Feast of Christ the King – 25 November, Advent 1 – 2 December 2018

Now we all know that Christ is our king, our Saviour, our Redeemer, our Healer, Messiah. Scripture is very clear about who Christ is and how he has already saved us. But what I would
like to know is, how is Christ your King? Think about it! Now that you’ve thought about it, have a think about how you can help Jesus become someone else’s king. We now have the whole month of Advent to show Christ to the world, maybe not the whole world, but perhaps, to a few in our world.

This all leads into Advent:
Advent is a time of preparing to receive the Good News of Christ born among us. But as well as receiving, we are commissioned by Christ to give the Good News too. Unlike Easter which is often undergirded by repentance, repercussion and redemption, Advent is a time of almost unbridled expectation. In fact, when we do ‘Advent’ correctly, expectation can be palpable. The building of the story, of the waiting, of the ‘an-tic-i-pation’ can be almost unbearable. Why? What is it about the truth of the Good News being born anew at Christmas that compels us to participate? What is it about the Hope of God with us, the Peace of God which passes all understanding, the Joy of knowing that God is now always with us and the Love of God and others in our life, that compels us to join in? I wonder, have you even asked yourselves these questions? Have you ever wanted to experience this more fully? Have you ever yearned for a true connection to God and your fellow humans, but have sort of let it slip and not? These are tough questions to ask and answer. Advent is upon us, and the Good News of Christ is for you and yours, especially at Christmas and there is always time.

This year, St Peter’s is trying to generate some of this expectation, by initiating and participating in a Messy Nativity. This has a couple of different parts.
1. Messy Knitted Nativity. Our knitted Nativity scene is going on a trip around Wynnum and surrounding suburbs. It will roam from house to house for the whole of Advent. Then come home to St Peter’s on Christmas Eve, for our very first Messy Nativity Service at 6 pm Christmas Eve.
2. Messy Sheep Trail. Our wonderful family of St Peter’s have been madly knitting for these events. Our knitted sheep have been scattered along Bay Terrace in a variety of shops and businesses. We can’t find them and, we’ve forgotten their names. The Messy Sheep Trail encourages us to go find these lost sheep, discover their names and possibly win a great prize in the process. Ask St Peter’s Wardens for details!

In short St Peter’s Messy Nativity journey and Messy Sheep Trail are well underway. We have people on the roster, but there is always room for more. The shops and businesses are on board and the sheep are being named as we speak. All we need do now, is participate and anticipate.

Would you like to be a part of the Messy Nativity House hop? Perhaps you would like to try and find those silly lost sheep in the businesses along Bay Terrace in the Messy Sheep Trail? Maybe you just want to see how it all pans out and come to see, hear, and experience the culmination of all this prayer and forward planning, at our family service at 6pm on Christmas Eve.

Whether or not you choose to be a part of this Messy Expectation, or not, I pray and hope in your Advent preparations for the coming of the Good News. As we prepare to welcome the Christ Child anew among us, my prayer is for our Hope, Peace, Love and Joy in our Advent journey.

Christ is Coming….
Lord, we welcome you…..

Shalom, Donna (Vicar – St Peter’s Wynnum)

Thanksgiving Sunday – 11 November, Pentecost 26 – 18 November 2018

As Remembrance day approaches, and in the wake of Halloween, All Saints and all Souls days, the inherent tradition of the Church is Anamnesis; ‘Do this is Remembrance of me’. The ability to remember is a quality of our humanity which draws us closer to God our creator, in whose image we are made.

As individuals we remember things that are significant to us, the stories, experiences and shared events which help to make us who we are. The things we remember as a community are the same, in that we draw our identity as a group, from the shared stories and experiences of our past.

The beauty of a community that remembers is that it can reach back far beyond the lifetime experiences of the current members of that community, and keep stories alive through the ages. The traditions, sacramental rituals, stories, art, artifacts, liturgies, documents, monuments and buildings that the Church draws together and preserves are all a testament to the call of God that we all remember.

An example of how God likes us to remember is Jesus use of parables. These stories were and still are, a brilliant and effective tool by which Jesus instructed those living in an oral culture, to remember his lessons. That the Gospels were written into the Biblical narratives long after these parables were taught, is a great show of how successful they were in aiding the community to share and collectively remember them until they were recorded.

Jesus’ very clear instructions to us, in establishing the Holy Communion at the last supper, were to ”Do this in remembrance of me”. It is striking that in his last hours before being arrested, Jesus instituted this ritual of remembering which has formed and fed Christians for over 2000 years, as one of the core sacraments of faith. In this God was explicit in asking us to remember, but there are many other calls on us by our creator which are less obvious but still compelling.

The tradition of remembering and honouring the “Hallows” – Saints and Martyrs – of the faith is another of the calls to remember. By remembering them we uphold them as examples of Christian living for us to draw direction from, for the forming of our own Christian identities.

In the vastness of history there are many saints and martyrs who go unnamed and whose stories remain untold. Just as we know from our recent history that there are those who lie in unmarked graves who laid down their lives in times of war. We are human and are not able to retain everything and this can become the cause of pain. But there is one who does retain everything from the beginning of time until the end of days. We can take comfort in that the things that may have been forgotten in our history, the people who may not be remembered by the Church, are all remembered by God, and we can only wonder at that truth.

Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Rev’d Jamee (Manly)