- Who we are
- What we do
There was no doubting that Lazarus had really died. He was well known in his village of Bethany, near Jerusalem, and many had attended his burial. Jesus arrived four days later and went with family members and mourners to the burial site, where he asked that the grave be opened.
Martha, Lazarus’ sister, a very practical woman, objected immediately. “Lord, by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days”. But the grave was opened, and Lazarus emerged, bound in the wrappings his body had been buried in.
Now, Lazarus and Jesus are at a dinner in Bethany, and “a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.” (John 12:9)
Yes, Lazarus, whom they had recently buried, was hosting a dinner for Jesus, who had called him out of the grave, in the presence of many witnesses.
Lazarus was irrefutable evidence that Jesus had power to raise the dead. The reaction of the Jewish religious authorities? “Destroy the evidence!”
Vs 10 – 11 “So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him”.
Many people have a similar response to the irrefutable evidence that Jesus himself was raised from the grave – three days after being publicly executed and declared dead by the Roman authorities.
Many “destroy the evidence” by simply assuming that it does not exist. Others bury it under a mound of bluster and subterfuge.
But the evidence for remains compelling. Skeptics have tried to disprove it, but those who do so with an honest, open mind expose themselves to the danger of becoming convinced Christians – even writing books explaining the compelling evidence that forced them to change their minds and hearts.
Two who have had this experience are: Frank Morrison – “Who Moved the Stone” and J Warner-Wallace – “Cold Case Christianity”
The evidence for Jesus’ resurrection (and therefore for Christianity) is compelling. Will you believe it, or bury it?
– JOHN WILSON
This Sunday we continue with our local guest speakers with Phil Pratt speaking on “Learning from the life of Jacob” from Genesis 25:19-34.
We will be sharing in the Lord’s Supper this Sunday, so be sure to join us for this important reminder of the death of Jesus.
We will also be taking the opportunity to meet our Acting Rector, Stephen Fifer and his wife Sharen during our services.
If you’re wanting to check out our church we’d really love you to pop your head in at either 10am or 5pm. Or if you can’t make it in person, jump online to www.oakflats.tv and watch our live stream.
See you at 10am or 5pm this Sunday, God willing!
This past week over 400 SRE teachers gathered together at an annual conference held at Dapto Anglican. It was a training day to be encouraged and equipped for the task of ministering to children, families and the school community through authentic and effective word ministry.
SRE stands for Special Religious Education, and for the past 3 years it has been my privilege to serve as the SRE Coordinator for our church and to teach Kindergarten and Stage 2. In my role I have been greatly encouraged and blessed to see the faithfulness of teachers from our parish who proclaim the Gospel each week in our Public Schools.
Notwithstanding opposition from a vocal minority lobby group, God continues to leave the door open for the teaching of SRE in NSW. In fact, the independent review commissioned by the NSW government was very positive about its status. It reported that in 2015, SRE classes were held in 92% of primary schools, and 81% of secondary schools.
So why should you care about SRE?
For many children in our local schools, SRE is the only time that they hear about Jesus. It is the only time that they get to read a Bible and learn how amazing Jesus is.
“Scripture is one of the most interesting and fulfilling places I have ever been to. Scripture helps me with questions about the Bible and my life. I believe scripture is the best!”(Primary Student)
This was just one quote among many that were shared at the conference, and it shows the great and positive impact that SRE can have.
It is a wonderful opportunity. I wonder if you might be interested in supporting SRE? Would you be interested in training as a volunteer classroom teacher or helper?
The main way that you can support SRE is to pray!
Please pray for our scripture teachers as we seek to teach well the truths of the gospel, and pray for the school staff who support us with such warmth and energy.
– VALERIE O’REGAN
This Sunday we continue with our local guest speakers with Andy Peters speaking on “Unity and Maturity” from Ephesians 4:1-16.
This will be the first time Andy has preached at our church, and we look forward to the encouragement he shares as he opens up God’s word.
Every Sunday is a great time to drop in. You can also watch us live (or look at some past church services) at www.oakflats.tv.
See you at 10am or 5pm this Sunday, God willing!
Those of you who watch NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) are no doubt as fascinated as I am with Jethro Gibbs building a boat in his cellar, and the seeming endlessness of the task. It is, of course, a metaphor for the insoluble wickedness he has to deal with on a day to day basis, and the fact that no matter how many baddies he puts away, the task will never end.
When Joshua had finished the military conquest of Canaan, we read in Joshua 13:1
“Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the Lord said to him: “You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed”.”(NKJV)
Like Jethro Gibbs and his boat, the task of Israel’s possession of the land was going to outlive him, and though he was old, he needed to be reminded that in is his illustrious lifetime he had not achieved all that God wanted despite his faithful efforts.
Many of us in this church have been Christians for nearly all our lives, and have waged war against the world, the flesh and the devil for decades. Many of the old stagers of this church have been called home; in the next 10 years many more will follow and sit at the feet of Jesus
Our temptation is to think: “Well, I’ve done my bit, let the young’ns take up the task”, and, indeed, a huge part of what we do as a teaching church, is to train the young’ns to that very end. But God wasn’t telling Joshua to lay down his sword and hand leadership over to a successor; He was reminding him of the fact that building that boat, despite the preposterous nature and seeming endlessness of the task, was still his job, despite his age.
Oak Flats Anglican faces a new period of change in 2019 and we all do well to be ready for it. Some may be reaching advanced years, as Joshua was, but there is “much of the land to be possessed”. Let us gird up our (sometimes feeble) loins, and press the battle to the gates of the enemy.
– PAUL HALL