WIC Weekly January 10th 2021
Warsaw International Church
Mobile +48 601 331 032
Worship every Sunday at ul. Miodowa 21 (near Old Town) at 11:00 AM
Entrance from Schillera Street
Last Sunday's service included a testimony by Brother Eugene and a replay (this time with a New Year accent) of the Christmas video of children from our Sunday School dancing to a song about Jesus the Light of the world.
Sunday School has also resumed and meets on Zoom at 10:30 am, just before the Sunday service. Any children wishing to join in, please contact Pastor Harry.
Join us for worship this Sunday at 11 am CET. Here is your link for the Sunday service Warsaw International Church - Sunday Service Meeting ID: 818 1714 5932
Recordings of our Sunday services are available on our wic.org.pl website or by googling "Warsaw International Church YouTube".
If you haven’t yet done so, please consider filling in a pledge form stating an amount you have decided you would like to commit to our church this year.
Please consider what amount you are able to commit to our church for 2021, either weekly, monthly or for the whole year. Every commitment counts. Annual pledges (promises to pay the stated amount to our church over the year) will be very much appreciated. If you decide to fill in the pledge form, please send it by mid-January by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the pledge form:
* Warsaw International Church Stewardship Commitment/ Pledge Form
As an expression of my/our love for God and support of His work through the ministry of WIC, I/we make the following commitment to support the work of the Church.
Currency: PLN / USD / EUR / ____
Amount: ____ for the calendar year 2021
Amount: ___ every: week / month / quarter in 2021
Note to the Treasurer ___
Taxpayers may claim credit for their contributions to WIC. We are registered in the Polish register of churches and religious associations – in position 132. Polish contributions for tax deductions must be made by bank transfer.
Warsaw International Church ul. Willowa 1, 00-789 Warszawa Bank account: PL 63 1090 1056 0000 0000 0600 9128 SWIFT code: WBKPPLPP Santander Bank Polska S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw, al. Jana Pawła II 17, 00-854 Warszawa
Our church’s Annual Conference will take place after the Sunday service on 31 January. It will be open to anyone who would like to take part, but only official members will be able to vote. Membership of Warsaw International Church is free of charge, and there is no clash with your home church, because ours is a non-denominational church: we don’t represent any particular Christian confession. Your membership expires whenever you decide. Please consider if you want to become an official member of WIC. If so, please contact Pastor Harry or any member of the church council you know.
Thank you for all your support and prayers for our church and for one another!
Should you wish to make a contribution to WIC, the church's bank details are as follows:
Warsaw International Church Santander Bank Polska S.A. IV/Oddział w Warszawie ul. Jana Pawła II 17 00-854 Warszawa Polish złoty (PLN) account: PL 63 1090 1056 0000 0000 0600 9128
Please remember Brother Olusegun in your prayers, as he leaves for Nigeria for a few months to concentrate on an agricultural venture. We pray for the success of this project and thank Olusegun for his dedication and service on the Church Council, from which he is resigning.
Please continue to pray for our worshippers who are applying for asylum due to persecution in their home countries: particularly Vahid who fled Iran, and the Green family who fled Pakistan. We pray so much that they may be able to settle and start a new life in a safe country.
Pray that people all over the world may turn to Jesus Christ the only Saviour of mankind. May we never stop praying for this during this time of spiritual awakening opportunities.
Last Sunday's sermon was preached by Pastor Harry:
Jeremiah 31, 10-14; John 1, 1-18; Matthew 2, 1-15
For several years now, I’ve been doing an interesting exercise at the beginning of each new year: on the basis of the current situation, I write down about 5 or 6 predictions of what I think will be the situation at the end of the year. I write them in my diary under January 1st, and then forget about them for a whole year until my diary page gets to December 31st, and then I read them again.
Usually I’m surprised they’re so inaccurate – in fact, what I wrote last January for December 31st was totally wrong. I predicted, for example, that President Trump would be re-elected, but he wasn’t. And I predicted a hard Brexit, with no deal with the EU – but in the end there was a deal. These predictions I make always teach me how little I can interpret the future. And of course, no one last January would have predicted that the whole world would be fighting a pandemic for the rest of the year! To predict the future, we need to have the Holy Spirit revealing it to us.
Would anyone living in Judea just over 2,000 years ago have predicted that the Messiah – God’s anointed Son – was about to be born? Or what His name would be? Or what He would do during His life? Or how He would die? But it seems that God had revealed to some Gentiles in an eastern land – the Magi, or Wise Men – that this event was about to happen; and it seems they got there just after He was born, by following the bright star that they knew would guide them to His birthplace. Why had they come from such a long way away? Simply, to worship this new-born king of the Jews.
But was this baby just a child destined to be a Jewish king? No! Look what our reading from John’s Gospel tells us. He was with God, and He was God! Through Him all things were made! He is the true Light that gives light to every person in the world! He gives all those who believe in Him the right to be children of God. He gives them one blessing after another! He brings grace and truth! And He makes God known to us. Mohammed cannot do that. Buddha cannot do that. Confucius cannot do that. Richard Dawkins cannot do that. But Jesus does it. And God had revealed to the Wise Men that this baby was much, much greater than any earthly ruler could ever be.
