home > Pastor’s Desk > 2222 > 9th August > LOOKING BACK OVER THE PAST 200 YEARS

As Kim and I enjoyed our weekly coffee-date this morning at Stillwater, she looked out ruminatively across the water at all of the development that has taken place over the past 200 years where the North and South Esks merge to form the Tamar River.

I wonder if the settlers who came here two hundred years ago” she asked, “could have imagined the silos would have been built over there and then turned into a luxury hotel, or that two bridges would have been built here, or that their tiny village would grow into a large city?

What’s more interesting” I responded, “is if anyone today can envision what it will all look like in another two hundred years!

And my response then got me thinking. Could it be possible to imagine what Launceston will end up looking like in another two hundred years—and, what about our church? What will our church will look like in two hundred years time? As I mused throughout the rest of the day on this question my thoughts went to the future. In 2222, Tasmania’s population on current trends will be 4.5 million. Hobart will have a population of 2 million. Launceston will have a population of 1.34 million. The Tamar River will have population centres on either side of it which will be connected by a series of bridges and tunnels. Tasmania will be connected to the mainland by a “strunnel“ similar to, but much larger than, England’s connection to France through their chunnel. Tasmania’s climate, soil conditions, and abundance of fresh water will lead to it becoming a major international food-bowl. In 200 years, after several periods of devastating natural disasters and military conflicts in various parts of the globe, Tasmania will have opened its heart wide to immigrants from all over the world. This will lead to tens of thousands of people who had also moved here after the collapse of the Islamic world a century earlier. Thousands of Indian families will have also made Tasmania their home. Added to this, there will have been a migration of thousands of Chinese families after the collapse of the formerly oppressive Communist regime. Historians will look back over this period and note that it was a series of spiritual revivals where tens of thousands of people converted to Christianity and churches all across Tasmania were burgeoning. It was the Tasmanian churches of the 23rd century that led many social and cultural reforms where prisons were largely emptied as a result of the change in the moral climate, marriage was once again considered the sacred covenant union of a man and his wife, the rate of violence against women almost unheard of, and wives who became mothers were highly honoured and supported.

Imagine the Friday Pastor’s Desk, written by Legana Christian Church’s 15th Senior Pastor, writing just before the church’s 205th Annual Thanksgiving Sunday…

Your Pastor,

Andrew

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

LOOKING BACK OVER THE PAST 200 YEARS

An antique ‘photo’ of what used to be entrance to the original auditorium taken near the turn of the 21st century.

As we prepare for our 205th Annual Thanksgiving Weekend, a tradition that dates back two centuries beginning in 2017, we again pause to give thanks for the goodness of God and the sacrifices and faithful service of our forefathers and those who pioneered our church. This is why, for this week’s Pastor’s Desk, I have decided to use the ancient technology of email and the ‘internet’ to send out my Pastor’s Desk as it would have been done by the pastor in 2017. It was just five years ago (2217) that we gathered to open our last building project, our multi-storey auditorium and ministry centre complex. We all remember that Thanksgiving Sunday when 15,000 of us gathered over our five services that Sunday as the Holy Spirit moved powerfully in each service. The Text by our guest speaker was- 

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies Me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”
Psalm 50:23

 

A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS

Not only will we be continuing the tradition of setting aside the second weekend in August to give thanks to God for all that He has done for us as a church, as all of my predecessors have done, this weekend will also mark the goodness of God as I retire and we install our next Senior Pastor. And as we look forward to the future we will, as is our tradition, commission our new pastor by reading the charge written by my predecessor 200 years ago. The text for Thanksgiving services this Sunday, as selected by our guest speaker, will be Psalm 95:2-3 – 

Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!
For the LORD is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
Psalm 95:2-3

