Writer, Max Lucado, has this to say about the love of God:
"We all enjoy a good love story…a first meeting…a budding romance. And when inevitable obstacles arise, our heroes put everything on the line to overcome them… to be together. Like every great story, love is demonstrated through action. Through sacrifice. Can you think of a better love story than Christmas? God looked upon us, his children. In desperate need of redemption, of a saviour. And He gave His most precious gift…Jesus, His own son. Do you ever feel outside of God’s love? That you’ve committed an act which makes you eternally undeserving? A treason…a betrayal…an aborted promise? Maybe, just maybe if you could be better, His love would be deeper? Then remember the message of the Christmas story. God loves us! Undyingly. Unequivocally. Unapologetically. And He couldn’t possibly love you any more than he does right now! May your Christmas be filled with the overwhelming love of our Savior, Jesus Christ."
But Lucado writes that God also loves us too much to leave us as we are.
“When my daughter was a toddler, I used to take her to a park not far from our apartment. One day as she was playing in a sandbox, an ice-cream salesman approached us. I purchased her a treat, and when I turned to give it to her, I saw her mouth was full of sand. Where I had intended to put a delicacy, she had put dirt. Did I love her with dirt in her mouth? Absolutely. Was she any less of my daughter with dirt in her mouth? Of course not. Was I going to allow her to keep the dirt in her mouth? No way. I loved her right where she was, but I refused to leave her there. I carried her over to the water fountain and washed out her mouth. Why? Because I love her.
God does the same for us. He holds us over the fountain. "Spit out the dirt, honey," our Father urges. "I've got something better for you." And so he cleanses us of filth; immorality, dishonesty, prejudice, bitterness, greed. We don't enjoy the cleansing; sometimes we even opt for the dirt over the ice cream. "I can eat dirt if I want to!" we pout and proclaim. Which is true—we can. But if we do, the loss is ours. God has a better offer.”
This Christmas, may we revel again in God who loves us just as we are, but who loves us too much to leave us as we are.
This Sunday: Ludicrous Love
How might you feel about following a God who is completely and predictably loving but also entirely unpredictable? That is the kind of God revealed in that first Christmas.
Kids Programmes during Lockdown
There will be not Blaze or Spark's programmes running due to covid restrictions.
Youth on Zoom
There will be no youth group meeting this week. Catch you soon!
Virtual Morning Tea
This Sunday at 11:30 am, after our worship service has been posted, we will be having a Virtual Morning Tea!
Get your biscuit and a cup of coffee and sit down for a Zoom chit-chat with others! Catch up on others' weeks, talk about whatever, leave whenever you wish, enjoy some fellowship!
The young people are also invited to this, and then will have a 'break-out' Ignite youth meeting using the same zoom link, which Matt will organise.
Out of Office
Please note that:
Murray will be on holiday from Friday 17 December
Matt will be on holiday from Sunday 2 January
The Church office will be closed over the Christmas break from Wednesday 22 December - Monday 3 January.
Due to covid restrictions, we are unable to meet in person for our mainly music sessions. However, a link will be posted on our Facebook page each Tuesday at 10am for anyone who wants to sing along virtually!
Giving to our Community During Lockdown
There are many in need in our community during lockdown. If you would like to contribute financially, a couple of good options would be to Vision West (click here) or contact Ruapōtaka Marae in Glen Innes on 09 5705340.
This is a family-friendly Christian music and arts festival held in the Waikato, on anniversary weekend, 28-31 January 2022. Ticket prices will go up at the end of October; however, there is still plenty of time to sign up. Check out their website here, or talk to Matt Anderson if you have any questions.
Young Adults Home Group
Every Sunday 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!
Basix Small Group
Basix is a series of chat group courses looking at the basics of the Christian faith. Each course runs for four weeks, and discusses questions about who God is, life and the Christian faith. Please contact the office if you are interested.
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.
Thursday Morning Home Group
Home Group in the church lounge on the third Thursday of the month at 10am. After morning tea we do a bible study and pray together. Contact the office for more information.