Just look at the gifts these Wise Men gave to Jesus. They could have given Him a cuddly toy! They could have given Him some baby clothes to keep Him warm. But instead, they gave Him: gold, incense and myrrh. Why did they bring Him those particular gifts? What do those gifts mean? First, the easy one: gold. But who do you give gold to? A poor baby in a stable? No! – you give gold to the son of a king! Gold symbolizes not only wealth, but also royalty, kingship. Next, incense – what does incense represent? Think of the Catholic or Orthodox churches: incense goes with priests, doesn’t it? In fact, the priests of Israel were anointed with oil mixed with incense. Incense represents priesthood; and a priest represents God. So the gift of incense is a sign of Jesus’ priesthood and deity. And finally, myrrh. That was a really unusual gift, because myrrh was used to embalm dead people. It’s a symbol of humanity – in fact, a symbol of man’s death.
So, in their gifts to Jesus, the Wise Men are drawing attention to, firstly, His kingship; secondly, His divinity; and thirdly, His mortality. They’re saying He’s a ruler. They’re saying He’s God. And they’re saying He’s going to die, and His death will be supremely important, for some reason. And of course, the Wise Men are expressing their worship. Only God could have given them that knowledge.
You see, these Wise Men have made a response to Jesus. Once we know who Jesus is, or who He claims to be, we are forced to respond to Him. The Wise Men responded positively. The shepherds also responded positively. King Herod too had to respond – but he responded negatively, because he wanted to kill Jesus. And today, the situation is no different. We are still forced to respond to Jesus. Once we have heard about Him, we will respond either positively, or negatively. And if we hear about Him, and it means nothing to us, that too is a negative response.
It’s in our hearts, isn’t it? – the way we respond. It goes much deeper than just making a conscious decision. It’s as if something deep down in your soul says either “yes” to Jesus, or “no”. And that means that you either submit to Him, yield to Him – or you reject Him. The Wise Men came to submit to Jesus, to yield to Him, even though He was still just a baby. That’s why the Gospel reading says they worshipped Him. Worship involves submission. If you don’t submit to Jesus, you can’t possibly worship Him. You can come to church; but if you don’t submit, you’re not worshipping.
And you know, our response to Jesus determines what happens to us after we die. There’s a verse in John’s Gospel (ch. 15, v. 22), where Jesus says about the people: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin”. And in John 8, 24, Jesus says: “Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins”. So if we respond negatively to Jesus once we have heard of Him and His teachings, we will die in our sins. But if we respond positively to Him, the Lord’s favour will be with us, no matter what our circumstances are. Our verse for this week says: “Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ”. If our response to Jesus is positive, we will have fellowship with God, and with Christ. We will be in the same relation to Jesus as the shepherds and the Wise Men were. The Holy Communion we will celebrate today is an expression of our fellowship with God in Christ.
I’m sure my predictions for this year will again be totally wrong. We can’t predict the future. But you know what? God already knows your future and my future! When my computer broke down on Christmas Day, I got worried. Who’s going to fix it over Christmas? What will happen to the Sunday service? It was my old sin: worry! Our old sin! But then I thought: if God has the future planned, and therefore knows that my computer will break down (or that we won’t get that job or that visa, or that we will catch that illness) – then why on earth should we worry about it? And I realized I was sinning – because I didn’t trust the Lord. I wasn’t submitted to Him. So, today we have 2 maybe surprising conclusions: To worry is to sin. And to reject Jesus is also to sin.
Brothers and Sisters, this New Year, let’s be like the Wise Men. Let’s give the Lord our gold, our incense and our myrrh. Let’s lift Him up as King. Let’s lift Him up as God. Let’s lift Him up as the One who died for us. And let’s stop all our worrying, because it is sin. Let’s submit to the Lord entirely, and have fellowship with Him. And may this total submission and fellowship be our New Year gift to Jesus. Amen.
Readings for 10 January
Verse for the week: (John the Baptist said:) "I baptize you with water, but He [Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit" (Mark 1, 8).
Responsive reading: Psalm 29. Old Testament reading: Genesis 1, 1-5. New Testament reading: Acts 19, 1-7. Gospel reading: Mark 1, 4-11.
Food of the Spirit
What gift could you give to Jesus?
How about going against the current of our crazed culture and giving the gift of spending some quiet time with Jesus as your First Love.
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) is the Word of God to us.
Jesus Himself prayed in quiet solitude regularly. “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:6). And He invites us to join Him, to be still in prayer with Him: “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31).
Jesus enjoys being with you! Do you enjoy being with Him? Perhaps you feel antsy or jittery about being still? Maybe when you’re quiet your mind races with thoughts of things you need to do?
Little by little, as we practice getting alone with Jesus to be quiet and still, we can get beyond our restlessness and racing thoughts. If we train with Jesus we can learn to settle into the peace of the Lord that is beyond our comprehension and guards our hearts (Philippians 4:6).
As we rest with our Good Shepherd in His green pastures of grace and beside His still waters, we discover that it’s really true: “He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:1-3).
Most of our ways of celebrating Christmas today are noisy and busy. But in many ways the first Christmas was celebrated in quiet and stillness. How about giving Jesus a present of spending some time just being with Him in quiet prayer?
Please be informed that your Data Administrator within the meaning of Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation, ”GDPR”), is Warsaw International Church with its registered office in Warsaw (00-789) at ul. Willowa 1.