|This week’s theme: “Bystanders?”
Scripture Readings for this week:
Old Testament: Isaiah 7:10-16*
Psalms: Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19*
Epistle: Romans 1:1-7*
Gospel: Matthew 1:18-25*
(*click for online Bible)
Pastor Chee introduces this week’s theme:
It is customary in many churches during this season, for young people to be recruited to act out the nativity play. There will be auditions for the different roles – the animals, the shepherds, the wise men, and of course Joseph and Mary. And it will be great too if someone is young enough to play baby Jesus. Hopefully, the pastor does not find herself or himself in the unenviable task of having to choose who will play Joseph and Mary.
If it is in a large congregation, there will not be enough roles for all, and many end up being “bystanders”. Have we all had the experience of playing “bystanders?” We all like to be in control naturally. We want to steer the course of our own lives. Unfortunately, life is never so neatly packaged for us.
In the Gospel story, we find Joseph in much the role of a “bystander.” He does not get to choose. He is merely a “responder” to a message given in a dream. In Luke’s Gospel, Joseph does not even feature much.
Mary on the other hand is given more of a starry role. Instead of a dream, she gets a visitation from an angel. She gets a more “speaking” role in the play. She gets to narrate the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Wow!
Would you like to play “Mary” in a nativity play? Why? What do we learn from Mary’s role?
It is the fourth Sunday of Advent, this Sunday. Come and join us in worship and learn from Mary, the Christ-bearer (Christo-tokos).
Blessings for Advent
Below are the highlights –
November 27 (Advent 1) – Service marking the beginning of a new year
December 4 (Advent 2) – Service of Advent Carols with guest choir & Lessons with Communion.
December 11 (Advent 3 – Blue Christmas) – Service especially for those who have suffered loss and are aggrieved.
December 18 (Advent 4) – Service highlighting Mary’s role in bringing about the coming of the Saviour. THIS SUNDAY!
CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS (Sun)DAY WITH US AT ICB – even if this is your first time, you are most welcome!!
December 25 (Christmas Day) – Jesus came for you! We celebrate with Holy Communion followed by a pot-bless feast (not snacks but a feast). Do bring a dish or sweet to share, if you like, but we want you to join us even if you cannot do so!
(Note: Because Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, there will be no Christmas Eve Service this year. Please join us on Christmas Day morning, instead.)
Come, one and all.
Sunday School is now meeting again for young children during part of the worship time (see below)
ICB Choir: If you enjoy singing, please join in by arriving about 45 minutes before the service for practice. All are welcome, even if you have little experience. We welcome new singers to take part!
Notes about in-person and online worship:
Now the worst of the pandemic is over, Sunday Morning Worship is now for inperson attendance only at Student Christian Center (SCC). We join together in person again, rebuilding our community. Please make every effort to join us during this Advent season
Zoom relay is not now available for all, though there are a few exceptions.
Exceptions: For a limited period, Zoom will continue to be made available but only to those who are
a) unwell or with disabilities preventing their travel to SCC
b) living or travelling in the provinces or abroad.
These people, a) and b), who wish to worship via Zoom are asked to contact Pastor Chee via email before the service.
They will receive an email reply with a special meeting code and password.