In the lead up to the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Berwick Anglican Church is running the discussion series Ideas That Changed The World on Tuesday evenings in October. All Welcome!
This week at Berwick Anglican we are celebrating our ‘Flower Show Sunday’, with a number of wonderful floral displays set up around the Church building. These complement our worship space’s main architectural feature; it’s splendid glass wall out look upon our gardens and grassy hill over overshadowed by those two grand gum trees. But all this is not mere decoration, rather should remind us of the splendour of God’s creative power!
As the famous opening of Psalm 19 puts it; ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands’ (Psalm 19:1). One of the purposes of the beauty of the created world is to point to God, as the wonder of the universe reveals something of the majesty of its creator.
But perhaps the greatest example of God’s creative power is displayed through his redemption and re-creation of his people in Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul marveled; ‘if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’ (2 Co 5:17). And with that in mind it is also a great joy to celebrate a number of baptisms and confirmations at our 5pm service this week, where the candidates will publicly declare their faith in the redemptive promises of Jesus.
So today give thanks to God for the splendour of his creation, and even more so for his re-creation of us in Christ.
Saturday 21 October 2pm – 4.30pm Devonshire Tea
Parishioners, past parishioners are invited to Devonshire Tea and a preview of the floral display on Saturday 21 October.
If you are available to provide transport during the afternoon for those who are housebound, in retirement villages or nursing homes please put your name on the sign up
sheet in the foyer.
Sunday 22 October Flower Show Sunday
Three services will run as usual 8.30am, 10.15am and 5pm.
- Rev Hugh Prentice at 8.30am and 10.15am
- Bishop Paul Barker – 5pm and he will also conduct the Confirmation Service.
The church will be open all day on Sunday for everyone to have the opportunity to enjoy the floral display.
Lately I’ve been thinking that I will try out listening to the bible as part of my daily quite time with God. Overall, I find that the prayerful reading the bible is most helpful for me to learn, study and inwardly digest God’s Word, but on occasion, listening to bible can also be really beneficial. If you would like to be listening to the scriptures, there are some great and free apps that will help you out! Some of the best include –
▪ You-Version bible app;
▪ Bible.Is bible app;
▪ Bible Gateway bible app.
All of these have a number of great text and audio versions of the bible, that you can also download to listen to them off-line. On all three you will find great versions of the NIV, ESV and even the old (and very beautiful to listen to) King James Version. Some versions are dramatised (and to be honest with varying levels of quality!) and other versions are simply read aloud by one person. All of these apps will work on just about any smart phone or tablet, just search for them in your app store of choice. Plus all three have good websites so you can also listen via your browser on your computer or laptop.
If you are a bit more old school, then you might like to buy the bible on CD, either on-line or from a from a Christian book store like Koorong over in Blackburn.
Listening to the scriptures is a great way of making good use of your time when driving or on public transport. If you haven’t listened to bible before, or having listened to it for a while, why not give it go?
As we approach the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, more and more Martin Luther quotes are coming across my desk. In his later years Luther was often depressed, so quite a number of Luther’s sayings have survived that address feelings of melancholy from the perspective of a Christian Pastor. Some of my favourites follow:
‘To be gloomy before God is not pleasing to Him, although He would permit us to be depressed before the world. He does not wish me to have a long face in His presence’.
‘We are saints, that we are saved, and that this will be manifest when it is revealed. Since Christ accepted the thief on the cross just as he was and received Paul after all of his blasphemies and persecutions, we have no reason to despair’.
‘Christ knows that our hearts are troubled, and it is for this reason that He says and commands, “Let not your hearts be troubled”’.
‘Those who are troubled with melancholy… ought to be very careful not to be alone, for God created the fellowship of the church and commanded brotherliness’.
‘When you are assailed by gloom, despair, or a troubled conscience you should eat, drink, and talk with others’.
These are a great reminder that God has given us the hope of the gospel and our Christian fellowship with each other to help us overcome the sorrows of this fallen world. So as we meet together around God’s Word today, be encouraged by the gospel and enjoy each other’s company, and stay for some fellowship over morning / afternoon tea after the service!
Ben Soderlund – Assistant Minister