A Message From Michael
In 3 John the apostle John writes to Gaius: “I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.” It is one of a number of references in the scriptures to the intimacy that comes from meeting face to face, and the sorrow that comes with distance of loved ones. In 2021 John might have said ‘I do not want to do so with Zoom, or email, or FaceTime…’
For many it has been a long 21 months of separation from those we love and no clear prospect of when that will change. It is right to grieve that separation. While we do what we can with Zoom and online church and the like – I hope you are looking forward to the ‘face to face’ on the other side of Covid.
One of the most beautiful images of heaven in the book of revelation is the way the servants of God ‘will see God’s face’ (Revelation 22.4). It is a picture of intimacy like no other. It also speaks of the forgiveness that God gifts his people – to be able to look on the face of God and not die or be consumed by his holiness is not possible in this life. But the healing God brings changes that. The day is coming when his people will see him face to face. And we will not wear a mask.
PS You may be interested to find out more about the new role I have taken on with Gafcon Australia. Sydney Anglicans Media wrote the story up here.
Term 3 Sermon Series
Acts is the sequel to the Gospel of Luke. In Luke, Jesus’ mission was to an area not much bigger than Greater Sydney and Wollongong; in Acts, the message about him will go to some of the greatest cities of the Roman Empire. In Luke, a handful of real followers stumble and fail and are constantly getting Jesus wrong; in Acts, tens of thousands will worship Jesus. The apostles will change from repeatedly failing followers, to commissioned and brave witnesses to the resurrection. Jesus will give them the Spirit and strength to stand and be counted. Acts tells the story of many normal Christians doing extraordinary things for God.
We are looking for a volunteer willing to learn how to video record, edit and upload our church services, as a backup to Syd. Contact the office for more information.
- Pray for the Premier and her team who front up to the media every day. Pray for wisdom, courage and endurance.
- Pray for effective communication about the Delta variant, and the stay-at-home orders, to people from non-English speaking backgrounds.
- Pray that those hesitant about vaccination would make wise decisions based on good evidence.
- Pray for all those waiting for flights into or out of Australia, including missionaries and families seeking reunions.
- Ask God that, during the pandemic, many people would hear the good news through radio, TV, mobile phone apps and the internet.
- Pray that our link missionaries would be able to keep up relationships with people from Muslim backgrounds during lockdown. Pray for David’s preparation for the annual Reachout conference in August, which will be online.
Prayer for those in need:
Ask God to comfort, strengthen and deepen the trust of those who are sick, grieving, or in special need at this time.
SOAP Bible Readings
Read Scripture daily, write a few thoughts, an application and then pray.
Week beginning 19th July
* Acts 1:12-26
Week beginning 26th July
* Acts 2:1-13
* Sermon Reading
I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding. (Psalm 119:32)
This month’s diocesan magazine, Southern Cross, can be downloaded here.