain the freedom to accept or reject him. Jesus’ salvation was accomplished because a human baby or boy faithfully accomplished the growth tasks of a child to enter a heavenly mission. Jesus became wise, and he grew strong. God was pleased with him and so were the people. (52) In what ways have you grown in God’s word and wisdom this year?

Colossians 3:12–17 speaks of God’s chosen holy and beloved those who live in harmony with God and with each other. Today’s text introduces rules for holy living such as compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience and leads us to be thankful in our lives. (12) Attributes of real connection with God seem to be these five virtues. How does practicing compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience help you feel closer to God? How does it bring you joy? Verse 12 invites us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. We are all loved by God, and God wants us to love each other and grow in faith. Verse 14 tells us, “Over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” May we put on love over all virtues.

May we live each day in obedience so that God can use us when His time comes. I hope we can tell others the good news that God has shared with us more in 2022. Verse15 tells us, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” We are called to be thankful.  

Each one of us is part of the body of Christ, and we were chosen to live together in peace. I believe that the peace that comes from Christ control our thoughts. Let us obey the message about Christ completely fill our lives, while we use all our wisdom given by God. With thankful hearts, may we sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God and share blessings and encouragements more each other next year. 

When life seems overwhelming, or when sorrow seeks to overtake us, how are we able to find joy within that? During this Christmas season, we are invited to join in God’s word to praise God and rest in the joy of God’s presence in the birth of Emmanuel, God with us. Especially, finding Jesus and seeking God’s will would be our joy. May we walk with Jesus even when we are busy or focus on something.  

We are called to model ourselves on Jesus. Modelling ourselves on Jesus does not mean we aim for to be perfect and then despair and beat ourselves up for failing to reach that standard. Jesus started from a baby weak and helpless on the earth. We follow Jesus on the journey of growth. Our journey has its ups and downs, its obstacles and its catchups. Sometimes we pick up speed, and sometimes we slump by the side of the road, feeling unable to go on. But Jesus slumped by the side of the road three times on the way to the cross too. Our times of frustration and fear do not mean that we’ve taken the wrong turn and are lost forever, because we believe resurrection and restoration. Modelling Jesus or following Jesus represents our deep joy and growth in faith.

Jesus was grounded in God’s word and grown in the faith community when he was young. Jesus was in the Father’s house. May we grow in obedience, relationships, and faith. Paul urges us: “Keep putting on God’s compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Putting them on is part of the process of growing up. Day by day like Jesus we grow. We are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved. We are to clothe ourselves with God’s love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. May we all share the love of God more and more next year. May our Leighmoor Church will become a precious God’s instrument that can help our faith growth of all generation. In 2022, may we keep on modelling ourselves on Jesus and day by day grow like Him. For then we will be faithfully following Him, and the miracle of Christmas will be taking place within us!

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

Order of Service and Notices 26-12-2021

pastedGraphic.pngPLEASE STAND FOR ENTRY OF THE BIBLE 

SERVICE OF APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP

WELCOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

PRAYER

SERVICE OF THE WORD

READINGS       Colossians 3:12-17 & Luke 2:41-52         

TIS 526                             Lord Jesus Christ        

  

CHILDREN TIME 

SERMON:     Growing in God’s Word and Wisdom   

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

SRC 407                            One Thing I Ask      

SERVICE OF RESPONSE

JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 

NOTICES – OFFERTORY 

TIS 497                Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence  

BENEDICTION         God Be with You (v. 4)  

NOTICES:

Prayer Topics 

          1. Leighmoor Uniting Church 

          2. Protection for Families and Friends 

          3. Healing for The Sick & People Who Are in Need 

          4. Peace, Unity, and Justice in Nations 

          5. Culture of Discipleship

          6. Protection from Violence, Racism, and Abuse

          7. Pray for Environment & Sustainability

          8. Prayers around COVID & Across Australia

          9. Care and recovery of each part of God’s creation

Sunday School 

Morning Tea: After Sunday Service, Fellowship Hall 

“Dear God, thank you for bringing us to the end of another year. We do not take this for granted! Thank you so much for your goodnessmercies, for your unending and unfailing love.

Heavenly Father, heal every broken heart, heal us inside & out, heal our hurts and heal our pain. Help us remember that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.”

                     CHURCH CONTACTS

Minister: Rev Heeyoung Lim 

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

Website: www.leighmoorunitingchurch.org 

Christ the Lord. The True Light of the World 25-12-2021

25th December 2021 (Christmas Day)

Title: Christ the Lord, The True Light of the World

(Scripture Reading: John1:1-14)

                                                                                    By Heeyoung Lim

We give thanks for the light of hope, peace, joy, and love. Our hope in Christ shines on. The peace of Christ lights our way. His peace is not weak, it is strong and unafraid. His Joy is persistent and unpredictable. The Joy of Christ brightens our lives in so many ways. The love of Christ comforts and challenges. Today we lit the Christ candle as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The darkness is working so hard in the world, but Christ’s light is working harder through us. Jesus is the true light of the World. 

