|This week’s theme: “Do not despise small packages”
Scripture Readings for this week:
Old Testament: Isaiah 11:1-10*
Psalms: Psalm 72:1-7; 18-19*
Epistle: Romans 15:4-13*
Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12*
(*click for online Bible)
Pastor Chee introduces this week’s theme:
This coming Sunday, I will take a rest and not preach as we are having a service of Advent Lessons & Carols with Communion. So I will take the opportunity of reflecting on this passage from Isaiah 11:1-10 .
It is a natural human response to go after things that are big, generally speaking. We see this played out in life. I was reading a short article in the news this morning that Malaysia is building a tower much taller than the current Petronas Twin Towers. It will be the third tallest in the world (tinyurl.com/5f6uszpk ).
There is a tendency to go for the best, greatest, tallest, etc. Supersizing seems to be a response that most will identify with. Come Christmas Day, children will go for the biggest parcel to be opened first.
However, when it comes to God’s way, there is a reversal.
Humble beginnings: Isaiah reminds us that God’s way is the opposite of how the world perceives greatness. Who would have thought that anything great will come out of Judah? Compared to the surrounding nations and Assyria in particular, Judah was tiny. Christians worship a big God with a big mission that will one day reach this whole big world. Yet for all of his bigness, our God has a remarkable love for the small. He sets his eye upon small people in small places during small moments (Psalm 33:18; Matthew 6:4). The Son of God, who “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,” even became small to save us (Philippians 2:6–8). Salvation will rest with a plain Palestinian girl.
“Greatness” in smallness: Are you ashamed of being “small” compared to others? Learn from the Saviour. We cannot afford not to follow His path that will lead to oneness with God. The world may laud “bigness” and “greatness”. Be faithful in small things. Virtually everything Jesus ever did came in a small package. He touched the marginalized to manifest his power—a boy with fishes and loaves, a bleeding woman, and a diminutive tax collector. He said, “Blessed are the meek.” His followers were ordinary people, yet they changed the world. After all, he taught that his Kingdom would begin as a tiny mustard seed and would become a great tree. His death was the most ignominious possible, but through it, he accomplished the redemption of the human race.
Value in smallness: The best presents at Christmas are not found in big boxes. Many ladies can identify with this. If one desires value, look for the small boxes. Amidst, all the presents, look for the one, who comes in a small trough – the little tiny baby Jesus. Do not miss Christmas, this Christmas.
Come and join us this Sunday at our Advent Lessons and Carols service.
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. THIS SUNDAY!
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.
December 25 (Christmas Day) – Jesus came for you! We celebrate with Holy Communion followed by a pot-bless feast (not snacks but a feast).
(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.
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.