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Emmanuel

December 2019

Mark’s gospel doesn’t include the story of the birth of Jesus, and therefore the name ‘Emmanuel’ that the angel gives to the newborn isn’t used. But the meaning of this word - ‘God is with us’ - is certainly what we see in the life of Jesus in all four accounts of his life. We can’t come to the conclusion that the gospels tell us that Jesus simply show although that is true. Jesus was more than that - God with us. He declared that ‘the Kingdom of God is near’ (Mark 1:15) because the King himself was now near.

God’s presence - where he dwells, moves and works - isn’t a straightforward matter. He’s not like us. Even when God the Son became like us to walk the earth, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit interacted with the Son in ways often beyond our understanding. And I’m not sure that we’ll fully grasp the triune (3 persons, 1 God) nature of God until we see him face to face. But one thing we do learn from the scriptures is that when God shows up, things happen!

When God ‘visited’ or ‘came near to’ the characters of the Bible, there was always a substantial effect on the person. It’s impossible to ignore a situation when God is close. It changes the atmosphere. Maybe you’ve had an experience where you sense God had entered the room, and it was a holy and transformative moment.

So how does this fit with our belief that as believers, God is always present with us, and that His Spirit dwells within us? If we sense that God is somehow closer in particular circumstances, isn’t that just because we’ve had our eyes opened for a moment?

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What's on at the Billabong:

Chinese New Year

Come along on Sunday 2 February for a special Chinese New Year lunch! Join us at 10am for our morning service, followed by an amazing lunch. It is a great opportunity to bring along a friend.

January Bible Studies

Our Sunday mornings in January will be in the form of a Bible Study including the Bible Project Videos, (similar to early this year). We will be studying the book of Acts. It will run from 10am on Sunday mornings with a short time of singing, morning tea, a video and discussion time around the Bible. If you would like to help out in some way, please contact admin.

Our Prayer Room

Our prayer room is available to use any time. We’d love to see it become a space for spiritual renewal, revival and a focus on God's love. You can visit at any time during office hours, or to book a time (weekly or otherwise) after hours, please speak to Aaron (facilities@thebillabong.org.au)

What's on in the Wider Community:

Partnering for Change around the World

This month we will be supporting a number of partner organisations doing incredible work to bring change across the globe. As a church family, we commit approximately $15,000 in financial support to world missions. This year this includes the work of TEAR in South Sudan and UNOH in Thailand. We are redirecting funds given to The Billabong in December to these projects, so if you wish to receive a tax receipt for cash or direct debit gifts, please ask at the TEAR table or contact Marilyn at accounts@thebillabong.org.au. You can also support the work of ‘Ping Pong A Thon’ by sponsoring our team online at pingpongathon.com/thebillabongpong. Thanks for your support

Passing the Baton

Passing the Baton is a full day event to help equip & encourage children’s workers as they pass the baton of the faith on to the next generation. It is happening on Saturday 15 February, 9am - 4pm, at Mt Pleasant Baptist Church.

The day includes – Keynote speaker, 14 electives and large Expo of kids ministry resources. For more info and to register online click here.

2019 Celebrations Roster

Interested in the other activities that happen at The Billabong Community Centre? Call our office on 9455 6474 or email admin@thebillabong.org.au