Christmas Day is a celebration of the light of Christ coming into our world. Today we sing of the light which breaks open the darkness and lights up the whole world. For the light of Christ gives us hope in the dark times in our lives. Jesus reveals life and light. Eternal life and heavenly light come to those who trust Jesus and are born again from above. (6)

John introduces Jesus to his readers as the Word of God, the Son of God, and the Lamb of God. John 1 tells us that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” In other words, God himself came to be one of us. He came to live with us. He came to provide us the gift of becoming children of God.

May we appreciate Jesus lives among us with full of glory and grace and truth. The Incarnated Word as the mediator of revelation and reconciliation lives among us. The child born for us will rule with endless peace and justice for everyone. In today’s text, we find the purpose of the coming of Christ.

“O Come, All Ye Faithful” is one of the well-known songs of Christmas. In its first three verses it tells the story of Christ’s birth with triumphant joy. And in the fourth verse, the deep mystery is described as in John1. We sing with hope, for we live in dark times. This is verse 7 we sang at the beginning, “Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing” this lyric reminds us that God himself has come to be one of us.

When we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate the mystery that God has become one of us so that he could save us from our sins and death, giving us new life as the children of God. And as the song’s refrain invites us to sing, “O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!” May we sing and adore Jesus as our Lord in our daily life. We are living totally different life after we believe in Jesus. All of this was possible because Jesus came to this earth for us. His incarnation made us to born again. 

Light is defined by the shadows that surround it. Every parent knows that a newborn infant will face both happiness and difficulties as the child grows up. When God send Jesus to us, He knew the Son’s future suffering on the cross. Incarnation does not only include happiness, but also God’s heart-breaking sorrow. However, Christmas day is a day of hope and salvation.

Today we celebrate the birth of a baby born in a manger. We join our voices with the company of angels, shepherds, and wise men. Today we declare this baby to be the light of the world, the true light that enlightens everyone, the light that the darkness cannot overcome.

We have struggled with darkness in our world for a long time because we hunger for Christ’s light. This is the light which promises the salvation of the world. And if we can live in the light, then we will find ourselves as children of God. And if we follow the light, then we will walk with Jesus as his disciples. As followers of Jesus, we keep holding up the light of Christ and the hope that brings. And if we refuse to let the darkness take over, then the light will grow brighter, and the darkness will move away a bit further.

We need to shine our light of faith and hope, no matter how small. It is amazing how even a little bit of light can really light up the darkness. Even threats and force cannot stop the people who sing songs of freedom, hoping for the light to come. Jesus Christ is the heart of the gospel. For all who receive Jesus, believing in Him as the true light of the world, He gives “the right to become children of God.” May we all be brightening the dark world with the light of Christ as children of God and disciples of Jesus. 

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

The Glory of God’s Powerful Love 19-12-2021

19th December 2021 (Advent 4)

Title: The Glory of God’s Powerful Love  

(Scripture Reading: Micah 5:2–5a; Luke 1:39-56)

                                                                                     By Heeyoung Lim

In Micah 5:2–5a, Micah was able to see God’s hand in all events, believing that God works toward restoration in the acts of justice. Micah points to the small town of Bethlehem as the source for the coming messiah, God’s most powerful demonstration of love. The small village of Bethlehem Ephrathah takes centre stage. God prepared centuries in advance for His people to understand Jesus as the Messiah fulfilling the promises. 

In Micah, hope for the present is lost, but God’s plans go far beyond the present. Messiah will be the good shepherd feeding his flock, and God’s people may be those awaiting the return of the exiles, the restoration of the lost, and the birth of the child of Bethlehem. God presented in Micah is the Lord of restoration and reunion. He does not punish His people to dissolve them but to prepare them for renewal and reunion. God’s plan here focuses on all His people from all the nations of the earth as the gospel of Luke emphasizes the salvation for all people. God’s salvation and most powerful love were prophesied and achieved. God’s salvation comes to the remnant of His people through the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem, but it is for everyone. 

A messiah had been promised to God’s people long before the time of Elizabeth and Mary. Luke 1 includes the meeting of Mary with her relative Elizabeth and the song as Mary’s response to Elizabeth’s blessing. God has chosen Mary to carry the Christ child. Mary was ready to serve but also anxious after the angel Gabriel’s visit and headed to visit the home of Elizabeth. Mary believed God’s promise and expected God’s miracle, but she needed a safe place to wait for the child sent by God in the social context and gaze of those times. As Mary enters, Elizabeth’s unborn child who will be the prophet John leaps in joy at Mary’s greeting. The first meeting between John the Baptist and Jesus takes place here. The baby jumped in the womb and God’s Spirit spoke through Elizabeth. 

