I don’t know about you, but I am loving the stories of Jesus’ interactions with all sorts of people, as the lectionary readings provide us with each week in lent. I’ve had opportunity to share last week’s story of the woman at the well with several people in the local community, & with a couple of seekers, plus about 100 year 7 students at Peninsula Grammar. Although the woman's interaction with Jesus happened many years ago, it still has much relevance & meaning for all of us today, making it so easy to share with anyone! I hope you also got to share the story and the good news about Jesus with others this past week.
This coming Sunday we take a closer look at Jesus interaction with the man born blind and the series of conversations & events that followed that healing. Again, we see that the interaction with Jesus was transformative, and the blind man then had a great testimony to share. If only the religious leaders of his day would open their eyes to the truth that Jesus is the Christ, rather than dismissing Him as such.
Spiritual blindness is still a problem in our day & age. Sometimes it takes years for the scales to fall from people's eyes. Regardless, we continue to pray and spread the good news so more and more people can begin to understand see more clearly that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all and the Saviour we all need. Some will come to see the truth & learn to sing with us: Amazing grace how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found, Was blind but now I see.
This Sunday we will hear a wonderful testimony of a man who had his spiritual eyes opened in recent years. Come prepared to listen & be encouraged. I pray God continues to give us all clearer spiritual insights and a greater understanding of Himself and His ways. May He continue to remind us of the difference he makes in ours & other people's lives, and cause us to be His witnesses wherever we go.
The Lord be with you,
What are you thankful for this week?
I’m thankful for the opportunity to attend a wonderful conference on
"Leading your Church into Growth - Growing the Church the Jesus Way. "
A small leadership team attended along with me. We discussed how we can create a prayerful culture of growth, and how we can Implement the 4 P’s (Prayer, Presence, Proclamation, Persuasion), and practice fruitful evangelism, develop more engaging worship, plus become an inviting and welcoming church, make pathways for seekers to become disciples, and we began to plan a journey of growth for our Parish. We came home inspired for Church growth and hope we can also inspire you for this journey. To begin with, we would like to adopt this prayer for Mount Eliza Anglican Church. We pray and work while trusting God for the increase. Will you pray with us?
"God of mission, Who alone brings growth to our church, Send your Holy Spirit to give:
Vision to our planning, Wisdom to our actions, Joy to our Worship, And Power to our witness.
Help our Church to grow in numbers, In spiritual commitment to you, And in service to our
local community, Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."
This week, I’m also thankful for an awesome time of worship and fellowship with our Wednesday congregation. One lady expressed how helpful my ministry had been to her recently and I felt humbly grateful that God could use me to help her. The conversation left me feeling satisfied, and helped me to catch a small glimpse of what Jesus meant when he said to his disciples, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about” (John 4:32) after his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. This Sunday we will explore that biblical story all the more and include an episode of "The Chosen" that depicts Jesus' interactions with this questionable woman. You can watch here: https://youtu.be/el7dzoNV3IY
At the end of the story, we can understand Jesus saying that "Doing God’s will and His work in the world is truly satisfying" (John 4:32-38) and we can also realise that Jesus himself is the perpetual spring that continually refreshes "us" for doing God's work. He is the life-giving water we can draw on and offer to others as the Samaritan woman did. Her interaction with Jesus was transformative, as are our own. When we have those awesome encounters with Jesus, we will want to share our experience with others and draw others to come to him as well.
May we do this increasingly.
March 04th, 2023
What a week it has been! We had our Mothers Union Church service on Monday with guest speaker “Karen Hayden”, President of MU, Diocese of Melbourne. Wednesday began with the Rotary International Woman’s Day Breakfast, followed by our church service, and ended with dinner at Steeples with approx. 45 of our wonderful congregation members. It was great to connect with one another socially. Thanks to Ross for organising. I’m encouraged by our times together.
This week I am reflecting on the way Jesus spent much time socialising with his disciples, as well as teaching them. He ate and drank with them, walked with them, travelled with them, and talked with them about the kingdom of God. He calls us into the same kind of “life on life” discipleship.
The book of Acts shows how early Christians met daily and ate together and shared all they had with one another. Though we live in a vastly different culture today, we would do well to stay connected, enjoying fellowship together like we have done this week, and sharing what we have to help our fellow brothers and sisters in need, in addition to worshipping together each week.
This Sunday, Alicia will bring a word on our 2nd Lenten study; being “Transformed”.
I encourage you to reflect on these two awesome bible readings before Sunday: Genesis 12:1-4a (The call of Abraham) & John 3:1-17 (Jesus teaches Nicodemus about the Kingdom of God).
Simon will be leading us in worship with some great old songs you will likely know; “Be thou my Vision” and “Turn your eyes upon Jesus”, and a new one “Holy Spirit Living Breath of God” which you may like to listen to before Sunday. Click HERE to listen