Wow, what an amazing day we had on Saturday 20th at our Flower Show and Fair.
I am full of praise to God for the wonderful hard work of so many of our church members and their families and friends.
I want to especially thank the Flower Show committee, so ably led by Alan Clark. A special thanks to all those who have served faithfully over many years, and also to those who contributed to the flower show for the first time! The flowers themselves were beautifully displayed and so thoughtfully presented the gospel under the theme “A Walk with Christ”.
What a blessing to see BAC people from all three congregations serving together, across generations, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Let us worship God together giving thanks for the opportunity to serve him. Redeemed by his blood, we dedicate all we have to the King of Kings.
Jesus spoke powerfully when he said: “There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). His three “lost and found” parables in Luke 15 show us that repentance is the evidence of transition between being lost from God and being found from him.
When we turn away from our rebellion from God and turn back to worshipping and living for Jesus, there are thousands of choirs of angels who sing to God’s glory. How amazing that must sound!
Jesus’ teaching is foreign to our logic. Many Christians avoid discussion of repentance and of sin, and of the need to turn from disobedience. In worldly logic this is thought of as too heavy or negative.
But in the mind of Christ repentance is a reason for a celebration. Being religious doesn’t cause angels to rejoice. But real repentance produces heavenly joy and celebration that overflows on earth also! Jesus is right – holding on to our pride is a recipe for resentment but repentance leads to life.
The Articles of Religion – also known as The 39 Articles – are one of the foundational statements of what Anglican Christians believe (together with the 1662 Book of Common Prayer andThe Ordinal which regulates the pastoral offices).
The Articles were first published in 1562 (exactly 450 years ago) and agreed upon by the archbishops and bishops of the provinces of Canterbury and York.
The Articles were written “for the avoiding of diversities of opinions and for the establishing of consent touching true religion”.
The Articles remain a vital and binding statement of orthodox theology and practice in the Anglican Church of Australia and all ordained ministers take an oath to be faithful to the Articles.
So what do we find in the Articles? The answer is: a succinct statement of fundamental biblical teaching which is useful to us today!
The articles teach us about subjects such as: the Trinity, the resurrection of Christ, the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for salvation, original or birthsin, free-will, obtaining eternal salvation only by the name of Christ, the sacraments, and even a Christian’s oath.
You can read them in A Prayer Book for Australia or on the resources page of the Anglican Communion website: www.anglicancommunion.org/resources/acis/docs/thirty_nine_articles.cfm
Under the old covenant the LORD’s people revealed their hard hearts by consistently turning away from him inviting God’s wrath and punishment.
But the LORD did not leave his people without hope in the face of his judgement.
Jeremiah prophesied six hundred years before Jesus:
“I [the LORD] will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me” (Jeremiah 32:40).
At the last meal Jesus ate with his disciples – before he gave his life as a sacrifice to appease God’s wrath and satisfy God’s justice – he spoke some enormously significant words:
“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20).
The new covenant goes a step further than the old covenant in part because, through the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, God has put the fear of God in
the hearts of his people so that we will no longer turn from him.
More than a memory aid, I think name tags are a great expression of Christian faith.
Name tags reflect that we care about the individual. That we are not just here for the people we are already close to but also for the people we bump into in the car park (leave your name tag on!). God loves the individual.
Name tags show that we want to build friendships in our church community. We are committed to sharing our lives together. We can worship God by loving his people.
Name tags indicate that we are a growing church. We are not a small insular church but a thriving and growing movement of disciples of Jesus.
Name tags demonstrate that we want to make it easier for the visitor and newcomer to integrate, which often takes time.
You can sign up for a name tag on the sheet in the entrance. You can even have two!