In Luke 1, God’s Spirit inspired Elizabeth to bless Mary and her child, and Spirit-inspired words from Elizabeth rained blessings on Mary. The encounter between Elizabeth and Mary, led by the Holy Spirit, was a true blessing and must have been a heart-to-heart conversation. Mary’s blessing came not from who she was, it is from the holy baby whom she carried in her womb. This blessed child placed Mary in the position of blessing. I believe that Jesus Christ placed us in the position of blessing too. Even before his birth, Jesus was recognized as Lord, the Messiah of God, and our Saviour. In this gospel, God’s promises were nurtured in two women who believed God’s promise. Both women were nurturing new life inside them. God works powerfully through the ones who appear powerless.

In verse 45: “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” Mary believed and expected God to accomplish what he said. Faith brings blessing. Her faith displayed itself in praise. (46) Mary described herself as “the Lord’s servant” (38) and “humble” (48) and recognized that God was doing something extraordinary in her life. 

Mary sings the glory of God’s powerful love. In verses 47-56, Mary sings because God has chosen her to carry the Christ child and she praises because God acts with justice and mercy to lift those who are considered lowly, scatter those who are proud, and feed those who are hungry. In her song we hear of both sides of God’s goodness in action and the grace and the mercy of God. Mary sings for God’s promise of justice to be fulfilled in people’s lives, and her song is for all people who hope for God’s love and believe in Christ. She gave glory to God and rejoiced in the presence and actions of God through praising God. God’s reign of hope and justice comes in ways that surprise us and fill us with joy. 

God also chooses to act in our lives. We are called to praise the Lord with great joy and love. We can rejoice in God’s Promise and long the reign of justice and hope that Christ brings. God’s Spirit fills us with power, so that the gospel will be conveyed to the world and God’s promise will be achieved. May we contribute to extend the reign of God and encourage each other in word and deed.

Elizabeth was Mary’s safe place when Mary was expecting the fulfillment of God’s promise in some social and cultural difficulties. Can we be the safe place that Elizabeth offers to Mary? Mary was willing to bear the disgrace to become God’s instrument of grace until the fulfillment of God’s promise. Are we being the nurturing place where God’s promises exist and grow just like Mary? Who are the lonely, marginalized, or isolated people in our community who need a safe space? I think that everyone needs a safe place. The true safe place is only Christ, but Christ provides the world with the safe and nurturing places through us. How can the church be that safe place for others? How can we be spirit-filled people and how can we share blessings in all relationships every time?

Today’s text recalls loving salvation for an undeserving people and affirms that God does what he promises. God pays careful, loving attention to the humble, raising them up to new positions of importance. God restores His people, but He often accomplishes His will in unusual and unexpected ways. When Christ came into the world, the world has been forever changed. In Christ, God’s surprising grace accomplishes what we cannot, and His justice and salvation are given to us. God fulfills his promises and works out his will according to his perfect timing. Praise and adoration belong to God alone. May we praise God with all our hearts together.

Today’s text invites us to believe that God has done the impossible. We often limit God by our thinking or with our actions even though we experience that God often accomplishes His will in ways we might not expect. Let Him surprise us! May we trust God to be true to His promises. God responds to our faith and rewards our obedience. Despite circumstances which may give us difficulties, let God work out His will in our lives according to His timing.

May we be receptive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our faith journey as Jesus lived in dependence on the ministries of the Holy Spirit on the earth. I believe that the indwelling Spirit empowers us to live the life of victorious faith. May we give praise and thanks to God continually for his gracious gift of salvation. May we join Mary in singing praises to God for His mercy, forgiveness, love, and salvation.

The important thing is that God is God and what God did and why He did it. God planned to provide forgiveness and salvation for all people and achieved His salvation promises through Jesus because He so loved the world and people. God’s mercy is found in forgiveness and long-suffering patience with the weakness and corruption of humanity. God has sent His Son for us, and we celebrate the birth of our saviour, Jesus at Christmas. God is sovereign in the world and displays God’s greatness by displacing the proud and the powerful, sending the rich away empty handed. God has opened a path for us to be in constant relationship with his mercy and love. God is good, and God keeps promises. May we praise the coming of the Lord and the glory of God’s powerful love. I hope that Leighmoor congregation will be strengthened, prepared, and deepened by the love of God and the Spirit-filled blessings. May the Holy Spirit-inspired words and blessings be upon you and our faith community always. 

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