Thanksgiving Sunday 2018

Today we especially want to encourage thanksgiving to God for all he has done for us at BAC. Today instead of asking someone “How are you?”, please ask: “What are you thankful for today?”

In Luke 17 Jesus had an encounter where 10 lepers were healed. Luke recalls that:
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16 (NIV)

In giving thanks, this person increased their joy by coming back to praise God and fall at Jesus feet in thanks. And although he was a Samaritan outcast, he is remembered for his great example! However Jesus had to ask: “Where are the other nine?”  Luke 17:17 (NIV). I pray that at BAC we can do better than 10% thankfulness!

On Tuesday night we thankfully celebrated the year that has been and all God has done through our church, even in hardships. We look forward to the next 12 months. I pray that God will invigorate you to give of your time, energy, money and prayers thankfully into the coming year.

Your Pastor,
Wayne

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Remembrance Day

Today marks Remembrance Day around the world:

“At 11 am on 11 November 1918 the guns on the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare.” (taken from the Australian War Memorial website)

We give thanks to God for those who made the ultimate sacrifice to provide and protect the freedoms and life we enjoy in Australia today. We honour and proclaim what was done for us.

In his letter to Timothy, Paul wrote: ‘Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel’ (2 Timothy 2:8 NIV)

To remember includes recalling, honouring and proclaiming our great rescue through King Jesus. Let us not only remember Jesus, but also honour and proclaim his great redemptive death and resurrection. Don’t forget or let gratitude grow cold!

Your Pastor
Wayne

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Listening to Malachi as the People of God

Like most of the Bible, the book of Malachi is addressed to the people of God, not to individuals. And if we are not careful this means we can sometimes misread what it is saying.

As Australian theologian and bible scholar Peter Adam writes in his commentary on Malachi; ‘Those of us who live in the Western world have been brainwashed into individualism. We think and feel as individuals, we regard individuals as the most important form of human life, we privilege individuals over communities, and so we read and preach the Bible as if it was addressed to individuals.’

Malachi is a prophetic sermon through which God ‘does business’ with his people as a whole. So if we read Malachi only asking ‘what does this mean for me?’ we will miss much of its message.

So as we go through Malachi this term at BAC together, we need to be also asking questions such as ‘what does this mean for us at Berwick Anglican Church?’ and ‘what does this mean for us in the wider church?’ and even ‘What does this mean for us as Australians?’. As we do this may God speak to us as his people.

Ben Soderlund

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“Flower Show Sunday”

O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet; all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8 (NIV)

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Things to Watch Out for in Malachi

The book of Malachi is the final book of the Old Testament, and its message is a very relevant diagnostic told for assessing our spiritual health. As we journey through this little book over the next term, there is a lot to watch out for!

As biblical scholar A. E. Hill writes: ‘The prophet Malachi preached to a diverse audience. His sermons were directed to the disillusioned, the cynical, the callous, the dishonest, the apathetic, the doubting, the skeptical and the outright wicked in postexilic Judah. Yet, as a sensitive pastor, Malachi offered the ‘valentine’ of God’s love to a disheartened people. As a lofty theologian, he instructed the people in a basic doctrinal catechism, highlighting the nature of God as universal king, faithful suzerain and righteous judge. As Yahweh’s stern prophet, Malachi rebuked corrupt priests and warned of the coming day of God’s judgment. As spiritual guide, he exhorted his audience to a more sincere life of worship and challenged the people to live out the ethical standards of the Mosaic covenant. Most important, Malachi was Yahweh’s messenger and his essential message to Israel was profoundly simple: “‘I have always loved you,’ said the LORD” (Mal 1:2 NIV )’.

Malachi’s prophesy also sets the scene for the New Testament, pointing to the future coming of John the Baptist and Jesus; As God says in 3:1 ‘I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty’.

Ben Soderlund
Assistant Minister

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