O Come, O Come, Immanuel
for 28 November 2021
Many of us would know the story. An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and said “Mary is going have a baby, God’s son”. Then Joseph is given two name for the baby: Jesus (which means God saves) and Immanuel (meaning God with us). Many of us know the name Jesus was used and that’s what the baby became known by. The name ‘Immanuel’, however, while sung about at Christmas time is rarely used at other times.
This Sunday we’re starting our first week of Advent (a time of waiting). Each week we will look at a different Christmas carol and let the words speak to us. This Sunday is “O come, O Come, Immanuel”. Each verse uses a different old testament prophetic reference to the coming messiah. It’s a wonderful rich ancient song, with an ethereal melody in a minor key. It speaks of the waiting and the longing that Jewish people had for the coming messiah. A song that is sung with an aching, yearning hope that what is so wrong now will one day be made right. As Christians we still have this same sense of living between two poles of overflowing joy and heart-aching sorrow. We still sing “O, Come Immanuel” as we wait for the second coming of Jesus. As Paul writes to the Corinthian church we are “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10).
I pray you will be inspired to have a deeper love of Jesus this advent season.
Readings this week: Isaiah 11: 1-5, Matthew 1: 18-25
Reading next week: Luke 1:26-38, Luke 2:8-20
And don’t forget to get your own Christmas poem into the chat team ASAP.
Your brother in Christ,
BCUC’s Current COVID Response
Since the borders have opened up its been heart-warming to see videos of families and loved ones re-united after such long breaks. It’s a reminder that God created us for relationship. We realise it also creates anxiety for some regarding COVID. For those wondering, there are no changes required to the operation of worship services at BCUC for us to continue to be a COVID-safe environment. We still require check-ins, hand-washing and mask-wearing. We will be having an open church service regardless of people’s vaccination status. We will keep monitoring the situation and encourage people to get vaccinated. All of our children’s ministry team leaders are vaccinated. For those wanting to minimise their risk further we are grateful for the AV team who keep providing an online option for worship.
Christmas Plays in Schools
This week a group from five churches visited five different schools to present a Christmas play called “Harold the Angel”. It had Joseph, Mary, shepherds, wise men, angels and more. Our own Bryan Robinson was one of the great comedic stars of the show! It was an amazing opportunity to share the good news about Jesus to over 1500 kids. After each show, there was question time with a great range of enquiries from “where does Santa Claus come into the story?”, “What’s the trinity?”, “Is Jesus real?”, “Did Jesus actually make a difference in the world?” and “What does this story have to do with Christmas?”. It’s been an awesome privilege to be used by God to give a message to kids of God’s great gift in the form of the birth of his son Jesus. For may of them, this was their first time hearing about Jesus.
Theology Workshops : Minor Prophets
Last Wednesday evening, BCUC hosted a workshop on Minor Prophets held by Rev Dr Gethzi Devasagayam. Those who took part were amazed at what they could learn from these less well know books of the bible. Check it out for yourselves here. Gethzi will return this Wednesday for part two of the Workshop series. All are invited to attend. If you are unable to make it, you can watch it here live at 7:30pm or later in the week.
Nov 30, 7:30pm @ BCUC
Nominations are open for Elders to serve on the BCUC Church Council. If you feel that God is calling you to serve BCUC in this role, please pick up an information sheet and nomination form at the reception desk or view them here. Nominations close Monday 29 November with a vote to be held at the AGM on Dec 5. There will be three open seats on Church Council; two are currently vacant and one is a renomination of a current Elder.
Elder/Church Councillor Nominations
AGMPlease join us for our AGM on Sunday December 5 at 11:30am. Reports are available here.
Thanksgiving for the life of Reg StuckeyA Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the late Reg Stuckey will be celebrated at Clayton-Wesley Uniting Church this coming Tuesday, November 30th, commencing at 2pm. Loris and her family will welcome your attendance.
HizbizThe last Hizbiz lunch for this year will be at 12 noon at the Kensington Hotel, 23 Regent St Kensington. Please contact Leigh 8379 5398 or email@example.com if you would like to come.
Monday Day FellowshipMonday Day Fellowship are celebrating Christmas with afternoon tea on Monday 6th December at 1.30pm. Our musical guests Ann Piper and Benji. Please come and enjoy friendship and fellowship. All are welcome.
Pantry NewsNew season tomato relish now available!
Christmas CheerWith Christmas coming let’s pull out all the stops, and donate food and toiletries for Uniting Communities at Norwood. They particularly need: long life milk • coffee • noodles • rice • tinned ham • jellied fruit • and special Christmas foods for a treat. Pop these in our donation boxes in the foyer by Tuesday 14th December. Many thanks, BCUC Cares.
Try Your Hand at Poetry!Did you know that many of our favourite Christmas Carols were once Christmas poems that were later put to music? Like ‘Joy to the world’. This year to stir up the spirit-filled creativity of the congregation we are holding a Christmas Poetry Exhibition. We are asking for people to be inspired and write a Christmas poem (which includes Christian themes of the birth of Jesus). Entries are to be sent to the chats team by Nov 28th (max 300 words). With your permission they may be recited during services, concerts or put to music. The chats team will collate them into a booklet of original poems from BCUC for a Christmas gift for all. So grab your pen, your bible and lets start writing. Kids and adult entries welcome.
Women’s Ministry CoffeeThe Women’s Ministry group are meeting for a pre – Christmas coffee On Wednesday Dec 1st at 2pm at VP’s Café, 539 Greenhill Road, Hazelwood Park. Underground parking is available. Please RSVP to Marlene Richards 0412584106 or firstname.lastname@example.org . All women are warmly invited.
Last week BCUC hosted a Miracle Connect Dinner and Information night.
Have you seen this?
See what’s happening at BCUC in the leadup to Christmas.
November/December Church Calendar
Worship this Sunday
Our 10am service is also livestreamed each week; watch it live as it happens or check it out later that day or during the week. The livestream video can be viewed from the link on the homepage of the BCUC website and on our YouTube channel from Sunday morning at 10am.