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Being the Church
A message from Rev Ian Weeks
When you think of the word “Church” what comes to mind? A building? A religious organization? A boring and meaningless service? An out-dated institution?
I suspect that these are the attitudes and experiences of many in our community – and perhaps not without good reason. Sadly, the public perception, and reputation, of the “Church” has suffered a lot of bad press and justifiable criticism in recent years (even decades). It may seem that the modern Christian Church has become something quite different from the ideal of a loving, caring, giving, morally up-right, counter-cultural and vibrant worshipping community that its founder Jesus, and his first century followers, established. For this, we must take some responsibility, and repent of those ways in which we have let our Lord and our community down, and seek to correct any misperceptions that our neighbours might have of the Church.
How can we do this? While the Church – the gathering of God’s redeemed people – is made up of fallen, fallible and weak members like myself, we can still demonstrate what the Church is and should be to a world that desperately needs to connect with the God who saves, renews, and gives meaning and hope. We can do this by being the people, the Church, that God intends us to be.
To this end, during this next Term we will be reading and preaching our way through Paul’s New Testament letter to the Ephesians – a letter that beautifully outlines the glorious nature of God’s plan for us – His Church. In Ephesians will see that the Church is a far cry from a cold building and stuffy worship. But rather we are the result of God’s gracious and generous act of calling sinful people to Himself in reconciled relationships of love, service, encouragement and thankful worship.
I hope and pray that as we go through this letter to a first century Church we will discover afresh ourselves as the Church, the “Body of Christ”, the “Household” and “Family” of God, in the 21st century.
Please join with me in reading through Ephesians and as you do, ask God to continually “… give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:17 – 19)
Thank you Lord for enabling me to be a part of your Church!
Mission of the Month for July
What the Bible Society does:
Bible Society Australia is committed to giving access to the Bible across the world. Alongside this it advocates for and engages Australians here at home and people around the world with the Bible.
In order to pursue its mission, Bible Society Australia undertakes a range of activities:
Translates the Bible into the world’s languages
It supports the ongoing task of translating the Bible into the world’s languages, including Indigenous languages and sign language (Auslan) in Australia.
Provides Bibles to those who want one
It provides free Bibles and Scripture portions to mission groups, chaplains of hospitals, prisons & the defence force as well as to Scripture teachers. It also produces Bible resources to help people engage with the Bible.
Helps others understand the Bible
It runs local Bible engagement campaigns as well as overseas and indigenous Bible-based literacy programmes.
Tells the world why the Bible is so good
In many “post-Christian” countries, there is a need to advocate for the beauty, truth and goodness of the Bible. The Bible Society does this by equipping Christians to be more confident in the Bible. The Bible Society also champions the Bible by engaging the media, universities, schools and prominent think tanks with high quality and well-researched print, video and audio material about the relevance of Christianity in the 21st century.