Christian Hope Is Superior To Wishful Optimism

Christians are not wishful thinkers. Our faith is based on the evidence of the empty tomb of Jesus. I love this explanation by J.I. Packer, the author of “Knowing God”:

Optimism hopes for the best without any guarantee of its arriving and is often no more than whistling in the dark.

Christian hope, by contrast, is faith looking ahead to the fulfillment of the promises of God, as when the Anglican burial service inters the corpse ‘in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ.’

Optimism is a wish without warrant; Christian hope is a certainty, guaranteed by God himself.

Optimism reflects ignorance as to whether good things will ever actually come.

Christian hope expresses knowledge that every day of his life, and every moment beyond it, the believer can say with truth, on the basis of God’s own commitment, that the best is yet to come.”

Will you walk in the rock solid and certain hope given through Jesus?

Your Pastor,
Wayne

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Christ has Died , Christ is Risen, Christ Will Come Again!

Welcome to Berwick Anglican Church in the name of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. As we gather this week we welcome you to remember this central event that changed history forever.

This central event flows through into the very fabric of our being, to be cross shaped people in our day to day lives. We invite you to join our community as Christ changes us to be more like him.

Our regular services include:

  • Sunday 8:30am – Classic Anglican Prayer Book Service.
  • Sunday 10:15am – Family Service with Sunday school.
  • Sunday 5:00pm – Afternoon Service with Sunday school.
  • Thursday 10:00am – Holy Communion Service.

May you be blessed as we worship the risen King together this week.

Reece Kelly
Assistant Minister

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Nehemiah’s Disappointment and the Hope of Palm Sunday

I have enjoyed our study of Nehemiah over the past few weeks and it’s exciting, action packed and triumphal story of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. But the final chapter of Nehemiah, chapter 13, ends on a note of disappointment. So much so that biblical scholar Don Carson quips that a good alternative title for Nehemiah might be the ‘Triumph and Failure of Reformation and Revival’!

In the final chapter, Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem for a second term as Governor, only to find that all those promises the people made to once again live according to God’s covenant… have been broken. The spiritual reforms that Nehemiah and Ezra brought in turned out to be short lived and skin deep. Jerusalem’s walls might be restored, but the hearts of God’s people still need much work.

Chronologically Nehemiah is set right near the end of the Old Testament’s story. And its ending that highlights the reality of human sin, is discouraging. But this ending also sets the seen for Jesus to come to God’s people and do for them what Nehemiah could not; rebuild their hearts!

And on Palm Sunday, hope begins that Nehemiah’s disappointment might be overturned! Because Jesus finally accomplished on his cross what God had long promised his people: ‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; ‘I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh’ (Ezekiel 36:26).

So let us be thankful for Jesus, the Greater Nehemiah, who came to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, ultimately to die on Good Friday, to once and for all take away the sin of his people.

Rev. Ben Soderlund

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Berwick Anglican Church Easter Services

Berwick Anglican Church ministers to the City of Casey and the Shire of Cardinia.

We are running a number of Easter services, including:

  • Maundy Thursday, 10am traditional communion service
  • Good Friday, 8am. A reflective service with organ.
  • Good Friday, 9:30am. Family celebration with kid’s program
  • Easter Sunday, 8.30am. A traditional communion service
  • Easter Sunday, 10.15am. A contemporary communion service with Sunday school
  • Easter Sunday, 5pm. A contemporary communion service with Sunday school and Easter egg hunt

All welcome!

 

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How Is Your Soul Going?

We are all spiritual beings, made in the image of God. We are created as complex beings, each of us with unique physical, emotional and spiritual characteristics. It is fascinating to see how the Bible speaks about the capacity of our souls.

Our souls can express love and friendship:
Love the Lord your God with all your soul (Deut 6:4)
As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. (Sam 18:1)

Our souls have desires and can be satisfied, especially by God:
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. (Psalm 42:1-2)

Our souls can be gladdened or joyful:
Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.(Psalm 86:4)
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour (Luke 1:46-47)

Our souls can be embittered:
Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul? (Job 3:20)
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul (Job 7:11)

Our souls can be refreshed and revived:
God leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. (Psalm 23:1-2)
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7)

May God refresh, revive, gladden, strengthen and satisfy our souls as we feed on his Word together as a church. How is your soul?

Your Pastor,
Wayne

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