Church NEWS Pastor David McKibben, Galston Seventh-day Adventist Church oseph is the forgotten man of Christmas. Other characters in the Christmas story such as the shepherds and the wise men tend to get more attention; in fact, there are probably more songs or carols about the donkey than there are about Joseph! Yet his part in the Christmas story was vital, and he provides us with a tremendous example of obedience to God’s will. The first striking quality of Joseph’s character is He must have felt bewildered and betrayed when he learnt that Mary was pregnant. He knew that he was not responsible, so he inevitably jumped to the conclusion that Mary had been unfaithful. He could have her to public disgrace and humiliation, but his compassion ruled out such a course of action. Instead he decided to divorce Mary privately to protect her as much as possible (Matthew 1:19). Even then, he agonised over this decision and its implications for Mary. In the midst of this crisis God spoke to Joseph in a dream and instructed him to marry Mary because she was bearing the longawaited Saviour. Joseph showed in responding obediently to the divine command. He had no idea where this decision would lead him. He was exposed to the wrath of Herod and had to flee to Egypt to save the life of the baby Jesus. Possibly he was subjected to gossip and ridicule back in Nazareth because people believed that he had acted inappropriately during his betrothal to Mary. Whether faced with uncertainty, the jealous anger of a tyrant, or the hostility and suspicion of the inhabitants of a country town, Joseph displayed outstanding courage. The courage of Joseph was also closely allied to When Joseph obeyed God’s command to marry Mary, he probably sensed this decision would change the direction of his life. And so it proved. By naming Jesus, Joseph became his legal father (Matthew 1:21), and he took those responsibilities seriously. He provided for the material welfare and religious instruction of Jesus, and it was Joseph who taught Jesus his skills as a tradesman. Joseph played a humble but crucial role in the early years of Jesus. His compassion, courage and commitment took the sting out of hostile public opinion and made it possible for Jesus to grow up in a stable, loving and nurturing environment. So as we celebrate another Christmas season, spare a thought for Joseph. Let us not forget his part in the story, and may his example inspire us beyond this Christmas season into the year ahead. God bless you all with His peace and presence this Christmas time and in the coming year. commitment. his compassion. great courage subjected GALSTON UNITING CHURCH John Illidge Our 30th Anniversary Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year over those years. During Saturday’s proceedings, Trevor Knight’s book “Church in the Hills” was launched, copies of which are still available by contacting Elizabeth at the church office. Rev. Geoff Smith summed up the thoughts of many in our magazine: Thirty years ago, Uniting Churches from Arcadia, Dural and Glenorie came together to form a new church at Galston, and our Anniversary celebrations were held over the last weekend of October. Wow, what a weekend! There was something for everyone to celebrate. Children and their families enjoyed the pirate ship, jumping castle and fun and games at the “Big Birthday Bash” on Friday evening; a dinner for catching up with old friends over a fabulous meal provided by “Koori Kulcha” was the highlight of Saturday; and over 200 of us gathered for a special worship service on Sunday morning to praise God for his many blessings It is a great privilege to get to share with readers some of the life of Galston Uniting Church during the year. However, at this time of year we also want to wish you all a peaceful and (hopefully) relaxing Christmas and New Year. May God Bless you and we’ll see you in 2019! Rev Geoff Smith and friends 9th December - “Out of Christmas Songs School Road” “I saw a whole lot of happy smiling people and I ate a whole lot of great food. I had so many visitors approach me to let me know what a special mob you are. God was praised, thanked and acknowledged at all points. People came from near and very far to remember, share and reconnect with what God had, has and will continue to do in this place.” Service – 10am 16th December – Messy Church 10am 24th December - Christmas Eve Carols Service – 7pm Christmas Day 25th December - Some Christmas dates for the diary are as follows: Service – 8am Minister Rev Geoff Smith 11 School Road, Galston 2159 Phone 9653 2039 7th December - Rotary Christmas markets (and carols), Galston High School www.galstonunitingchurch.com GLENORIE MISSION CHURCH “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13 Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Sunday mornings at 10:00am Galston Public School Ph: 0416 233 629 Visit our Facebook page and see latest updates. Service: Sunday Service and Sunday School 10:00am Ph: 0404 144 612 www.glenoriemission.org www.hillslife.com Follow us on www.facebook.com/galstonnews Galston Community News | December 2018 47
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