It’s only in the last few years that we have felt the Lord lead us to adopt a theme for the year. Last year, before many of us went into lockdown in our homes, we had felt the Lord put on our hearts the theme, Welcome home. This year, we have felt the Lord lead us to focus on the theme, grow. The word grow conjures up different emotions in me. There was a time, quite early in my pastoral ministry, when it was recommended to me that I engage a ministry coach. It was my desire to do all I could to see our little church at Legana grow. The ministry coach agreed that this should be my focus. It just so happened that at this time I was in the throes of my doctoral studies.
I suspect I was born with an over-developed sense of justice. From the time I was a child, if I didn’t think something was just or right, then it really upset me. Break the rules? Then you deserve the consequences that come your way, I thought – even if I didn’t verbalise it. I still vividly remember my annoyance in highschool at the teacher who told us we couldn’t wear jackets or coats over our school uniform in class (in snowy weather, mind you) – whilst he was wearing a fleecy lined jacket. “Unfair!!” my teenage-overdeveloped-justice screamed internally. Similarly the teacher who reminded us not to rock on our chairs, despite his own habit of doing so. Clearly perfection was a standard I unfortunately held teachers to, even if I didn’t meet that standard myself.
Most people are unaware that they are the focus of an insidious scheme by an enemy who uses any and every trick possible to harm them! The ancients knew of this scheme and warned as many as would listen. Back in a time when people were generally more spiritual, this vile plot to undermine people’s welfare was frequently exposed; but now in our day, when such things are dismissed as the mere rants of a by-gone era of silly superstitious simpletons, the tricks of the enemy are actually embraced and welcomed by a culture now drunk on the enemy’s liquor of deception. But we hav no reason to fear our Enemy and he has every reason to fear the One who is in us!
I really like a clever movie and Yesterday is a really clever movie! All too often movie trailers reveal the two best scenes of a movie. But Yesterday’s trailers only hinted at the movie’s premise without spoiling it – or giving the plot away. All we are told in the trailers is that the entire world – except for one struggling singer-musician – has absolutely no recollection of the Beatles! After being hit by a bus just as a freak solar flare caused the entire planet to lose electrical and battery power, Jack Malik (the struggling singer-musician) is then hospitalised. Upon being released, his friends present him with a new guitar to replace his bus-crushed one. They beg him to try it and play them a song. He performs Yesterday and moves his friends to admiring tears. They ask him when he wrote this song. He thinks they are pulling his leg – but they aren’t. When he gets home he is baffled by their response and Googles “the Beatles” only to discover that not even Google has heard of the Beatles!