Our next pastor will be our church’s 16th pastor in our two hundred and thirty-five year history. We have all had an opportunity to hear and meet him and his family. All two-hundred and eighty-three of our church’s staff have given their endorsement for his appointment, and our elders issued a statement a few weeks ago expressing their commendation of him as well noting that at the age of just 32 he has had extensive international leadership experience. We remember that the last time he shared with us, he talked about how the Lord had clearly called them to come to Tasmania and that he even had a historic connection with our church sharing that his great, great, great, great grandfather also pastored our church two centuries earlier! His grasp of being fluent in several languages will enable him to connect well with our Chinese, and Spanish congregations without the usual need for an interpreter. This was also reflected in his last message with us when he selected the text Revelation 7:9-10 –

¶ After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
Revelation 7:9-10

 

PRACTICALITIES

Please be praying for our guests and dignitaries who will be joining with us for Thanksgiving services this Sunday – especially our Prime Minister that she will be touched by the Holy Spirit, our State Governor, and our State Premier (even though both our Governor and Premier grew up in our church and coincidentally were baptised here as young teenagers in the same Baptism Service). Could each of our Service Attendant Teams meet 45 minutes before each of their rostered services on the fifth floor of our Ministry Centre (MC), and could our elders gather for prayer before each service in our Board Room located adjacent to my office on the sixth floor. To avoid congestion in the eastern multi-storey underground car park, please use the western multi-storey car park instead. Several dignitaries will be arriving by HV (hover vehicles) and be using the HV landing pads on the roof of the MC. Remember –

[We are] to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Ephesians 3:9-11

See you Sunday,

Your pastor.
August 9th, 2222

6 Comments

  1. LYDIA

    Dare I step into the future and respond by saying God is eternal, He knows all. Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever.

    We can only imagine… I wonder if there is a patent to this book that could be written with this vision. We could also bring this futuristic dream into reality earlier than having to wait. Bibles are running out in the Ukraine as many are going back to the timeless Scriptures according to a news grab on Way FM which I am guessing now means that we had better be prepared and prepare ourselves for the continual growth of our church, the churches, that is the multiplication of churches on this Island as nothing will ever stop God’s purposes. He has history all mapped out…

    Reply
  2. Nicky Marzetti

    Seems fitting that Revelation 7:9-10 was the verse on my bible app today

    Reply
  3. Janet sands

    The thought of thousands worshipping Sunday by Sunday. Multi-storey buildings to accommodate this flock. Multi-storey car park for hovercraft ( don’t forget the Tardis).
    What joy to know the preaching of the past really does influence the people of the future. Go Andrew!! You are much appreciated. Praise God from all blessings flow!!

    Reply
  4. Ali

    Thanks Andrew. Great reading. We can only imagine. May the Lord continue to bless you as you serve the people of Tasmania and beyond.

    Reply

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AMAZING ACCESS

Anyone who has attended a large event such as the recent Will Graham Outreach event that was held at the Launceston Silverdome would be familiar with the varying levels of access that are provided to staff and volunteers associated with this type of event. The security system used included identification in the form of different coloured shirts, prayer volunteer cards, and all access cards that permitted access to the entire venue with no questions asked by security personnel. This is like the access level that God has to our lives. Being omnipresent, He has unhindered access to every aspect of our lives. He knows our innermost thoughts, sees all that we do, hears all that we say. God has the ultimate ‘all access’ card.

WHY FINDING TRUTH MATTERS

How can we determine whether a claim is true or false? Some people think there are different kinds of truth — my truth, their truth, and your truth. But how do they know that their assessment of truth is true? After all, their assessment – that there is my/their/your truth might just be based on their truth rather than the truth. Truth has certain qualities that distinguishes it from what is false-
 Truth corresponds to reality.
 Truth is verifiable (that is, if it is true, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is falsifiable (that is, if it is false, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is sometimes testable (that is, claims that are experiential can be tested by experience – including scientific claims, historic claims, and existential claims).
We have good reasons for the believing that the Bible is true because it is the divinely inspired, reliable and authoritative Word of God which has been superintendedly preserved by the Holy Spirit (read more about this).

THE 5 MOST IMPORTANT YEARS OF ANYONE’S LIFE

Parents, Kids Church leaders, and Christian school teachers should be intentional about shaping children to be fully devoted followers of Christ who have reasons for believing Christianity is true – which shapes them into virtuous contributors to society and to find their role in God’s Kingdom. This will be one of the necessary and indispensable means for the Church to fulfil the Great Commission of Christ.

