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Joy to the World … the Lord is Risen!
A message from Rev Ian Weeks
Very early in this new year I saw a humorous post on social media – a road-side sign doctored to read: “Police now targeting: Shops selling hot cross buns on Boxing Day!” The crazy thing is – I heard that there were local shops doing just that – selling hot cross buns (for Easter) on Boxing Day (Christmas)!!!!
But when I think about it, even though we might cringe at the retail opportunism, it’s not that crazy after all – at least from the Bible’s point of view. In God’s plans and purposes, Christmas and Easter are inseparable. The Bible tells us that God’s plan was always to send His Son Jesus into the world not only as Immanuel – “God with us” (the Eternal Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us), but also as the Saviour (the One who would rescue us from our sins) who would die “as a ransom for many”.
The events of Easter then flow out of the events of Christmas (although some 30+ years originally separated them, not 3 months!). So we should have no qualms about buying hot cross buns so early in the year – they may help us focus on the significance of Christmas even more – plus they are yummy! But more importantly they may help us to prepare for the dramatic and moving events of Easter: the suffering of Good Friday and the joyous hope of Resurrection Sunday.
Christmas (Joy to the world …) and Easter (the Lord is risen!) – the two pivotal events that have changed the world and defined our faith. I trust you had a wonderful time celebrating the former, and I pray that God will bless you and encourage you as you remember the latter.
Mission of the Month
Bruce & Kathy have been working with four languages in South West Cameroon for the
past ten years: Iceve, Ipulo, Ugare and Iyive. These languages have only been spoken until now.
Bruce (linguist/exegete), Kathy (literacy worker) and their local co-worker Pastor Napoleon (mobiliser) are writing these languages down with the goal of having Scripture translated into them. All the languages now have alphabets, language committees, some booklets with some literate people and some Oral Bible Stories.
Right now, only Pastor Napoleon is in the area, so please pray for him and consider giving to him separately from your support of Bruce and Kathy. Go to https://wycliffe.org.au/projects/pastor-napoleoncluster-language-worker-cameroon/. He meets with four language committees and an inter-church committee to encourage them in the work.