The blood of the Covenant

Covenant Service
The new year “proper” (when things start happening) is an apt time to make a conscious choice to serve the Lord only. Judas was esteemed with the greatest of love, extravagant love. But it was not enough to prevent him becoming a betrayer. You too could go out from the table of the Lord, and build your kingdom rather God’s Kingdom.

God is not hiding

  • Scripture: Ps 19
  • Location: St Paul's Cooma

Ordinary Sunday 3, Yr C
Psalm 19 is regarded as one of the most eloquent pieces of poetry in the Bible, and indeed one of the more profound in history. It brings together two poems to constitute a hymn, extolling God’s self revelation of his perfections through the Creation (his works) and the law (his word). The psalmist then invites us to ask for forgiveness and inner change – a target not truly attained until the word became flesh (John 1:14).

When God speaks

  • Series: Summer Psalms #8
  • Scripture: Psalm 29
  • Location: St Paul's Cooma

Ordinary Sunday 1, Yr C
A great part of worshipping the Lord “in the beauty of holiness” is ascribing to him his holy attributes, such as glory and strength (or power). Such is what Psalm 29 invites us to do at its beginning. But remarkably the content is devoted to just one attribute of God, his voice. The Lord’s voice is not merely a vehicle of communication; it is a practical instrument of his divine activity in the cosmos. The only fitting response is to assemble in his temple and cry “Glory!” That is possible supremely through Jesus Christ who is God’s glory.

King of everything

  • Scripture: Psalm 72
  • Location: St Paul's Cooma

Epiphany
Christians whose praying habits are formed by the Old Testament, including especially the psalms, will pray regularly for national leaders. In doing so they’ll pray for the social justice and prosperity that God desires and that reflect his character. But they’ll pray recognising that justice and security cannot come in full until Christ takes up his full reign transcending all time and space. So Christian prayers for leaders and nations will end with the cry, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

Don’t hold back

  • Series: Summer Psalms #7
  • Scripture: Psalm 148
  • Location: St Paul's Cooma

Christmas 1, Yr C
Every part of Creation is summoned to God’s praise, the ultimate purpose of Creation itself. The whole created order is already in the chorus. The only question remaining is whether we humans, the pinnacle of creation, will choose to join in.

The last word

  • Scripture: Heb 1:1-3
  • Location: St Paul's Cooma

Christmas
Jesus is God’s last word, the fullest expression of who God is, of his character. Jesus radiates all the brightness of God’s presence. Christmas is worth celebrating as the day in history when it became possible for people to see God. And God is still speaking his final and complete word of love today. Please do not refuse him who is still speaking. (Hebrews 12:25)

An unlikely king

Advent 4, Yr C
A shepherd-king with hints of the great King David, but one with divine power whose greatness will not stop at the borders of Israel and Judah. Such was the confident promise of prophets such as Micah. In all history only one figure could possibly fill such a profile. He came for us one night in Bethlehem of Judea. The rest is history.

A refining fire

  • Scripture: Mal 3:1-5
  • Location: St Paul's Cooma

Advent 2, Yr C
A promised messenger will come to prepare God’s people for the Lord who is the Covenant Messenger. In God’s time John the Baptist came to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ, who did come to his temple, and who was the mediator of a new covenant. But his coming may not be pleasant in the short-term. He will come as a refining fire, to remove all dirt and all impurity, so that God’s people may again offer him acceptable worship. You may desire and welcome his coming. But are you ready for the blowtorch?

Don’t be caught off-guard

  • Series: Gospel of Mark #20
  • Scripture: Mk 13:24-37
  • Location: St Paul's Cooma

Christ’s promised coming with great power and glory is as certain as every other promise he’s made, all of which have been fulfilled in history as he said. Therefore don’t fall into complacency as though his coming means nothing for your life. Be ready at every moment. Don’t be caught napping!

Don’t give up

  • Series: Gospel of Mark #19
  • Scripture: Mk 13:9-23
  • Location: St Paul's Cooma

In 70AD the Temple of God in Jerusalem was destroyed yet again, this time by the occupying Romans, never to be rebuilt. Such a disaster would have been like “the end” for Judaism. But Jesus’ conversation with his disciples in Mark 13 lets us know that it would not be the end for God. Rather it would be within his plan and foreknowledge. For by that time a new covenant had come into being, sealed with the blood of God’s Son, on a Roman cross, by which God could now be known and worshipped wherever people gather around the Son.