TIME- YOU CAN’T CONTROL IT – BUT YOU CAN LEARN FROM IT

We live in a fast paced world. We expect things to happen quickly. None of us like to be kept waiting. Even when we order something online we expect it delivered straight away. Some of us having to work two or even three jobs just to be able to pay the bills. We describe ourselves as time-poor. Yet, we all get twenty-four-hours in a day. Sixty-minutes in an hour. And sixty-seconds in a minute. Most of us need to adjust how we see, understand, and treat our time. This will involve, what will be for some, adopting a foreign and largely unaccustomed view of time that involves worship, sabbath, and deepening relationships. From this biblical perspective we will come to see time as a gift from God, not a curse, or source of frustration. Within this gift of time God teaches us how to worship in those times when it is difficult to do so. Rather than thinking this divine gift of time is ours to do with what ever we want, God uses this gift to teach us that we should gift it back to Him beginning with (but not limited to) treating Sunday as a sabbath to come together to recommit our hearts, voices, minds, and presence with God’s people, back to God. God gives us passing time to learn to deepen relationships – especially with our kin, and our friends. Time is meant for relationship building. 

I AM WHO I AM BUT I AM NOT WHO I USED TO BE BUT I AM NOT YET WHO I WILL BE

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It may well still be the best-selling book of all time – and continues year-by-year to be so – but certainly is not the best-read of our current times! If there was ever any doubt about this, the events this week in Hobart, at St. Mary’s (Catholic) College Girl’s School, should remove all doubt! A furore erupted over the news that the prescribed Scripture reading for the year-end graduation celebration, which incorporated a Mass, was “Wives submit to your husbands” taken from Ephesians. Callers into ABC radio’s breakfast program decried this assault against women – especially young, vulnerable girls. One caller, responding to the news that the text being used was a citation from Ephesians, denounced Ephesians and apparently demanded, “Just who does this Ephesians bloke think he is?!” Another caller stated, “Why are they quoting ancient Roman philosophers in the twenty-first century?!” And yet another caller somehow linked all religious wars to passages like this one in the Bible! He remarked, “I’m an atheist. All wars are started by those who are religious! No war was ever started by atheists!” (Perhaps he had never heard of Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Vladimir Putin, who were collectively responsible for the deaths of over 20,000,000?) This furore led to the Archbishop conceding that the Ephesians passage did not have to be used at the graduation ceremony. But this furore has highlighted just how unaware many Tasmanians are about what the Bible is, what is actually says, and why it says it. And I am now about to correct this deficiency.  

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Of the many tributes paid to her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, was the often noted reflection that during her reign the world underwent a series of rapid changes that were dramatic and unprecedented in human history. There were technological inventions that revolutionised the way people could access international travel options enabling them to be virtually anywhere in the world within a matter of hours. New forms of communication emerged with the development of a global satellite communications network enabling people to watch Neil Armstrong take his one giant leap Live on their black-and-white TV screens (as I did in the corridors of Corio Primary School in 1969). Space exploration, the stuff previously just in the realm of science fiction writers, became a reality with manned and unmanned voyages to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. But the past one hundred years have also been a time of great upheaval with empires crumbling, governments toppled, wars waged, genocides committed, pandemics raging, nations birthed, rulers assassinated, and massive refugee movements from oppressive Islamic and Communist regimes. Added to this has been the demise of professional journalism and the rise of internet-citizen-journalism where it is now common for TV News reports to feature footage taken from someone’s cell-phone which was posted on social media rather than the more expensive option of sending their own film crew there. And while we’re mentioning the internet, let’s not forget to mention – the internet. This alone has possibly been the most monumental change in the way people communicate, work, learn, and shop. But while it was noted that the Queen had witnessed all of these many changes, it was also noted that the Queen herself was an unchanging constant during all these upheavals who brought about a sense of stability, peace and reassurance. To millions of people around the world, she was their rock in a world of turmoil and change. Yet this was only possible because she herself had an immovable, dependable rock upon which she had built her life.

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