Christmas is upon us (that seems to have happened fast as always). One of my prayers is that you and your wider families have a wonderful, Christ honouring, and blessed Christmas this year.
What a privilege it has been for me to be in ministry of the gospel alongside you. I am so very thankful to God for many of the things that we have been able to do as 5pm Church this last twelve months. Further I am constantly humbled (in a good way) by the responsibility you give me to teach the Bible and direct ministry as your Pastor. Thank you.
Australia approaches Christmas this year with two significant national events weighing on our minds. The accidental death of the cricketer Phillip Hughes and the Sydney Café Hostage Siege with the tragic death of two of the hostages. The first prompted the front page headline in Adelaide Now ‘PRAY FOR PHILLIP’ and the second led to one of the top treading hastag’s on Monday night ‘#prayforsydney’.
So interesting given how secularized we have become as a nation. It would seem that secular humanism didn’t exactly provide the comfort and hope that so many needed at a time that was so awful. That said, they got it exactly right. Pray.
Christians have the immense privilege of knowing that not just in tragedy, but in everyday we can talk to God and he will listen.
Here is something else Christians have the immense privilege of knowing. Christmas is not the only time one can sing the praises of Jesus – we do that day in, week in throughout our lives.
Friends, let’s pray that this year, Christmas for our secular world might take on a more significant place, such that the birth of God’s Saviour might be celebrated not just on the 25th December, but that day in and week in following many would come to know that Jesus to there for them always and in him they will find comfort and hope.
Here is a prayer we (and they) might like to pray….
You know all things. We pray for all those affected by the sudden death of Phillip Hughes and all those affected by the hostage tragedy in Sydney.
Have compassion on Australia at this time. Comfort and relive those who grieve the loss of loved ones. Heal those who have survived and who may feel broken in spirit. Strengthen the witness of Christians and enable all to minister with Christ-like compassion to the broken-hearted, the confused and the distressed. Give wisdom to community leaders, emergency services and security personnel as they provide guidance. And grant Australians the resolve to stand united in the face horror along with courage and hope in the midst of despair.
In an uncertain world, marked by senseless violence and selfishness, have mercy on us all. Help every citizen this Christmas to come to a saving knowledge of your son, Jesus Christ – the Prince of Peace.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.