Sermon: At Christmas, Jesus Saved Us From Slavery – Alpha

Merry Christmas (it’s still Christmas, based on the Liturgical calendar).

This morning, Alpha Lim preached a sermon based on this week’s New Testament reading in Hebrews 2:10-18:

God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. For he said to God,

“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.
I will praise you among your assembled people.”

He also said,
“I will put my trust in him,”
that is, “I and the children God has given me.”

Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had[d] the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.

He talked about how we are all bound to slavery – defined as being forced and under compulsion, against our will. At Christmas, God became human in Jesus – Emmanuel, God with us – and saved us from slavery. All this, with a heavy dose of allusions to Star Wars.

(Yes, he actually used this picture…)

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Christmas Day Service + Lunch: Blessed To Be A Blessing

BLC Advent-Christmas 2013

Join us this Wednesday, 25 December 2013 at 10am for our Christmas Day service, the culmination of our theme, “Blessed To Be A Blessing.”

We will also be serving lunch (featuring roast lamb!) – so please make sure you RSVP early and be there for the fellowship!

Scripture lessons for Christmas Day:

Find out more about BLC’s Advent and Christmas 2013 celebrations here.

This is an open event. All are welcome to join us – please invite your loved ones and friends!

4th Sunday In Advent: Love (Youth Sunday)

BLC Advent-Christmas 2013

Next Sunday, 22 December 2013, 10am, we will be celebrate the 4th Sunday in Advent with a Youth Service! (Learn more about the Advent season here)

What does this mean? Well, for starters, the service will be lead primarily by our young people. Come and join us this Sunday for what will definitely be an exciting service!

Scripture lessons this week:

Find out more about BLC’s Advent and Christmas 2013 celebrations here. All are welcome to join us – please invite your loved ones and friends!

3rd Sunday in Advent: Joy

BLC Advent-Christmas 2013

Next Sunday, 15 December 2013 at our regular 10am service, we will mark the 3rd Sunday in Advent (learn more about the Advent season here) as Pastor Augustin brings us the message!

Scripture lessons this week:

Find out more about BLC’s Advent and Christmas 2013 celebrations here. All are welcome to join us – please invite your loved ones and friends!

Reminder: This Sunday, 8 Dec 2013, 6:30pm – 2nd Sun in Advent – Peace: Festival of the 9 Lessons & Carols

BLC Advent-Christmas 2013

Reminder: This Sunday, 8 December 2013, 6:30pm, we will be celebrate the 2nd Sunday in Advent with the Festival of the 9 Lessons and Carols. This will be a combined service with Luther House Chapel. Please note: this will be an evening service and there is no morning service. Light supper will also be served after the service.

The offering from the service will also go towards a mission is to raise enough funds to buy 2 motorboats for the Pulau Banding Orang Asli community. Pulau Banding is in Temenggor Lake, Perak with an estimated community of 1,600 people.

OrangAsliPulauBanding

(The Pulau Banding Orang Asli previously lived on dry land before the Temenggor Dam was built. Since then, they have had to adjust to a new life with different living skills to adapt. They live in shanty huts with leaky roofs and need to learn how to live off the water. Because of the remoteness of their location, there is no piped water supply; no food without fishing, hunting or gathering; or no sanitation services. Without a good boat, access to civilization is severely limited: it is difficult to send children to school; gain access to jobs as well as medical services and maternity care. All this is why the Pulau Banding community needs the two motorboats.)

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a format for a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carolshymns and choir music.

  1. First Lesson: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-19
  2. Second Lesson: Genesis 22:6-18
  3. Third Lesson: Isaiah 9:2-7
  4. Fourth Lesson: Isaiah 11:1-9
  5. Fifth Lesson: Luke 1:26-38
  6. Sixth Lesson: Luke 2:1-7
  7. Seventh Lesson: Luke 2:8-20
  8. Eighth Lesson: Matthew 2:1-12
  9. Ninth Lesson: John 1:1-14 

The best-known version is broadcast annually from King’s College, Cambridge, on Christmas Eve. It features carols sung by the famous Choir of King’s College, Cambridge:

This is an open event – please feel free to invite your loved ones, family, friends and neighbors. 

Find out more about BLC’s Advent and Christmas 2013 celebrations here.

Prayer at the Close of the Year: Final #FirstFriday of 2013! 6 Dec, 8:15pm

CandleBible

This Friday, 6 Dec, 8:15p, come away from the crowds and traffic jams and join us in the liturgy for Compline, sometimes also known as Prayer at the Close of Day. There will be time allocated to reflect on the year that has gone by, to share your thoughts if you so wish, and to listen and make room in our hearts for 2014’s fresh start.

Facebook Event page is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/169415256602183/

COMPLINE…
The office of Compline is the final office (or service) of the day according to the ancient, monastic cycle of canonical hours (increments for daily prayer.) The term Compline, from the Latin ‘completorium’ (completed), was first used by St. Benedict in the 6th century, and was part of the ‘Rule of Benedict’, a book of guidelines for monks living and praying in monastic communities. Compline is intended to be repetitive and easily memorized and recited in plain chant. Compline services emphasize rest, spiritual peace and contemplation. (Description adapted from http://compline.lucpgh.com/Pittsburgh_Compline_Choir/Our_Service.html )

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Join us for a quiet evening in this corner of Bangsar, away from the bustle of Friday night KL. Get to know a friend or fellow BLC-ian better. Maybe make an altogether new friend! (Yes, please bring with you anyone who you think would be blessed by being at this gathering as well!) I’ll also be bringing some snacks and biscuits. Those who wish to make themselves a cup of coffee, tea or Milo will have something to dunk in their beverages in case there was no time for proper dinner before 🙂

– – – About First Fridays:
First Fridays are monthly evening gatherings at Bangsar Lutheran Church: A simple hour of contemplative and reflective worship for those seeking an “alternative” space to slow down at the end of the week… a respite from the busyness of our daily experience and a chance to renew our strength in God’s presence and one another’s fellowship. In the past, this meeting has included moments of silent prayer, art, scripture reading and reflection, and songs. First Fridays are an experimental space to share fresh approaches, as well as to revisit age-old traditions in Christian worship. Guests are invited to suggest readings, music and other prayer & thought points for future meeting. Please feel free to contact any of the event hosts/admins with your ideas!