Wednesday after the Main Meeting we hopped on the buses and head to Chifley College in Sydney’s western suburbs. Our friends Jon and Lisa Owen and their Urban Neighbours of Hope team live and work in the area blessing the locals through friendship, practical support and the good news of Jesus. They’d arranged for us to do landscaping and other jobs at the school, so we got stuck in and wheeled the wheelbarrows and spread the mulch and scrubbed and scraped and dug and cleaned. Some of the teachers from the school even came in on their holidays to cook us a sausage sizzle – sweet!
Wednesday night we heard from Beth Lansom who volunteered on Mercy Ships in Africa, helping burns victims through surgeries and treatments that they’d otherwise be unable to access. She challenged us to lay down our own version of our ‘life plan’ and instead take on God’s agenda.
Mike Pilavachi preached on David in the Bible, and the story of how he was anointed to be King, and then went and continued to look after his sheep. While being a shepherd God taught him and prepared him with everything he’d need to be King. Take home message: We need to learn to worship and serve in the boring place, the hidden place and the lonely place. It’s in this place that God will teach us and prepare us to do the things we’re anointed to do.
Boring, hidden, lonely. Boring, hidden, lonely.
Sounds like a bummer when written down but it was really encouraging and challenging!
At the Thursday morning Main Meeting Emily Hopkins preached up a storm about the parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15). We learnt about the magnitude of what the son did by breaking relationship with his father and family. We imagined the indignity of his father ‘running’ to his son, as men of his age and status did not run. And we dwelt on the realisation that no amount of work will make up for what the son did, and that the only way forward was for him to receive the love of his father.
What about us? Will we dare to let God be ‘God’ towards us? Will we surrender to his ‘I love you’?
So much to dwell on!
While we’re dwelling… soccer starts this afternoon – who will win? Stay tuned!