Pastor and author, John Piper, writes the following:
At the end of this life, the apostle Peter wrote his second letter, and twice in it he tells his readers why he was writing to them. In the first chapter he said, “I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder” (2 Pet. 1:13). Then, in the last chapter, he said it again: “I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder” (2 Pet. 3:1). His aim was first to remind them. And then, by reminding them, to stir them up. The Greek word for “stir up” is used most often for waking someone from sleep. Peter assumes that his Christian readers need to be wakened. I know I continually need awakening. Especially when Christmas approaches. I am prone to be dull, spiritually drowsy, halfhearted, lukewarm. That is the way human beings are, including Christians, even about great things. Peter knows it and is writing to “awaken” or to “stir up” his readers so that they don’t just know but also feel the wonder of the truth. What Peter really means, by being “awakened” or “stirred up” is to feel some measure of the joy God intends for Christmas to bring. “Behold, I bring you good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10). Not small joy. Not modest joy. But “great joy.” If we don’t feel this when we ponder the incarnation of the Son of God, we need “awakening.” We need to be “stirred up.” Jesus said, “I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). This is “great joy.” And it cannot be taken away. It is indestructible. Ah, but it can go to sleep. That’s why Peter says, “I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder” (2 Pet. 1:13). Yes. It is very right. Because, oh, how wrong, how sad, when we stand before great wonders and feel nothing. It is right, therefore, that he write to awaken and stir up our affections for the greatest wonder of all: the arrival and the work and the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in this world.
This Sunday 15 December…
Christmas' Side-Effects: For all of the joy at the heart of the Christmas message, this baby's birth would have side-effects both welcome and unwelcome in the lives of many. How will we be affected this Christmas?
Ignite Youth Group
Seeing as it will be the last event of the year, on Friday 13 December from 6:30pm we thought it would be a good idea to make use of the good weather and have a BBQ at the beach. Meet at the Mission Bay fountain and bring a plate of food to share. So bring the whānau and lets have a good last meal together.
Next Sunday 15 December after the service. Come along as we discuss the life of our church moving forward.
Kids Programs This Sunday
Spark is our program for older preschool to year 2 kids, led by Margaret Stewart.
Blaze is for kids in years 3-5, led by Olwyn Dickson.
Ignite is for young people in years 6 and above, led by Matt and Elisha.
mainly music for young children is every Tuesday at 10am in the church. Our last session will be this Tuesday 10 December. We will be having a shared morning tea so please bring a plate if you can!
Next Sunday we will be having our Celebration Service. This is a time where we look back on God's goodness to us over the last year and celebrating our journey.
Carols In The CarPark
Come along on Sunday 15 December from 6:30 - 7:30pm for a family-friendly time of carol-singing and creative re-telling of the Christmas story with fun content for kids and a free sausage sizzle. Bring your friends; bring a cushion, blanket or camp-chair to sit on. If it's wet, we will be inside the church.
Our last Men’s Breakfast, for this year will be the first Saturday 7 December at 8am. Our Speaker will be our very own Pastoral student intern, Elisha Hartley. Elisha will be speaking on some trends in culture around youth since the 1960s and the resulting need for discipleship for youth. Share a cooked breakfast, coordinated by chef supremo Lindsay M. We'd love to see you there. Please consider inviting a friend.
Home Group BBQ
On Sunday 8 December the Wednesday Home Group is celebrating with an end of year shared dinner, at around 5:30pm. If you have not been part of the home group but would like to join us for lunch you are most welcome, please talk to Paul or Ruth 528 4401.
Wednesday Night Home Group
Home Group at the home of Paul and Ruth Ungemuth every second and fourth Wednesday at 7:30pm. Each week we share in supper, do a bible study and pray for each other. Will begin on Wednesday 13 February. Contact the office for more information.
Wednesday Morning Home Group
Home Group at the home of Joy Galt on the third Wednesday of the month at 10am. After morning tea we do a bible study and pray together. Contact the office for more information.
Young Adults Home Group
Every Wednesday evening at 7:30pm. Please email the church to be added to the Facebook page, and check Facebook for updates of what we have going on. We'd love for you to join us!
Check out what is happening at RBC this Christmas season!