“Merry Christmas”. An ironic salutation when most people on this planet are thrown back upon themselves for food and housing which they do not possess; or defending themselves from aggressive invaders and the power of dictators; or are rebuilding after the frightening effects of global warming, flood, and fire.
Has our vitality has been exhausted and hope run its course?
The inescapable fact remains that Christmas symbolises hope even at a moment when hope seemed utterly fantastic. Behold the basic ingredients of the first Christmas: the newborn baby Jesus, desperate parents with little support, a stable with friendly animals, and birth pains.
In straw and starlight, Life’s answer to death and despair arrived in the form of a baby; it was the movement of God’s Life at Christmas in the face of desolation. An endless process of births is the perpetual answer of life to the fact of death. So life keeps coming on, keeps seeking to fulfill itself, keeps affirming the margin of hope. And that child grew to the man, uplifting all people to discover the greatness and fullness of their lives, and the meaning and possibility of life—the courage to be.
Merry Christmas. Welling out of the depths of life a vast vitality is working. God is infinitely more resourceful and creative than human being’s own devices, petty dreams and unworthy ends. Discover the greatness and mystery of your life in God’s this Christmas.
Join us for Christmas services, and in some way in 2023. It will soothe your soul and inspire you to live your one wild and precious life.
Rev Ron Rosinsky
This newsletter is also available on the Coburg Uniting website and Facebook page.
“God wanted to give human beings their fullness right from the beginning, but they were
incapable of receiving it, because they were still little children.” – St. Irenaeus (125-203 C.E.)
Looking back: from November
Ron’s Sunday Message: ‘Contempt and hatred as forms of self-realisation; there is a better way’
- Eternity pours itself into the world when you cast off destructive habits of the mind;
- We live in a culture of contempt; making hatred and aggression more frequent;
- When is the last time you convinced your political opponent of anything by regarding them with contempt?
- Contempt and hatred have served as toxic, perverse forms of self-realisation to the embittered person. They can give to the individual who feels wronged or invisible a radical and fundamental basis of self realization, a validation of parts of their personality. Which parts? The worst parts, the false self.
- But, ‘The Lord is our righteousness’ (Jeremiah 23:6) affirmed the prophet Jeremiah. In other words, there is a divinity that shapes our ends, and our means. All heroes and prophets heard an insistent inner voice of Spirit that spoke to them. Heroism was in their ability to hear that voice and follow it—the moral compass that shapes our ends and rejects hatred.
Looking forward: December
First Sunday: Celebration of Communion, featuring music by Josh Cake
Second Sunday: Featuring music by Josh Cake
Third Sunday: Featuring music by Keith Hoffmann
Fourth Sunday: Featuring music by Josh Cake and the Coburg band
- Sunday, 11th December, 4.15pm: Carols for Kids
- Sunday, 25th December, 9.30am: Christmas service
Spiritual Growth Programs
December Topic for Men’s Group and Soul Group: chapter 7: ‘Home and Homesickness’, from ‘Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life’, by Richard Rohr
- Combined Men’s Group, Soul Group & Spiritual practices group Christmas dinner and discussion: Saturday 3rd December, 6-9pm at church.
- Meditation and spiritual practices group: Sunday 18th December, 11:45am- 12:30pm.
- Social Board Games Night: Thursday 8 December and Thursday 22 december (2nd and 4th Thursdays), 7:30-10pm in the front room at church
- Coffee Chat and Play: Playgroup every Friday 10:30am-12pm during school term
- Coburg Common: located behind Coburg Uniting Church. Come and garden, or buy a plant, or have a chat
Call out for volunteers to lead and serve at Coburg Uniting in 2023:
We are looking for leadership in ideas, in music and in giving your time to support our Sunday morning programs and weekday activities, or on church council. We are also moving our operations from the church to the hall for 2023 to complete a renovation.
Please see Rachel or Ron if you can help.
CAROLS FOR KIDS: A Nativity and carols service by Coburg Uniting Church
Costumes and crafts for kids
Singing your favourite Christmas carols with Ruth Sandy’s singers
Special music by Josh Cake and Benjamin Coggins