Join us as we come together to serve and celebrate God’s teachings and spirit.
Regular Sunday schedule:
09h00 First Service (English)
09h00 Children’s Church (English) & Teen Church
11h00 Second Service (Zulu & Setswana)
“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning, our song shall rise to thee:
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!”
(Hymns and Psalms 7)
LECTIONARY READINGS FOR 1 DECEMBER 2019
Psalm 122 is one of a group of psalms called “songs of degrees” or “songs of ascent”, and they were sung by pilgrims making their way up to Jerusalem for the major festivals of the Jewish calendar. There were three major festivals, and it was expected that male Israelites should make the journeys annually for the feasts. For the faithful pilgrim, this was an arduous journey, but a journey of delight, to attend worship in the house of the Lord. Oh that God’s people may always find joy in participating in the services of worship. The pilgrim’s joy is compounded by actually being in the holy city, a city often torn by conflict, but still the true centre of worship.
All the tribes of Israel met at these festive occasions to give thanks to God, as required by their laws, but obeyed in gratitude. Jerusalem was the centre of worship but also the centre of civil justice, so the pilgrims prayed for peace and prosperity in this focal point. This prayer for Jerusalem was twofold; one that the city may have peace for its inhabitants, and two, that being the place of the House of God, it may be kept safe.
For the Christian, this psalm may be applied by putting our place of worship in the place of Jerusalem.
ISAIAH 2: 1-5
The early chapters of the book of Isaiah deal with messages Isaiah has for the people of Jerusalem and the surrounding province of Judea.
In general, the messages deal with the fact that because of their neglect of the true worship of God, their city faced ruin. In between messages of doom, there are glimpses of a future restoration.
The present reading foretells of such renewal.
The temple in Jerusalem was built on the brow of a hill, so that it enjoyed a prominent position. Isaiah did not mean that the hill on which the temple stood would become physically higher, but that the importance of the place of worship would be metaphorically so much greater than all the surroundings. The worship of the Lord will be the focus, not only for the people of Jerusalem; but foreigners (Gentiles) from all nations would seek to know the God of Israel, to worship and obey Him. Jerusalem and the temple will be known as the place from which teachings of the ways of God will emanate.
Such teaching will include the cessation of wars and the building up of arms. Industry will focus on the production of instruments of peaceful endeavour. In the light of this vision of the future, Isaiah pleads with his fellow-citizens to live in the light of God’s revealed will.
ROMANS 13: 11-14
In the previous verses, Paul has expanded on the fact that to love is to fulfil the Law of the Lord. In v11, he says this love should be the hallmark of our behaviour as we keep alert and wakeful in service to the Lord. Every day is a day nearer the consummation of the age and the return of our Lord. Echoing the thought of Isaiah, Paul reminds his hearers that the people of God must live in the light and not indulge in the practices of the world of darkness. Verse 12 speaks of taking up arms or to wear the armour of light and strip off the works of darkness. Verse 13 lists some of the works of darkness which must be cast off. We see in v12 the need to put on the armour of light but in v14, Paul enjoins the Christian to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” He is Himself the perfect armour against all the works of darkness. GNB uses the terms of “weapons of the Lord Jesus Christ”, but the original Greek has the connotation of being clothed in Jesus Christ.
MATTHEW 24: 36-44
In the above reading from Romans, Paul referred briefly to the return of the Lord. Matthew records some of Jesus’ words to His disciples in this connection.
Although His promised return is sure, no-one knows, or will know, prior to the event when it will take place. In the time of Noah, the fact of the anticipated flood was heralded by the preparation of the Ark. It was only on the first day of the deluge that the flood was known, but it was just Noah and his immediate family who were saved from the catastrophe.
There is much debate and diversity of opinion as to the actual sequence of events of the return of our Lord. At the time when Jesus spoke these words, the Roman overlords had the power arbitrarily and unannounced to arrest a citizen if there was any suspicion of wrongdoing. It seems Jesus was referring to this when He spoke of two men in the field and two women at a well. The suddenness of such arrests corresponded with the suddenness of the flood in Noah’s day. Many people interpret these events to be the taking of believers out of this world, but this was not the primary intention. No doubt it may be permissible to make such an application of the Scripture, but that was not the immediate meaning. What is meant is that believers must at all times be ready and alert to the circumstances about them, and ready to escape a judgement as was the case with Noah.
Reinforcing this idea, Jesus uses the illustration of being prepared so that a thief would not have the opportunity to break into one’s house. So God’s people live in expectation of the unexpected.
- We have the invitation to go up to the house of the Lord “every week”. Do we respond with gladness, even eagerness, to join in worship?
- The Lord’s teaching from His house is the source of His light. May we always walk in that light.
- Romans 13:14 is parallel with Galatians 3:27. How well dressed are you?
- Eveready batteries eventually lose their charge. Are you fully charged and ever-ready for the coming of the King?