The NBC Advent Tree – Week Four: Peace

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Theme:– Peace

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Yet from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said:
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

This morning I answered the phone to a friend whose world has been torn apart by a broken relationship.

I know that in the midst of this fun and happy season, many of you are struggling – it may be finances, relationships, health, stress, depression…

How do we avoid the mockery of the refrain of peace on earth and good-will to men? We sing a refrain of sweet smelling hay and a smiling baby, no crying he makes.

But God did cry. God came to earth in that baby. God knows, he cares, and because of His coming, we can have confidence that death and pain and suffering will not have the last word.

God has already overcome the powers of darkness, and that is why today we can grasp this peace for ourselves. As we enter the last week of Christmas, with all its stresses, let’s turn to God for our strength.

Paul says in Philippians:

Phil. 4:6,7:  Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The NBC Advent Tree – Week Three: Joy

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This week we are thinking about Joy.

When we open our hearts and let the love of Jesus enter, we know joy!

Luke 2:

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Some people who knew the joy right away were the shepherds. After visiting the stable, they went back to their sheep, glorifying and praising God. But a lot of people living in Bethlehem missed it. They slept right through the whole thing and never knew it happened.

As we walk through these days leading up to Christmas, how much joy do we see in the faces of people around us or in each other?

 Nehemiah 8:10 tells us, “The joy of the Lord is your strength”. What is joy and how do we get it?

Here’s a song that I’m enjoying singing along to at the moment:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3gLeCiMJqI

It reminds me that it’s not grumbling or being depressed that is going to get me through my challenges, but rather, it’s the Joy of the Lord. 

Prayer time: Let’s pray each day that we will call on the joy of the Lord to be our strength this week, and that we can pass this on to others around us. 

Response: Write on your tag one thing that has brought you joy this week.

Remember to come along to church early so you can decorate the Advent tree with your tags – With the busyness of last week’s services, you may not have had a chance to put your “Love” tag on the Advent Tree – why not do two this week? 

The NBC Advent Tree – Week Two: Love

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This Sunday we are remembering that Jesus came to earth to tell us of God’s love.
 
John 3:16 tells us that God loved the world so much that he gave His only son, so that anyone who believes in Him should not die, but have eternal life.
Love asks us to be open, to be honest, and especially to trust.
 
Philippians 1:9–11: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God”
 
Your challenge for this week: This week we have been reminded that God has shown His love to us in sending Jesus, and that He wants us to share His love with others. Your challenge this week is to decide to do some act of love. It might be an act of kindness to a stranger. It could be a word, or a smile, a note or an email you send. Something you do for someone else.
 
When you come next week, we’ll have a tag for you to write in what you did!
Then you can hang that on your tree as your act of love
 
Prayer time: Ask God to help us love one another. Thank Him for His gift of Love, which is what Christmas is all about.
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The NBC Advent Tree–Week One: Preparation & Hope

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The Advent Tree is our opportunity to reflect together as a church community on what we look forward to in the coming of Christ into the world.

Each week we will spend a short time in the service thinking about a certain theme, with a Bible reading and a short comment about it, and a prayer.

We will send out a reminder of this during the week by email and social media.

 

Then before/after the service or during the week, you can come up to the tree and put on a tag or decoration.

Each week we will provide tags that relate to the theme from the week before.

First Sunday in Advent

Theme: Preparation & Hope

Today is special because it is the beginning of a new season. We call this season “Advent.” “Advent” is a word that means “to come.” It is a time when we get ready, preparing ourselves for the coming of the Christ Child. We should get our hearts ready by thinking about Him and the reason that He came into the world.

Reading: Isaiah 40: 1- 8.   Click here to read: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2040%3A1-8&version=NIRV;CCB

 

Reflection: Today the tree stands bare. It is beautiful in shape but it doesn’t have any leaves or colour.  What does it remind you of? Does it make you think of the winter that you have just been through, when the leaves fall off the tree, it’s cold and wet. It might make you think of people or situations you have struggled with over the last while.  Just like the people in our reading today, we know of people, it may be ourselves, who have had hard times, and they waiting in hope for something new.  Throughout this week, think about someone or a situation that needs the Hope that Christ brings into their lives.

You might write a name, or a word or a short prayer, and bring it to be placed on the tree for next week.

 

Prayer time: Ask God to help us make room for Jesus in our hearts and in our home.

Pray for those people or situations that are experiencing need, pain and want. Ask Him how He would like you to respond to these things.

 

Reminder: Come along to church a few minutes early this Sunday. Pick up a tag from the table in the foyer, write on it, and attach it to the Advent Tree before or after the service.

 

Animania Light Party – 29 October 5-8pm

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Saturday 29 October 5-8 pm: Animania Light Party Carnival Northcote Baptist Church, cnr Eban and Sylvia Rd.  Pony rides, petting zoo, bouncy castle, disco, cupcakes, crafts, fun and food!
Come dressed as your favourite animal. (No scary costumes please)
Entry by donation: all children will receive a ticket entitling them to a variety of 
treats, adults get their own too!

CASP

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 What is CASP ?

?Northcote Baptist Church has been providing great programmes for the children and young people of the local community for many years now.

CASP  ‘Community After School Programmes’   is an initiative that we started a couple of years ago to let the children and families of our community know that NBC Church is a place where everyone is welcome.

Our aim is to provide high quality programmes for primary aged children in the areas of arts, craft and recreation. 

Download Term 3 timetable here:

CASP flyer term 3 2016 for mailing