When PEACE comes to town

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5 December, 2021Pastor Mark SchultzWhen God comes to town

 Life is full of mysteries that puzzle us. Like…

  • Why do cows always face north or south while eating?
  • Why do we press harder on the remote when the batteries are dead?
  • Why does bladder control become so much harder that closer you get to the toilet?
  • How far west can you travel before you are travelling east?
  • Can you daydream at night-time?
  • Why does your nose run and your feet smell?
  • Why can’t you change the volume of the voice in your head? (you just tried didn’t you!!)

We live in a world where things often don't make sense. And they are the easy ones...what about these. Why do bad things keep happening to me? Why can't I just get it together? Why does nobody love me, want me?They are the questions that keep us up at night, that play over and over in our minds, that trouble us and cause us unrest. For we know what we believe and we believe what we know. Today God invites you to live with the questions rather than find answers. To quit analysing or trying to understand and explain or make sense of things and to simply make room for the impossible, the unexplainable, the mysterious. And maybe...when we open our eyes again we discover the morning of new openness and opportunity to be part of what God is doing in this world. When PEACE comes to town, there is a renewed persepective, acceptance and courage. We'll explore that today. 

#2 in series: When God comes to Town

Isaiah 11:1-10

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;

    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—

    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,

    the Spirit of counsel and of might,

    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—

and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,

    or decide by what he hears with his ears;

but with righteousness he will judge the needy,

    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.

He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;

    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

Righteousness will be his belt

    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb,

    the leopard will lie down with the goat,

the calf and the lion and the yearling together;

    and a little child will lead them.

The cow will feed with the bear,

    their young will lie down together,

    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

The infant will play near the cobra’s den,

    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.

They will neither harm nor destroy

    on all my holy mountain,

for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord

    as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.

Matthew 1:18-25

Please stand as you are able for the Gospel Reading which comes to us from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 1, reading from the 18th verse.

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

  “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23

  When you let go of what you know and can explain, you make room in your heart for God to write his story of peace which is filled with promise.

  1. What's one question in life that you keep going over time and time again?
  2. If you could receive the gift of peace right now, what would that look like in your life?
  3. What needs to happen in your life to make room for God to write his story of peace in your life?

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When SALVATION comes to Town

26 December, 2021 Pastor Mark Simpfendorfer

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.

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Sorry technical details means that no recording or video of the whole service. But you can watch the sermon.


When GOD comes to town

25 December, 2021 Pastor Mark Schultz

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.

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When GOOD NEWS comes to Town

24 December, 2021 Pastor Mark Schultz

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.


When LOVE comes to town

19 December, 2021 Pastor Mark Schultz

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.

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When JOY comes to Town

12 December, 2021 Pastor Mark Schultz

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.'

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When HOPE comes to Town

28 November, 2021 Pastor Mark Schultz

Life comes at us fast. If you have ever driven a left-hand drive vehicle when you are used to a right hand drive...you may know the terrifying feeling of suddenly seeing three lanes of oncoming cars bearing down on you! It's frightening. But that's the reality of life as we know it too. World events, earthquakes, bushfires, floods, acts of terrorism and war, and of course global pandemics can come over the rise and shake our very foundations. Personal or family tragedies, untimely retrenchments, or an unwelcome health diagnosis can feel like three lanes of traffic bearing down on us, causing our lives to go into a fearful spin. When the oncoming traffic of this world and our lives looks ominous and we begin to grow afraid, our first response is usually to look for a place to hide and brace for impact. Jesus tells us to do the exact opposite. He tells us that the louder the threats of the world around us, the nearer he is beside us and the closer his return to rescue/receive us into his kingdom. Hope comes to town, precisely when all seems lost or at risk. Jesus reminds us of our assured future in him when our future circumstance looks bleak. When God comes to town, hope comes too to fill us with courage in the moment, boldness for the days ahead and a joy-filled expectation & anticipation of what will be. So stand up and take a look and see what happens when HOPE comes to town.

#1 in series: When God comes to Town