O God of new beginnings: give us courage to turn and joyfully follow you into new adventures of faithful service; through Jesus Christ our light and our salvation, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Jan 20 2017
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Jan 06 2017
The Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated on 6 January. In 2017 the Feast falls on a Friday and the feast can be celebrated on Sunday 1 January where its readings may replace the Sunday readings for that day, the First Sunday after Christmas Day – see Rule 7c, APB p 27.
The liturgical colour for the Feast of the Epiphany is white; the colour of the Season after the Epiphany is green. If the whole of the Incarnation Cycle is observed, the colour may remain white until the Feast of the Presentation on 2 February, after which the colour becomes green. The colour for the Sunday of the Transfiguration, the Last Sunday after the Epiphany, is white.
About the Readings for the Season of Epiphany
The focus of the readings reveals the truth that Christ is manifested to humankind, to the world, to the entire creation. In them we catch a glimpse of the cosmic dimension of the work and achievement of Christ. They also express the challenge for all Christians to reveal that truth through their own lives.
The Sunday themes
Epiphany Magi come to adore the Christ
1st Sunday after Epiphany The baptism of Jesus
2nd Sunday after Epiphany The first disciples
3rd Sunday after Epiphany The start of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee
4th Sunday after Epiphany Jesus teaches his disciples
Feast of the Presentation The end of the Incarnation Cycle- 40 days after Christmas
5th, 6th, 7th Sunday Jesus continues his teaching
Last Sunday after Epiphany The Transfiguration
The readings for the Sundays after the Epiphany move us from any narrow view of an individual understanding of our faith in the Incarnation of Christ, to a wider view of God’s intention for the whole of creation.
The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, forty days after Christ-mas, marks the end of the Incarnation Cycle which includes the Seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Simeon’s words to Mary as he takes the child, ‘And a sword shall pierce your own soul too’ is a reminder that in his own life Jesus will face suffering, as is prefigured in the response of the people to his teaching at Nazareth. As Christians continue the work of Jesus Christ, they too will face suffering.
The final Sunday before Lent, with a focus on the Transfiguration, ends the Season as it began, with a theophany, a sign of the glory of Cod made manifest among us.
(ACSA. 2016. Lectionary Advent 2016- Advent 2017. Year A)
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Dec 23 2016
Dear People of God
Here we are again, preparing to welcome Christ anew into our lives in this Season of Christmas. As we reflect on a year that is coming to an end, maybe it has been a year of challenges, or a year of choices. Maybe it has been a year of changes, of crises or illness for you or a family member or close friend. Maybe for some of us 2016 has been a big disappointment. For some in our Parish Family it has been a painful and pain- filled year of losing loved ones. For others, maybe it has been a year of failures and mistakes. Whatever the failures, disappointments or setbacks of this past year, one thing is true – God wants us to open our hearts and receive His peace, thus releasing us from fear and allowing us to experience the light of His love. The Christmas Story is all about Jesus Christ – God’s Son, born on earth as a baby and living a life that would change the world and the direction of our lives for ever. One of the ways which Jesus described Himself was as “the Light of the World” – a light that would never go out. At this Christmas season, we can find out what it means not only to follow “the Light of the World” but to know the Light of the World personally, know His love, forgiveness and purpose in our lives and living. That gives us a right and elevated perspective from which to look back over the happenings of another year and to look forward to a New Year. I wish you and your family members a peaceful and Christ filled Christmas. Thank you for all your love and encouragement to me and my family during 2016. I look forward in sharing God’s work with you in our Parish in 2017.
Your Friend and Rector
Fr. Joe Humbles
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Dec 09 2016
REFLECTION FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Among the Lectionary readings this week we find a promise from Isaiah of God’s restoration for God’s people, Mary’s song of faith and justice, John the Baptiser’s doubts about Jesus, and a call from James for the believers to be patient in suffering. What a fascinating mix! The message is clear, though. Doubts, struggles and suffering will come, but we have a choice about our response. We can allow
our doubts to get the better of us and lead us to miss God’s way, or we can affirm our faith, participate in God’s mission, and allow hope, faith and joy to sustain us.
