1 O God, the nations have invaded Your inheritance;
they have defiled Your holy temple, they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble. 2 They have left the dead bodies of Your servants as food for the birds of the sky,
the flesh of Your own people for the animals of the wild. 3 They have poured out blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there is no one to bury the dead. 4 We are objects of contempt to our neighbours, of scorn and derision to those around us.
~ Psalm 79:1-4
There is a view of Christianity where Christians never get sick, never have any problems, always prosper and the Church always triumphs. The only problem with that view is that it is simplistic and false.
The Bible makes it very clear that being a Christian is not a passport to a life on this earth of continual victory and bliss. Yes — we are led by the still waters and brought to the banqueting table. But we also go through the valley of the shadow of death.
Yet we fear no evil — not because evil does not happen to us — but because ultimately it cannot harm us. That is why, in the midst of all of the storms of life, we keep our eyes on Christ.
“When we make ourselves the beginning and the end of all the good we do, it is an argument of a barren person. None ever came to heaven but those that denied themselves.”
Petition: Please join with us in praying for:
1. The World — The number of confirmed cases is 67,063,428 (up 4,423,138 from last week).
The number of deaths of people with Covid-19 is 1,536,023 (up 78,005).
There are now 13 countries with over 1 million cases. The US seems to be getting worse — with California now going into a three-week lockdown to try and ease the pressure on the hospitals.
2. Australia— There have been 27,965 cases in total (up 72 compared with 72 the week before, with 2 being community transmission — 8 last week).
Weekly Change TW/LW
Change in Deaths TW/LW
+ 0 (0)
There are 29 people in hospital (+8) with 0 in intensive care (0).
10, 181,727 tests have been carried out, with 0.3% positive.
25,442 people have recovered. There are 44 active cases (-16).
Community transmission has virtually ceased within Australia. We have much to be thankful for.
3. Vaccine and Cures – The UK begins its vaccination programme this week. Russia and China continue theirs.
4. Church – We are grateful that most churches will now be allowed to sing. Although there is some confusion as to just exactly what the legislation is — whether people are required to wear masks or not. Nonetheless, many of us will rejoice that we can rejoice, singing praise together this Christmas.
5. Personaland Family – Pray for those families who feel that they do not fit the (false) stereotype of the ‘perfect’ Christian family. Pray that in the midst of strife, trouble, sickness and discouragement, the Lord may bring healing, love, unity and encouragement.
A Prayer of Repentance:
8 O Lord, do not hold against us the sins of past generations;
may Your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need. 9 Help us, God our Saviour, for the glory of Your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake. Amen.
~ Psalm 79:8-9
Song of Praise: As we come towards Christmas, it’s a great opportunity to sing truth through some of the great carols. This week’s is both prayer and praise — O Come, O Come Emmanuel — two versions. First, Theocracy’s…
If ‘metal’ praise is not your thing (don’t knock it till you try it!), here is a more traditional version — from King’s College Chapel choir.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Then we Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, will praise You forever;
from generation to generation we will proclaim Your praise. Amen.
~ Psalm 79:13
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As we review what happened at the time of the Chanukkah miracle, that the Temple was rededicated to the Lord’s service, sanctifying it by the sacrifice, the lamps, and the oil, may Israel also be rededicated to the Lord in this season.