What wild weather! I don’t think any of us will forget the sight of the poor couple in Taree’s house floating down the river.
I found myself thinking about Matthew 7:24-27 this week – or the old song, “The wiseman built his house upon the rock…” – but having just preached on this passage for the World Day of Prayer, I am rethinking its sharp dualism and condemnatory tone. After all, we are all foolish people who build our lives on flimsy foundations. What Jesus does is enable us to dismantle these poorly sited houses, salvage what is good and reconstruct them on much higher and more solid ground i.e. on the love and grace of God.
As Holy Week begins this Sunday, we have time to reflect on that love and grace – on the extent God goes to to share that love and grace with us – and how we share it with others.
Following the service on Sunday, you are invited to join the Palm Sunday Rally (28 March from 12:30pm) at Garema Place in the city, with thousands of others, Christian and non-Christian alike, who are standing together to call for justice and dignity to be shown towards refugees here in Australia and for people seeking asylum around the world. The Canberra Baptist Church contingent will be meeting at 12.30pm at the merry-go-round. Look out for the yellow banner and palm fronds.
Sunday evening (28 March – special time of 5:30-7pm on Zoom) we have invited Martin Maneedul Cowling to share more of his story of God’s call on his life and the response he has received from churches because he is gay. Martin was our speaker for the last ‘The text that shaped my life‘ but we have asked him to speak again, so more people can hear him, because of how powerful his story is and how pertinent to the situation we are now facing in the Baptist Association. The link will be in this week’s church bulletin. Please zoom in and listen!
From Monday to Thursday of Holy Week (29 March to 1 April on Zoom) we are hosting special online times of prayer and holy reading (lectio divina) as we move towards Good Friday and Easter. These will be held morning and evening at the new time of 7:30am Link to Morning Prayer and 7:30pm Link to Evening Prayer. These are just short times of prayer and reflection – 30 minutes long – and will be led by different member of our community. If you are unable to join us at those times, you may want to follow the same readings in your own times of prayer and meditation.
|AM – choice of two readings||PM – Gospel|
|Mon 29th March||Is 42:1-9 or Ps 36:5-11||John 12:1-11|
|Tues 30th March||Is 49:1-7 or Ps 71:1-14||John 12: 20-36|
|Wed 31st March||Is 50:4-9a or Ps 70||John 13:21-32|
|Thurs 1st April||Ex 12: 1-14 or Ps 116:1-2, 12-19||John 13:1-17, 31b-35|
On Good Friday (2 April, 9am) we will be gathering for a service of music and reflection. Following the service there will be a special morning tea with hot cross buns (under Covid Safe restrictions). We urgently need donations of hot cross buns and offers of assistance to heat and serve them. If you can help, please ring or email Cecelia Thursday or Friday – 6295 9470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally on Easter Sunday (4 April, 10am) we will gather to celebrate the resurrection! There will be extra space in the overflow in the hall. As we think about how we marked Easter one year ago we give thanks for this opportunity to be together, and we pray for those countries where Covid 19 infection levels are rising or remaining high. As we navigate the challenging years ahead, I pray we are also mindful that our bedrock is a loving and gracious God.
Grace and peace,
PS Speaking of couples affected by the floods, please pray for Kyle and Joey who are being married in the church this Saturday (27 March). Many of their family and friends are coming from flood affected areas of NSW and some may not be able to be there.
PPS This Saturday (earlier in the day) we are moving into the manse! It won’t be all of us – just four of us – as we need a study and Miriam is much closer to work in Hughes, so she is staying at our house (and will eventually be getting some flat mates). The rest of us, however, Aron, myself, Grace, and Zach, will be moving to the manse on Saturday. We are so thankful to everyone who has worked so hard to make the manse look so beautiful – and for those helping with Saturday’s move. We are excited about what we can do in this new place and what God can do through us.