Depression and anxiety are at plague proportions in our modern, affluent land, and no matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to get the joy we need.
Even though we have greater wealth, improved health, longer life-expectancy, and the opportunities to connect with countries across the globe, we seem to be sadder than ever.
I was reminded that a great antidote to many mental ailments is becoming drawn into a partnership with something much bigger than the individual.
On the one level, this means that joining an outwardly-focused club or community organisation will mean we are led to focus less on ourselves and more on others.
But on a greater level, this means that when you come to be a follower of the maker of the heavens and the earth—God, who holds the universe in his hands—you then have an invitation to see your own concerns deeply met as you lift up your head to worship the one who loves you deeply and gave his son to die for you.
Yet, even those who are followers of Jesus will find themselves in times of depression, when joy seems hard to find.
Psalm 51 tells us that in times of sin, we can be overwhelmed with guilt and sadness… and that as we humbly ask God to forgive our sin, we need to then seek something more: joy.
As David prayed,
“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice.” (Psalm 51:7-8).
As the burden of sin is lifted from our shoulders, we can know afresh the deep, deep love of Jesus, and can experience true, deep joy in the forgiveness of sin and the hope of eternal life in Christ Jesus.
This weekend we’re going to hear the story of Gideon, one of the most famous leaders in the Bible, and the man known for millions of Bibles in hospitals and motels throughout the world. We’re going to consider his dramatic rise to leadership, and then the events that saw his decline.
In all of this, we will have a fresh reminder of how much God loves us and forgives us, even when we fail to serve him as we should. That’s the theme over and over again in the Old Testament book of Judges, and we’ll see more of it this weekend.
As always, we’ve got a stack of questions that you asked last week, and I’m looking forward to answering. They are:
1. Why does God love us when we constantly sin against him?
2. Why did God make us when he knew we would reject him?
3. Why doesn’t God prevent people from making stupid mistakes?
4. Does God love everyone or only Christians?
5. What was the first Christian song?
6. What’s the difference between submitting and serving?
7. Can you be gay and still come to church?
We’d really love you to join us at 5pm Saturday for an all-age and stage church service, with kids programs for toddlers, infants and primary, followed by a hearty dinner for all, then youth group. Or come along on Sunday at 9am for our classic Anglican service, complete with espresso coffee and great morning tea.
If you’ve not come to church for a while, then this is the perfect weekend to join us. Or if you’re a regular, don’t miss out on a great opportunity to serve each other and enjoy the delights of our community.
Grace and peace, Jodie.
This weekend we continue our series ‘Hope Beyond Chaos’ as Jodie delivers the fourth talk ‘The Chorus of the Saved’, from Judges 5:1-31.
Next week we will continue our series on Judges as Jodie opens up Judges 6:1-8:28 with the title, ‘The Making and Breaking of a Leader’
It’s not too late to join us at 8am this Saturday morning at James Rosten’s house, 1 Sproule Crescent. Just turn up with your $10 and get ready for an overload of cooked breakfast goodies!
Anglicare is our mission of the month. Support at the ‘Mission Table’ by buying stuff or donating stuff.
Our ‘Elvanto’ system is now connected to SMS. If you don’t have email, we can connect with you through your mobile. If you don’t have an email, please advise your mobile number on a response slip.
Saturday 8th June 3pm at the church. Come along to help plan how you can serve our community with love and good deeds, to the glory of God.
Saturday 15th June 8.30am-2pm at Dapto Anglican Church. $40 ($30 concession) includes Lunch. Speaker: Sam Chan. Details www.gongmensday.org This is a not-to-be-missed event for the men of our church.
There are no birthdays this coming week, but happy anniversary to Rayne and Tim Orange, and Trevor and Robyn Lucas, both celebrating on the 27th May.
Each week we need to receive $2650.00 in order to meet our commitments. In the last calendar month, our average weekly giving was $2561.00, leaving a gap of $89.00. Up to the end of the last calendar month we needed to have received $56,975. Compared to that total we received $52,330, leaving a gap of $4,645.
Electronic giving is a great way to give! It helps us prayerfully plan our giving, and then the bank will help us keep that commitment, even when we may be unable to attend. To give by direct transfer then these are the details. Account name: Church of England Jamberoo. Account number: 10081274. BSB: 062562.
It’s hard to believe that the Canadian church has wandered so far from its roots.
Back in 1603, a French man by the name of Samuel de Champlain crossed the Atlantic to try and colonise the ‘New World’ and preach Christianity throughout the land.
As a result, the church heavily influenced family, state and culture in Canada.
But only fifty years ago the ‘Quiet Revolution’ swept the country, leading to a widespread rejection of Christianity.
Today, Prime Minister Trudeau continues to push complete acceptance of non-Christian values such as homosexuality and abortion.
Now, less than one in ten Canadians call themselves Bible-believing Christians, and in places like Quebec, it’s as low as 2%.
Things are so bad that Canada is now considered a top priority for missionary organisations, such as the Southern Baptists in the USA.
The decline in the church has worsened as the reputation of the church is damaged through scandals, such as sexual abuse in the Catholic church and the appointment of United Church pastors who are atheists.
From this, countless churches have shut down, leaving many towns without a Christian presence.
Yet, there is a movement of church planting that has swept the country, giving new life to many cities and towns.
Student ministry in universities has had a tremendous impact on people in a stage of life where they often leave the church.
Many churches continue to faithfully serve God, even through trying times.
Please pray for a new emergence of Christian leaders who will spread the gospel and lead the church with Christ at the centre.
Pray for colleges like Briercrest, which seek to faithfully teach the Bible to university students and train people for gospel work.
We have three big events this weekend, and we’d love you to join us.
Firstly, on Friday night at 6.30pm our highschoolers are heading up the escarpment for a Youth Event in partnership with Robertson Anglican (64 Hoddle Street). If you need a lift, then be at our church at 5:45pm.
Secondly, on Saturday morning at 8am our guys are joining together for a Men’s Breakfast at James Rosten’s house, as we hear from our visiting Canadian men. For more details (and to tell us you’re coming) click this link.
Thirdly, at our 5pm Saturday service we’re having a special Canada Night, which will be followed by Canadian food and games as we hear from our Canadian visitors about what it’s like to be a Christian in the land of ice hockey, maple syrup and moose.
During our two church services, we’ll be hearing the next instalment from our ‘Hope Beyond Chaos’ series in the book of Judges, as I look at chapter 5, where we read of the ‘Chorus of the Saved‘. We’ll also have a question and answer time as I share my thoughts on these beauties from last weekend:
1 How would an Israelite be protected in the Passover if they couldn’t afford to sacrifice a lamb?
2 What is “the unforgivable sin”?
3 Does God “give” or “allow” sickness to happen to people?
4 Why does God kill people in the Bible when he’s supposed to be full of forgiveness and grace?
5 What is a ‘latrine’?
6 Since Catholics believe different things and pray to Mary, will they go to Heaven?
7 Why do we have a question time?
So, we’d love you to come at 5pm on Saturday night for an all-age service (with creche, kids’ programs, dinner, and youth group), or 9am Sunday morning for a more classic Anglican service (with tasty espresso coffee at morning tea).
Grace and peace, Jodie.