- Who we are
- What we do
It would be difficult to avoid noticing that convicted drug trafficker, Schapelle Corby, has been released on parole from her Bali prison.
Despite her conviction and her sentence, people continue to speculate about her innocence, regardless of the strength of evidence that supports the original decision by the Bali court.
This public affair matters to us because we all have a deep sense of justice: we hate to see the innocent punished and we can’t bear to see the guilty set free.
Yet, this is what makes the crucifixion of Jesus so astonishing, for justice was not served on that first Easter: those of us who trust in Jesus are considered innocent, at the expense of the very life of Jesus.
Unless Schapelle says something genuinely new and different in her chequebook journalistic tell-all interview, we’re unlikely to know for sure if she knowingly smuggled the drugs into Bali.
But we can be sure that God truly knows everything, and that the day is coming when he will judge the living and the dead.
As our Aussie farmers wilt under the pressures of this latest drought in our land, we are reminded again of our dependence on God for all our everyday needs.
So what are we to make of this drought? What is God doing in our sunburnt country?
Well, we must remember Jesus’ words that God “sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)
God is the one who brings rain, and as he does so, it affects both those who are righteous in his eyes, as well as those who have turned their backs on God.
But for us who are righteous, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
It is good and right for us to pray for rain for our land, and as we do so we should remember that God is in control and that he works through so called ‘natural’ events for the good of us who have been called to love him.
Tomorrow at 10am at St Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney, 35 men and women will be ordained as deacons for service in the Anglican church, including our own Adam Hotson.
Apart from gaining a ‘Rev.’ at the start of their name and permission to wear a ‘dog collar’, ordinands are officially given a copy of the Bible as a symbol of the heart of their mission: to teach the word of God to the world of God.
Bible teachers are literally a gift to us from God, but the responsibility is one that must not be taken lightly.
As James 3:1 says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
So, let us pray for the 35 ordinands, and for all men and women who teach God’s word from the pulpit to the playground; from the hotel to the hospital; from the kids’ group to the café.
Let us pray to God, (using the words from the Book of Common Prayer), that he will so replenish them with the truth of his doctrine, and adorn them with innocency of life, that, both by word and good example, they may faithfully serve him in their ministry, to the glory of his Name, and the edification of his Church.
Australia Day is a great opportunity to give thanks to God for the country he has made for us, and for the many great things about this nation: the freedom, the prosperity, the natural beauty, and the relaxed attitude to life.
Yet, strangely, when some people reflect about something they have that is good, they sometimes become more protective and selfish.
Sadly, we’ve seen this in the ugliness of the race riots of Cronulla 2005, and we continue to see it with the ‘Aussie Pride’ slogans that attack the Australians who joined our nation through immigration, even though they themselves are often the descendants of the original migrants of 1788.
According to his good will, God has brought people from all nations to share this land he first gave to our indigenous brothers and sisters, and like all good things that come from God, we should be truly thankful for this rich gift.
I recently heard a missionary being asked what had changed most in society in the five years since he moved away from Australia.
His answer was that he noticed that the Australian media had become increasingly active in their intolerance of Christian belief.
When individuals speak out about issues of human sexuality, they are regularly censored and persecuted for their comments.
This week, when federal senator Cory Bernadi published pro-life comments against abortion, he was reportedly subjected to a flood of public and private hatred.
We should expect more and more of this as God’s word clashes with the world that stands in opposition.
But this is not something that should surprise us.
After all, Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)