During the last week at our Holiday Kids Club we’ve been looking at the story of Joseph and the rough treatment he suffered from the evil acts of his brothers and others.
In Genesis chapter 39, Joseph was falsely accused of harming a senior official’s wife, and as a result, he ended up in prison.
As we discussed this tragic moment in Joseph’s life, I asked the children in our programme to tell the group what they thought Joseph would have been feeling as he was alone in prison, falsely accused.
The kids suggested that Joseph would have felt confused, or sad, or angry, and even lonely.
The Bible doesn’t really tell us about Joseph’s feelings… but it does tell us that God never abandoned him during those difficult times.
We read that “the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love…” and that “The LORD was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.” (Genesis 39:21, 23).
As we reflected on how Joseph must have felt, we sang together the well-known song by Colin Buchanan, ‘Be strong and courageous’, which helped remind us all of the faithfulness that God has for his people.
And we were reminded that even in the most difficult times, we should remember that God will never leave us or forsake us, and that he works through all things for the good of those who love him.
And as we saw on the final, full day of the kids program, the evil that was done by Joseph’s brothers and others was something that God used to bring good:
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” (Genesis 50:20)
What a great comfort and joy to know that our loving God is totally in control of everything!
We are having a massive week of fun at our Holiday Kids Club and invite you to join us this weekend to continue our Egyptian journey as we look at how Jesus sets us free from sin. It will be a message that seeks to explain the essentials of the Christian faith to people of all ages and stages… ideal for first-timers!
We are taking a break from our question and answer segment for the school holidays, but feel free to continue asking questions as we will pick it back up when the new school term starts.
We would love to see you at our Saturday 5pm service, which will have a special Egypt theme as we celebrate all that we have learned together at the Holiday Kids Club, and will be followed with dinner for everyone. Or join us at our classic Sunday 9am service where we share morning tea afterwards over some tasty espresso.
Grace and peace, Jodie
When our church regularly gathers, we pray that God would send lots of rain to bring relief to our land from the harsh effects of drought.
For even though meteorologists have got smarter and smarter at predicting and recording the weather, humans still are unable to make the heavens open and rain fall.
The Bible speaks about drought and famine on many occasions, and sometimes the lack of rain is a means by which God wakes people up so that whey will turn back to him, like when King Solomon prayed:
“If the skies are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and if they pray toward this Temple and acknowledge your name and turn from their sins because you have punished them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them to follow the right path, and send rain on your land that you have given to your people as their special possession.King Solomon in 1 Kings 8:35-36
We also know that meteorological crises should not be seen as God’s normal, direct action upon rebellious people, for Jesus said that God “gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” (Matthew 5:45)
But whenever there is drought, we must remember that God is in control, and that it is a fresh reminder to acknowledge him as the loving ruler of the world, and to bring our prayers and requests to him.
Maybe God is sending this drought to Australia so that we will all turn to him in great number and enjoy the certainty of eternity that Jesus gives to all who humbly accept his gift of forgiveness?
And when it does rain, it’s a great opportunity to thank him for doing what the smartest meteorologists and scientists still cannot do: bring water from the sky to moisten the land and fill our dams.
It’s great to have a bit of a break over school holidays, but church continues at full steam ahead! Our speaker this weekend is Trevor Lucas, who will be helping us with the question, “Who Needs a High Priest?” Come along to find out from the book of Hebrews.
We’re having a short break from our normal ‘question and answer’ segment over the holidays, as we’re getting pumped up for our Holiday Kids Club which starts on Tuesday 8th through to Friday 11th October. If you still need to register, go to www.jamberooanglican.com/holidaykidsclub
So, we’re really looking forward to seeing you this Saturday at 5pm for an all-age service followed by dinner together. Or come along at 9am Sunday for a more classic-style Anglican service followed by espresso over morning tea.
Grace and peace, Jodie.
This week the speech of a 16-year-old Swedish girl was a leading news story as Greta Thunberg addressed the UN Climate Action Summit.
In her powerful speech, she strongly criticised the leaders of the world, accusing them of prioritising wealth and economic growth over action to address climate change.
You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you.Greta Thunberg
Yet, have politicians been negligent in the face of a catastrophic global crisis, or are they acting reasonably in response to limited resources and competing priorities?
The Bible does not specifically address the issue of climate change, but God tells us that we should “tend and watch over” his creation he made for us.
However, we all naturally drift towards selfishness and greed as we reject the loving rule of God and our responsibility to rule under his leadership.
The only way we can escape God’s judgement is to acknowledge our failures and make a fresh start by trusting Jesus and accepting the forgiveness that comes his death.
And as we rightly acknowledge God’s good rule over the world, we will then seek to take care of his creation, by avoiding selfishness and greed, and instead caring for others by preserving our planet.
There is no doubt that Greta’s criticisms have some merit, as we have seen tragic acts of environmental abuse from human greed and selfishness.
Yet, we must never forget that the greatest human crisis is the coming judgement by God, and so we must not lose focus on the need to share the good news of Jesus far and wide, knowing that this world will ultimately fade away.