Volume. XXXii, No. 27
Sunday, 31 December 2017

From the Pastor’s Heart: Christmas Meditation

Another year is about to pass by, and the sense of gratitude to God is one of the overflowing emotions we experience.  The year's end brings us both relief, joy, excitement and sadness and regrets.  I was hoping to find some thanksgiving poems by men and women of faith from the past, and I found a couple of good ones I’d like to share with you.  The first one is “Meditation,” written by Anne Bradstreet on May 1, 1661.  Her poem begins with a few words of explanation as follows: “It hath pleased God to give me a long time of respite for these 4 years that I have had no great fit of sickness, but this year from the middle of January till May I have been by fits very ill and weak. The first of this month I had a fever seized upon me which indeed was the longest and sorest that ever I had, lasting 4 days, and the weather being very hot made it the more tedious, but it pleased the Lord to support my heart in His goodness, and hear my prayers, and to deliver me out of adversity. But alas! I cannot render unto the Lord according to all His loving kindness, nor take the cup of salvation with thanksgiving as I ought to do. Lord, Thou that knowest all things know'st that I desire to testify my thankfulness not only in word, but in deed, that my conversation may speak that Thy vows are upon me.”


My thankful heart with glorying tongue

Shall celebrate Thy name,

Who hath restored, redeemed, recured

From sickness, death, and pain.

I cried, Thou seem'st to make some stay,

I sought more earnestly

And in due time Thou succour'st me

And sent'st me help from high.

Lord, whilst my fleeting time shall last,

Thy goodness let me tell,

And new experience I have gained

My future doubts repel.

An humble, faithful life, O Lord,

Forever let me walk;

Let my obedience testify

My praise lies not in talk.

Accept, O Lord, my simple mite,

For more I cannot give.

What Thou bestow'st I shall restore,

For of thine alms I live.


We often fail to appreciate the current season’s qualities.  We all should be able to take pleasure in the flowers today.  How often and long do we feel unhappy and even miserable because of an unknown and uncertain future, while neglecting and ignoring the very blossoms of happiness at this very moment of time?  If we are sad while sowing seeds in the field, because of grave concerns over an uncertain harvest in the future, we cannot but live a life of grief and concerns.  We naturally will forget unspeakable blessings we have received from above and enjoyed so far and continually feel unsatisfied and ungrateful.  Count all the blessings now and rejoice by appreciating them.  As there are different seasons in nature, so there are different events and stages in our lives.  There is a season of Spring for flowers.  Summer is for growth and maturity.  Autumn is for harvest, and Winter is for rest and enjoyment.  There are seasons for purposes.  Likewise, everything has its own time.  This is a time to consider everything we have been through this year, and most of all, it is a time to give thanks to the Lord.  Thank God for our families, health, growth and maturity, daily bread, jobs and education that we have enjoyed.  Thank the Lord for His faithfulness toward us, while we suffered with setbacks, discouragements, disappointments, sadness, sickness, or failures.  Thank God for His church: wonderful congregation, willing hearts for the Lord’s services, new church property, lots of renovation work done, new additions to the church family, and so on. 

Just in case you are not sure what to be thankful for today, listen to the following prayer of a Puritan author from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions below:



Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admires, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
for adorning it, sanctifying it,
though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigour,
for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express,
for what thou art to thy creatures.
Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity. 


“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.” (Psalm 69:30).  Thank God for everything in the year 2017.


Because of Calvary,

Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



§  Wishing all worshippers a Blessed New Year! May we all grow closer to God.

§  Next year’s Church theme is “Take Heed”. Theme verse is from 1 Timothy 4:16.

§  Thank you to all who contributed to the sumptuous 7th Christmas Fellowship Lunch.

§  Thank you to those who came for Working Bee yesterday.

§  Kitchen renovations almost complete.

§  Visitation to Alwyndor Aged Care, Hove on January 7th at 2:45pm.

§  Watchnight Service: this evening. All worshippers are encouraged to come early at 7:15pm prepared to share testimonies.

§  Cambodia Missions: 5-12 Jan, 16-31 Jan,  Laos Missions:  23-25 Jan.

§  Adult & Junior RPGs available at the Sanctuary Foyer. Gold coin donations.

§  Kitchen Duty helpers - This week: Team C. Next week: Team A.



§  Healing: .For those who are sick and have had surgeryry

§  Journey mercies: for all who are travelling.

§  Cambodia Missions – God’s guidance, protection & wisdom..

§  PR Applications: .

§  God’s provision: For missionaries.


Praise & Thanksgiving

§  Journey mercies:  for all who have travelled and arrved  safely.




© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041