11 Feb 11th February
Happy Friday again y’all!
Massive thanks to everyone who pitched in last weekend while we were away moving Aine to UNSW. We had a very nice time as a family & it is a real blessing to see the next season opening up in the life of our family. I hear there was some liturgical wear coordination! Excellent! AND it is excellent that we are so blessed as to have many people in our midst who can lead worship & do so well when I am away. We are a blessed faith community!
I’m excited about these next few months for us…
- Affirmation of Baptism with Confirmation Service is set for the 20th! 8 of our young people will be affirming their faith & inviting friends & family to join us. I always remind people this is not an end to a journey but a new beginning to a deeper experience of Jesus working in their lives through the Holy Spirit. You do not want to miss worship ever…but this week is going to be awesome. It’s also a Morning Tea week! Be as gracious & generous as you know you are!
- March’s Giving Beyond Ourselves is for Compassion – We are continuing to support Nguna & his family…so you know what to do. Last year we were able to not only sponsor Nguna, but bless his family with funds to help his sister begin secondary school. The church’s finest work is when we connect with other followers of Jesus and “bear one another’s burdens.”
- In July we’ll be blessed by a visit from Destiny Rescue – They help free people from human trafficking and modern forms of slavery…They’ll be our July GBO & we’ll have Rachel Dunwell from their organization visiting with us. Their work isn’t pretty…but it is so vital.
I read an intriguing piece of Scripture from Exodus this morning. If you’re working through the F260 Bible-reading plan this year, you’ll be in Exodus 6 & 7 today. It’s that early phase of Moses speaking to the Israelites enslaved by the Egyptians about God’s intention to set them free and to Pharaoh about God’s call to him to set the Israelites free. Pharaoh of course wants no part of that plan & makes the burden harder for the Israelites…you know the whole “make bricks without straw” thing…But Moses continues to encourage the Israelites with God’s promise of freedom. Then there’s this…“So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery.” – Ex 6:9
I absolutely understand that. Sometimes life gets so hard & there’s no end in sight…and you just stop hearing any word of hope. You just quit listening for any encouraging word from anyone. You don’t have to be a slave to feel that way…chronic pain, prolonged illness, infirmity that only drags you farther down, debt that you can’t see a way to resolve, a family turmoil that has no good solution…You get beat down & your eyes fix on your feet & you just mope through the day shuffle by shuffle.
But God is good for his promises & the Israelites are set free & they do conquer the land God promised & he does eventually send a Saviour to reclaim not only them but the whole world in God’s grace & great love. God does keep his covenant & sends the Holy Spirit even today so we can be freed from our various brutal besetting slaveries & sins…In Leviticus 26:13 we read one of my favourite passages: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high.”
I’ve never been a slave in Egypt…but I know that because I too have been freed from sin, death & evil by Christ no matter what else is going on I can walk with my head held high…not in pride but in victory through Christ. “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Gal 2:20 That’s now us…forever. When everything else wants to shut your ears…hear that. That’s your new reality…bigger than all else Christ lives in you.
See you Sunday!
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