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Dec 02 2016
REFLECTION FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Notice two things about John’s message to the religious leaders. Firstly, he told them that it was not enough for them to be “children of Abraham”. Their human ancestry and their position in the religious community did not automatically mean that they were participants in God’s Reign. In the same way, it is not our family, or church, or religious affiliation that makes us part of God’s Reign. Secondly, he told them that they would need God’s power, and the refining work of God’s Spirit to cleanse and equip them to live this new way. We need exactly the same empowerment from God. (Sacredise)
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Nov 29 2016
It was Pope Gregory 1 [590-604] who settled the Season of Advent of four Sundays with a very clear emphasis on the Christian hope of the Coming of Christ. Benard of Clairvaux [d. 1153] summarises the theology of the Seasons of Advent as the three comings of Christ, past, present and future. ’In the first, Christ was our redemption; in the last he will appear as our life; in the middle coming, he is our rest and our consolation’. It has also been suggested that one cannot fully understand Jesus’ birth without first understanding that he is Saviour and Lord.
Advent Sunday marks the beginning of the Liturgical Year. The Season includes the four Sundays before Christmas, which will fix the date of the First Sunday of Advent between 27 November and 3 December. This year Advent Sunday falls on the 27 November.
The liturgical Colour for the season of Advent is purple.
About the Readings for the Sundays of Advent
The four Sundays of Advent follow the individual themes:
First Sunday Dramatic fulfilment of God’s plan for the world
Isaiah 2: 1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24: 36-44
Second Sunday John the Baptist ushers in the new age
Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72: 1-7; 20-21; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3: 1-12
Third Sunday The inter-relationship between John and Jesus
Isaiah 35: 1-10; Psalm 146:5-12; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11: 2-11
Fourth Sunday The annunciation to Joseph and Mary
Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7,17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1: 18-25
The first two Sundays focus our attention on the second coming of Jesus as our hope, and in the prophesies of the First Covenant. The second two Sundays remind us of the preparations God made for Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem in fulfilment of those prophecies. We are reminded that we live in the between times, the now of our salvation and the not yet of its complete fulfilment. The themes are those of hope and expectation for both the first and second coming of Christ. They challenge us reconsider and engage with the Word and Liturgy the revelation of Christ’s time in the midst of our time. We begin the year praying together about the end of history.
[The Anglican Church of South Africa. 2016. Lectionary Advent 2016- Advent 2017 Year A].
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Nov 25 2016
REFLECTION FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
In too many ways the life of Christians and their churches simply reflects the values and beliefs of the societies around us. To look at us you wouldn’t know that we wait for a different world, and hold out the hope of peace and justice. If we really lived our faith in the coming of Christ, we would live the kind of life that demonstrates what we believe the world will one day be. This means we must embrace a life of simple, daily justice – reducing our personal carbon footprints through modesty and simplicity; bringing peace through the practices of forgiveness, negotiation and listening; seeking justice through serving those in need and challenging injustice wherever we find it in our communities. In addition we need to develop the habit of readiness – looking for every coming of Christ into our lives and world, and noticing and proclaiming the presence of Christ whenever we can. If we can do this, we become the fulfilment of the prophecies in this week’s readings. In what way can you seek to be a quiet, but prophetic community through this Advent season? (Sacredise)
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Nov 18 2016
Today as a Church, we conclude our liturgical year and celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. The Gospel we proclaim shows the great mystery of our faith: In the moment of his crucifixion, Jesus is shown to be King and Savior of all. Luke’s Gospel has been loaded with surprises: the poor are rich, sinners find salvation, the Kingdom of God is found in our midst. Here we see the greatest surprise of all. We are confronted with the crucified Jesus, whom faith tells us is King and Savior of all. The irony is that the inscription placed on the cross, perhaps in mockery, contains the profoundest of truth. As the leaders jeer, the thief crucified by his side recognizes Jesus as Messiah and King, and finds salvation. Jesus is King, but not the kind of king we might have imagined or expected. His kingship was hidden from many of his contemporaries, but those who had the eyes of faith were able to see. As modern disciples of Jesus, we, too, struggle at times to recognize Jesus as King. Today’s Gospel invites us to make our own judgment. Who is Jesus to us today? With eyes of faith, we, too, recognize that Jesus, the crucified One, is indeed King and Savior of all.
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Nov 11 2016
The call of the Lord is always to live in the present. Suppose we knew for certain the date that the world was going to end. What would we do differently, except to continue what we are already doing. If the only way we can motivate our people to live a life of goodness is to talk about end times, then they are not motivated at all. If people are following the Lord only because the world is going to end, then they’re not really following the Lord. They are simply trying to avoid disaster. We need lovers, delighters, positive builders – not dour nay sayers. (Richard Rohr: The Good News according to Luke: Spiritual Reflections)
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