Wednesday 1st April 2020
My Dear Church Family,
How very generous and supportive our friends from other Churches have been, sharing their resources. Today’s offering comes from the dynamic duo, Robyn and Chris Leech. The prayer might be dated last week, but God is not a God of timetables and lists. Happily! The prayer is as relevant today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow.
For those who would like to keep supporting the Church through your offering and would like it collected, you need only to contact myself (0412 246 165) or Alan (0458 011 007) and we will collect.
Melissa will be in the office on a Thursday between 9.30 and 11am for those who would like to borrow from the lending library. Perhaps ring before you call could be a good thing? Alternatively, if you would appreciate a selection bought to your home, again, just ring me!
Are you unable to make it to the grocery store? Please don’t sit and moan about it. Just call me and someone will come to your aid. We can do this, friends, if we all pull together and smile J
So far so good?
Yours in His service,
Biblical Reflection from Romans
Hello faith family! This week’s reflection is focused on the limits of knowledge. We live in what has been termed the information age. We all have access to more information in our pocket phones than was contained in all the great libraries of the world just a generation or two ago. Unfortunately, of course, not all of it is true. And even bits that are true can be misleading, either deliberately or by accident. How can we navigate this information landscape, especially when the impact of these truth claims can be overwhelming? Paul prays a blessing for the Roman Christians in Chapter 11:33-36. In it he makes very clear that God is the source of all wisdom, but that we do not always have access to that wisdom and knowledge. “How unsearchable his judgements!” Paul follows on with two really significant questions: “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counsellor?” Answer: Not us. I must be honest with you. I struggle with teachers who state, “THIS is why God is making these events happen!” The first example I encountered as a young man was in relation to the AIDS crisis. At that time there were many who wanted to claim that ‘God sent this virus to judge homosexuals and drug users.’ I am sure you have heard similar examples. Another case can be found in John 9, where the disciples want to link a man’s blindness with his or his parent’s sins. Jesus would have none of it There are two reasons for my struggle. Firstly, they present themselves as (in Paul’s terms) God’s counsellor. Secondly, they often make God the author of our distress. Let’s be clear. The fullest example of how God deals with our rebellion is that he becomes one of us and chooses to take the punishment upon himself on the cross. So, my encouragement to all of us is to focus on what God has already told us –to love one another, to do good to all, to seek God’s comfort through prayer and to trust in God’s unfailing love. We may never know the reasons for all the things that happen to us, either as individuals or as communities. We live by faith, not by sight. Perhaps, especially so, in such dark times.
May God shine his light upon you this week,
A Prayer for Today – Sunday 22/3/20
Our Lord and Heavenly Father,
As we come before you this day, we thank you for who You are – unchangeable, loving, merciful, patient. You are a listening God and seek our relationship, even more than we might seek it with You. Thanks for your persistence and grace.
We thank you for Your written Word and for the living Word who is our Lord Jesus Christ. Your Word is truth to us and is always the best source of encouragement, challenge, teaching and nurture. Help us to be diligent in relying on both Your written Word – taking time to read and understand it and relying on our Lord Jesus Christ – spending quiet time with You, talking and listening, being held and reassured.
Just as Jesus was in the boat with the disciples when the storm arose on the lake, you Lord Jesus are right by our side.
As we enter a time of being the church ungathered, help us each recognise that we still belong to one another and of the importance of staying connected for our own sakes and for others. Help us to be mindful and active in responding to the needs of others.
We pray for all those directly impacted by this virus – those who have lost family members, those with family members ill, those who have lost jobs or whose jobs are uncertain, those who must remain isolated. We pray for doctors and nurses – for your protection and strength. We pray for truck drivers, shelf stackers, checkout staff, not-for-profit workers who provide food to the homeless and people who must remain in their work places to enable the rest of the community to function. Lord, slow down the spread of this disease and help all people be mindful of protecting both themselves and others.
We pray for leaders of government and health services – for your wisdom to pervade all their decision making.
And help us not forget those who were already in a time of crisis – those who lost homes and livelihoods in the recent bushfires. May both physical and psychological help and provision continue so that their needs are met.
We hold in prayer dear folk in our congregation who may be struggling with grief, loneliness, isolation, chronic illness, fear and pain. For them we ask for calm, an overwhelming sense of Your presence. For us all, we ask for Your presence in every worry we might entertain, every fear we have for our futures and instantly realise we have nothing to fear – You are with us always, always and forever.
As we enter this time of being the church ungathered, help each of us respond to this challenge with courage and creativity, love and compassion.
In the name of Jesus our Lord we pray,