Sermon Series: Epiphany 2017 – Living In God’s Radiant Light

15823403_1593528157341802_8820216535403290136_n

Following the season of Christmas which ends with Epiphany this Friday, 6 Jan 2016, we now enter into Epiphany season.

During this season, we will embark on a sermon series exploring the theme of “Living In God’s Radiant Light“.

The church calendar recognizes the season of Epiphany from January 6 until the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday which is celebrated as the Transfiguration of our Lord. Epiphany season explores several principal themes: the revelation of Christ to all nations, Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan, and Christ as the light of the world.

The colours of the season are white (a colour associated with the festivals of Christ and suggesting gladness, joy and light for the day of Epiphany), used the first week after the Epiphany when the Baptism of our Lord is celebrated, and the last week of the season of Epiphany when the Transfiguration of our Lord is celebrated; and green, reminiscent of living plants and suggests spiritual growth. Green is used in the season of Epiphany beginning with the second week after the Epiphany until the week before the Transfiguration of our Lord is celebrated.

Please join us! All are welcome.

Epiphany 2017 at Bangsar Lutheran Church, KL

Date Time Theme Readings Preacher
1 Jan 10am New Year’s Day: Just Right On Time Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 Rev. Dr. Sivin Kit
8 Jan 10am A People Called To Do Right Isaiah 42:1-9 Rev. Dr. Sivin Kit
15 Jan 10am Light To The Nation Isaiah 49:1-7 Rev. Dr. Herman Shastri
22 Jan 10am Searching For Happiness? Heavy Loads Taken Away Isaiah 9:1-4 Rev. Dr. Sivin Kit
29 Jan 10am Humble Walking: Minimum Standards, Basic Expectations Micah 6:1-8 John Cheah
5 Feb 10am Rediscovering Orthodoxy: How To Honor God Isaiah 58:1-12 Rev. Dr. Sivin Kit
12 Feb 10am Special Topic TBC Rev. Dr. Guillermo Hansen
19 Feb 10am Take Time To Be Holy Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18 Rev. Dr. Siew Woh
26 Feb 10am Transfiguration Sunday TBC Eugene Yapp

Epiphany 2016: Messiah Made Known

Epiphany Series Promo Final - Seriously

Following the season of Christmas which ends with Epiphany this Wednesday, 6 Jan 2016, we now enter into Epiphany season.

During this season, we will embark on a sermon series exploring the theme of “Messiah Made Known“.

The church calendar recognizes the season of Epiphany from January 6 until the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday which is celebrated as the Transfiguration of our Lord. Epiphany season explores several principal themes: the revelation of Christ to all nations, Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan, and Christ as the light of the world.

The colours of the season are white (a colour associated with the festivals of Christ and suggesting gladness, joy and light for the day of Epiphany), used the first week after the Epiphany when the Baptism of our Lord is celebrated, and the last week of the season of Epiphany when the Transfiguration of our Lord is celebrated; and green, reminiscent of living plants and suggests spiritual growth. Green is used in the season of Epiphany beginning with the second week after the Epiphany until the week before the Transfiguration of our Lord is celebrated.

Please join us! All are welcome.

Date Topic Readings Preacher
10 Jan Out of the Ordinary OT: Isaiah 60:1-6

NT: Ephesians 3:1-12

Gospel: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Ps. Daniel
17 Jan The First Sign OT: Isaiah 62:1-5

NT: I Corinthians 12:1-11

Gospel: John 2:1-11

Rev. Dr. Sivin
24 Jan Kingdom Manifesto OT: Nehemiah 8:1-10

NT: I Corinthians 12:12-31a

Gospel: Luke 4:14-21

Rev. Dr. Sivin
31 Jan Resistance! But Why? OT: Jeremiah 1:4-10

NT: I Corinthians 13:1-13

Gospel: Luke 4:21-31

Rev. Dr. Lim Kar Yong
7 Feb Listen to the Chosen! OT: Isaiah 6:1-8

NT: I Corinthians 15:1-11

Gospel: Luke 9:28-36

Rev. Dr. Sivin

Crossing the Jordan: A Challenge To Discipleship – Rev. Augustin

Today, we celebrated the feast of the Epiphany. Preaching from this week’s Lectionary readings, Rev. Augustin drew parallels from the story of Joshua’s crossing of the Jordan river into the Promised Land to we could look at our transition from year 2012 to 2013.

In the Bible account, God covenanted with Israel saying, “You will be my people.” It was a challenging time for the Israelites – Moses – the charismatic, miracle producing leader – was dead. Now they all had to cross the Jordan into the promised land – without Moses.

This can be intimidating. But the Lord says, “I am with you, as I was with Moses.” This, for Joshua who had to take on the leader’s role after Moses, was an epiphany moment. Just like how the Magi had their epiphany moment with Jesus – the sudden realization that they were in the presence of something greater than themselves.

The cusp of a New Year can be like this for many of, but we are all assured of His abiding presence. In crossing the Jordan, the Israelites had to move away from what they already knew to what they were about to be given. Just like, in the Hobbit, Bilbo was faced with an unexpected adventure, we all need to learn that our adventures in God is often less about the destination but more about the journey.

The Bible calls this discipleship. It is not a destination – but a lifelong journey. Every step is an opportunity to be discipled; making us into the people He wants us to be. Discipleship takes us into what God has prepared for us; though this is not necessarily what we can see or expect. In fact, it could be said that God showed Joshua where the borders of the Promised Land lay in an attempt to enlarged Joshua’s vision of what was possible through God!

The call to discipleship is also to the entire community and nation. God calls us to arise and shine as a community and nation. We are called to engage God on His terms, not ours. But this is not easy – that’s why Israel kept making idols… attempting to grasp God on their own terms and not His. That is also why God continually had to break those presumptions, saying, “I AM that I AM.”

We are thus called to be careful, to not turn to the left or right and not to create a conception of God. Thus, this requires obedience. Obedience implies discipline. In turn, discipline implies pain. But what comes out of us is based on what we put in it.

Therefore, a reminder to parents to remember to provide Christian education to their children – beyond the numerous other classes for music, language, school work, sports and more. Parents are called to keep the book of the law always on their lips as well as those of their children.

Having said all that, Rev. Augustin also outlined a few important things the church will emphasise in this new year 2013: Education, Discipline, and Practicing The Presence of God.

We will do this by:

  1. Introducing an Education Hour, once a month after service. The first one in January will be about Early Communion (to Children)
  2. Enforcing discipline by starting our worship services promptly at 10am
  3. Opening the church every Friday for an open time of prayer so that we can practice the presence. There will be no set “program” for these open times – but all are welcome to just come and spend time in the church. Rev. Augustin will be present for prayer and counselling as necessary.

Therefore, God has provided the opportunity; assurance is given and provided. Now it is up to us to respond – will we undertake the journey and cross the Jordan?