On Sunday 17th February we will be having a special service to celebrate 60 years of Hope City Church making a difference in people’s lives. We invite you to join with us at our 9:30am service at Grovely State School Performing Arts Complex to hear from people as they share their personal experience of the difference being part of the church family has made. Afterwards, we invite you to stay around and chat over a special celebration morning tea.
Just a week from now we will be standing on the eve of the anniversary of one of the most significant days in history! That’s right, Christmas Eve.
One of the reasons I love Christmas is because it reminds us of the good news that God announced so long ago. This good news wasn’t the birth of a baby in a stable – that was just the announcement!
The good news was that God loved us so much that He was willing to do whatever it took to bring us into a place of intimacy with Him. Including becoming a baby that had to be born in a stable.
This morning, I was reading 1 Corinthians 1 in my devotions and came across verses 8-9.
He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (NLT)
The key part of this verse is the phrase “partnership with His Son”. What connotations does that conjure in you when you read that phrase? It’s easy to think of a business partnership. I, and my business partner, have a common goal or vision that we are trying to achieve. We’re working together to see it happen … my partner bringing his skill sets and I bring my skill sets.
But that’s not what “partnership” means. The word translated “partnership” is the greek word “Koinonia”. In some translations it’s rendered as “fellowship.”
But the greek word, Koinonia, literally means fellowship, intercourse, communion, association, intimacy.
It’s a word that speaks of something deep and intimate. Highly relational and focused on a person and not a task. It’s a word worth far more than a business transaction. It’s not just about working with Jesus to see a common vision come to pass.
Jesus didn’t come to earth to start a business! He came to earth to create a family.
You have been invited, not just to do stuff for God, but into intimacy and deep communion with Jesus. A closeness to Him, out of which all our service comes. This was the good news. It wasn’t about doing stuff to appease God anymore. Up until this point, relating to God basically meant doing stuff for Him. Jesus birth changed all that. Now it was about relationship.
How truly the angels spoke in Luke 2 when they told the shepherds,
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
Let me encourage you, this Christmas, to put aside the busyness – even if only for a short time – and do what Jesus always intended Christmas would be for. Take the time to spend time with Jesus and draw closer in intimacy. Sharing things with God that you hold dear to your heart. Vulnerability is the beginning of intimacy.
Have a blessed and safe Christmas church
Alex & Sarah