July 2016

Welcome to St Matthew’s monthly Celebration Service when we gather together everyone from our Missional Communities and all other activities of St Matt’s. It’s great to get together to hear what God’s been doing amongst us, to prepare for what He’s going to do and to enjoy each others’ company in His presence.

By the time you read this a new Federal Government will be established – some will be celebrating and some commiserating but win or lose, all of us will have to live with the consequences.

I find it a real challenge living with the decision-making process of those who have been placed “over” us. Some policies seem generally good but their specific outworking seems wrong. Most frustrating is when it seems that things you feel strongly about are being challenged, eroded or lost. And most of the time it feels like there is nothing we can do about it!

Here’s the solution (big claim)!

17 Show proper respect to everyone, love your fellow believers, fear God, honour the emperor. (1 Peter 2:17)

You’ll remember this from last month’s bible discussion and we’ll give this some more time today but the essence is this: no matter the “societal framework” we find ourselves in, (either now or in the future), we are always called to live as Christians in the world. That is, to live as Jesus lived. I always find it interesting that the only leaders Jesus challenged were the religious leaders . . .

We may find areas to protest about, we may find ourselves as unwitting victims of injustice, we may find ourselves living lives of privilege either by accident or by hard-work. But no matter our circumstances we are called to live trusting in God’s grace and trustworthiness, not humans.

And that is why our fundamental discipleship questions are always relevant; “What is the Lord saying and what are we going to do about it?” If God is the one who installs governments and other authorities, then He is the one with a plan for changing it and/or living within it.

Can we recognize the voice of the Shepherd (Jesus)? Are we even listening for it? Can we trust it? If you’d like help with these questions, please get in touch with me, or one of our Missional Community leaders: Jeanenne Thomas, Chris Crook, Lesley Spurr, Lyn Hudson & Marlene Holloway – they’re experts at it :)

God bless,    Ian.