It's used as a measure in every sphere of life. Legally, medically, mentally, individually, organisationally, financially, educationally, and for communities. Capacity: the ability to produce or deliver with the resources that are available. The ability, power or competence to do or understand something. Businesses and churches have lived over the last two years with maximum capacity, reduced capacity, limited capacity. We have heard reports about people suffering from surge capacity - feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope mentally with what has happened, or having a diminished capacity to make decisions, or depleted capacity to contribute. Maybe you have even uttered statements like, "I just can't deal with that right now", or "I'm stretched, I just can't take on/do any more at this time." They are capacity statements. It's an acknowledgment that the energy is low, the resources have run dry, the vessel is empty.
Today as Jesus begins his public ministry in John's Gospel, he deals with the capacity question we constantly face and reveals the truth that when our capacity runs out, his presence brings forth something new which tastes better than we can ever imagine.
#4 in series: Zero Gravity
They are known as PFD's - personal flotation devices, also known as a life jacket, life preserver, life vest.
PFD's are designed to be worn by a person to prevent them from drowning in a body of water. It keeps the wearer of the device afloat with their head and mouth above the surface. It gives protection, it gives confidence, it gives assurance and security when trying something new. But a PFD is only beneficial if you are wearing it. Whether just sitting in the boat, or being pulled this way and that on a biscuit, wakeboard or ski, you are safe. When you are tired from swimming and just want to float, it enables you to rest and relax. It gives the wearer bouyancy in every circumstance.
As we step into 2022, God has given us a PFD - a personal faith device that gives buoyancy in every circumstance and enables you to try new things with confidence. We'll explore and experience that this weekend.
#3 in series: Zero Gravity
“What should we do then?” It's a question that John the Baptist is asked, not once but three times. The crowds ask it. The tax collectors ask it. The soldiers ask it. It’s the question we also ask at every transition point in life's journey. We ask it when thinking about our future, or making decisions. We ask it when we've messed up or when we are overwhelmed or paralysed by the enormity of circumstances confronting us. We ask it when we are excited about new possibilities or new directions and are uncertain about which choice to make. John's response to that question is both simple and practical and gives us a concrete way to live with focus as we step into 2022.
#2 in series: Zero Gravity
New Year's Resolutions...Lose weight. Save money...Be a better _____! (you fill in the blank). From year to year, the resolutions don't change much for people. Yet year after year, it takes about six weeks to go back to the same old patterns, where we tell ourselves the same old stories, and berate ourselves for listening to the same old voices. And not much changes. The gravity of life brings us down, the burden of our past holds us back, the weight of expectations ground us. Each year we get look back over the past year and it reveals who and what has laid claim to our life. What if that could change for 2022? What if we stopped rehashing the past and talking about what we could’ve, would've or should’ve done, or how we can improve ourselves and let ourselves be more fully claimed by the Message of Christmas - God’s faith in us, God’s hope for us, God’s love of us. How would that transform 2022 and enable you to live a weightless, zero gravity life? We'll explore that today?
#1 in new series: Zero Gravity
Timing is key to everything. In music. In dance. In comedy. In business. In life and in relationships. How many times have you caught yourself saying or thinking, ‘This couldn't have happened at a worse time'? When an already stretched schedule is stretched even further. When you are emotionally on edge and feeling quite fragile and something else happens that feels like you are being ground up into many pieces. Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard we try, the rhythm of the world and our life is not in sync. It may only be a fraction of a second but that timing makes all the difference to how our life sounds and feels. That's what is so remarkable about the Christmas story. To a world whose timing was off, Jesus came at just the right time. When Salvation comes to town, every last detail, every event sequence was planned and orchestrated by God himself so that the good news of his coming as the Saviour of the world could be good news for everyone. We’ll explore that today.
#7 in series: When GOD comes to Town
Sorry technical details means that no recording or video of the whole service. But you can watch the sermon.
Have you ever heard a boss, parent or someone say to you, 'Don't bring me problems. Bring me solutions.'? It is supposed to be empowering...it is supposed to say “You’re smart. You are able – I know you can do this.” But what it actually communicates is “When you find problems, I only want to hear about the ones you can solve.’ The Bible tells us that no matter how hard we try, no matter how much we invest our mind, skill, money or effort, we will never find a solution to the problem the plunges this world into darkness; a relationship with God that has been destroyed by sin, lives that are drowning in despair and hearts that have been overcome with sadness. But the good news is that God has a solution which he offers to the world at Christmas. God himself, comes to town, to save the world. That's good news for everyone and we'll explore that today.
#6 in series: When GOD comes to Town
2021...it's been one bad news day after another hasn't it? Just when we thought things couldn't get any worse in 2020, 2021 rolled on. Every time we turned on the television, there was more covid bad news, more scandal, more corruption, more sporting stars doing the wrong thing, more terrible and depressing events. We are sick of bad news and yet, somehow strangely, according to researchers, we have this negativity bias which means we have a collective hunger to hear and remember bad news...and if you don't believe me...why was the most tuned in television programs for 2021, the 11am Covid update Press conference with our Premier and Chief Health officer?
But tonight is the night when GOOD NEWS came to town. Tonight is the night that continues to speak GOOD NEWS into our lives today. Join us in hearing that GOOD NEWS again.
There are moments in life that are sometimes just too difficult to comprehend. For the families at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport this past week, that has became all too tragically real. There are times when the thoughts in our head are like spaghetti, tangled and twisted together and resembling the bird’s nest of wires on an electricity pole in Asia. Trying to pull out a single, coherent strand of thought at those times is incredibly hard. It’s precisely at moments like that, when experiences are hard to comprehend and circumstances make it difficult to believe, that we desperately need help and support; someone who will provide acceptance and understanding, encouragement and support, wisdom and hope. We need someone who can see God in the midst of the circumstances. Mary’s ‘go to’ person, when it was all getting too much, was her cousin Elizabeth. Her words of affirmation and prayer of blessing discerned the heart of what was happening and the generational movement of love that Mary was caught up in and was now being fulfilled and birthed through her for the world. When love comes to town, it brings forth a song from our lips that gives voice to what we believe, shaping who we are and pouring out blessing on the world. We’ll explore and experience that today.
#4 in series: When God comes to Town
Account Numbers, PIN numbers, Passwords, Name, DOB, Address, I am not a robot…every account, membership or on-line portal or help centre requires us to prove our identity before we are noticed, recognised, or listened to. Without that proof, we are nobody. Invisible to the world, shown a closed door, unable to access any services or help. Prove who you are and it changes everything....sometimes. But how different it is when God comes to town. Mary, a teenaged girl, who is invisible in so many ways in her own culture, is seen, greeted and identified as someone who is graced, favoured and chosen by God. Her life is redefined not by her action, achievement or accomplishment, but by the presence and purpose of God working deep within her. When God comes to town, and shows you his grace, it germinates real joy, a deep abiding confidence in God’s presence, power & purpose at work in you even when you don’t feel anything. It's a gift that will overwhelm your life with blessing if you give yourselves over to it and open the door to it. We'll explore and experience the wonder of what happens 'When Joy comes to town.'
#3 in Series: When God comes to Town