This is the latest blurb that is published on the front of our weekly bulletin

True Reconciliation

On the 26th of May, this country recognises Sorry Day and it remembers that over 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were taken from their families, many to pass, never to meet any of their loved ones.

Many are still walking on this earth looking to find their families. 

So it is still a raw thing and the trans-generational trauma is passed down through generations upon generations.  

It’s still a real thing in the lives of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

We can all say ‘sorry,’ but it is not the word we say, it’s the actions that we do that show that we recognise and show respect to one another and we mourn with those who mourn.

It’s important because you need to understand the past to know where we’ve been. 

One, that we don’t repeat it and, two, that in order to be reconciled we have to make amends and deal with it. 

So, I love when I think of God’s message, that he sent his Son down to deal with our sin, that his Son died upon the cross, that through the blood of Jesus, we are reconciled to him, and he rose in three days.

I love that image, that true reconciliation is done and is seen through the blood of Jesus Christ.

As God’s people, and as his church, we have the responsibility to be ambassadors of reconciliation. 

So I want to encourage us … that we would be bringing the true message of reconciliation to this country.


The Chair of the Sydney Anglican Indigenous Ministry Committee

(This is an edited extract of the original post at

A Day at at Time

From a young age we’ve instilled in our children the need to plan ahead for the future.

After all, we want to make sure that we’re prepared in every way for what may occur, and that’s why we think weeks, months and years ahead in our planning.

But what if we lived a day at a time?

In Numbers chapter 9 we read about the cloud of the Lord that covered the Tabernacle, which looked like a pillar of fire.

It led God’s people in this way:

Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. (Numbers 9:17)

But the amount of time at one place would vary from a single day to even a year, and they would move with very little notice.

God’s people lived a day at a time, waiting afresh to see what the Lord had in mind for their community.

This seems so different to the way we plan out our lives, sometimes with less regard for the overarching will of God.

We don’t have a tabernacle any more, but still we have this important warning in the letter of James:

Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

This is why it’s good practice for us to say, “God willing” when we speak about the future, for it shows our humility as we live in the world that is lovingly lead by our Lord.

What’s more, it can also open up opportunities for us to share our deep trust in our Lord, as we live in a world that increasingly ignores the creator and his gracious redemption for all who turn to him.


(photo credit: Dafne Cholet via

Division Over Unions

For the first time in five years, the national body of the Anglican Church of Australia met this week to discuss many matters, including its teaching about marriage.

In this first gathering since the marriage plebiscite in 2017, the members of this so-called ‘General Synod’ were asked to agree to a statement that simply reaffirmed what it had always declared, namely that marriage is between one man and one woman, exclusively, for life.

In the end, the decision was made to separate the vote into three ballots, and whilst the lay and clergy votes were firmly in support of the orthodox statement, the majority of bishops in charge of dioceses around Australia did not vote in favour, with 12 against and 10 for.

Because the statement was not passed, the Synod simply maintains the previous, orthodox position from 2017, although relationships within our national church continue to deteriorate.

For us in Jamberoo, this has very little impact, because our own Diocese of Sydney strongly affirms the Bible’s teaching on marriage, and is not required to adopt the theology of the national church.

Yet, for Anglican churches in dioceses where their bishops reject the Bible’s teaching on marriage, it becomes increasingly difficult for orthodox ministers to submit to the leadership of their progressive bishops.

That is why Gafcon is so important, as it provides support and encouragement to those who are seeking to faithfully teach the word of God in a hostile environment.

Furthermore, recent developments in Gafcon Australia have begun to provide a pathway for individual churches to leave the Anglican Church of Australia and join a new diocese, in fellowship with over 70% of orthodox Anglicans around the world.

Let us pray that those who have strayed from the orthodox position will repent and believe the clear teachings in the Bible, and resist the temptation to conform to the world.

Let’s also pray that through these challenging times that the Lord will give us fresh energy to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations!


(Photo credit: 19melissa68 via

Who rules really?

If you didn’t know better, you’d think that the destruction of Jerusalem and the imprisonment of her leaders was sign of God’s failure.

Because when God’s people suffer at the hands of an enemy king, it looks like God is weak, unloving or perhaps just an imaginary being.

Yet everything that happened was according to God’s plan, for his actions were a punishment upon his people for their rebellion.

We learn about this from the prophet Ezekiel:

“…when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by the evil way they lived… so I poured out my fury on them. I scattered them to many lands to punish them for the evil way they had lived. But when they were scattered among the nations, they brought shame on my holy name. For the nations said, ‘These are the people of the LORD, but he couldn’t keep them safe in his own land!’ Then I was concerned for my holy name… Therefore… I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name… And when I reveal my holiness through you before their very eyes… then the nations will know that I am the LORD. For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land.” (Ezekiel 36:17-24)

The catastrophic events that open up the book of Daniel were all part of God’s plan, but despite the tragedy, there was hope for God’s people because of the Lord’s hunger to demonstrate the true glory of his name.

And the ultimate rescue of God’s people was brought about by Jesus at the cross, where our salvation proved the goodness and kindness of God, and enabled all the nations to know that his name is truly holy.

What a joy to know that our salvation is guaranteed because of God’s rightful hunger for his glory to be known to the world!


(Photo credit: Edge Earth via Flickr)

A Kyck for Christ at Katoomba

Last weekend, 30 youth and leaders from Jamberoo Anglican headed up to the Blue Mountains to attend KYCK, a conference for high schoolers.

From Friday night until Sunday lunchtime, we gathered together with over 2000 other young Christians.

We ‘enjoyed’ the famous Blue Mountains cold and rain for the purpose of meeting together with youth from churches around the state, sitting under God’s word together and singing praises to him.

Over the 6 sessions of the weekend, we looked at the book of Philippians, and particularly thought about the theme of ‘Joy’.

We were encouraged by Paul’s words and example of joy, writing about being confident in the supremacy and love of Christ, even as he penned those words from a prison cell.

Philippians 3:6-7 reads ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’

Joy according to Philippians looks like having confidence in Christ, and being ‘stoked on Jesus despite circumstances.’

For a Christian, we can always have joy in Christ whatever situation we find ourselves in.

Joy exists alongside day-to-day emotions like happiness or sadness.

Paul’s situation in a Roman prison was hardly a happy experience, but he was so joyful in Christ.

Paul knew his eternity was secure with Christ, so he could remain full of joy.

Nearly 2000 years later, that truth remains the same for us.

If we have a relationship with Jesus, Romans 8:31-39 reminds us that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of Christ.

My prayer for us is that we keep leaning into our relationship with Jesus, and keep discovering the peace of God, which transcends all understanding.

That’s something to be joyful about.


Relentless Reminders

Have you ever come to church only to hear something you already knew? Do you often sit down at bible study or church and think to yourself “yep, I already know all this stuff”.

Are we doing something wrong? Should we spend less time reminding people of things they already know?

Well the Apostle Peter doesn’t have a problem saying the same things over and over, 2 Peter 1:12 Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught.

What are ‘these things’ that Peter reminds them of? Maybe they are complicated issues of the faith that believers sometimes forget about?

He reminds believers that they should respond to God’s promises with godly living. 

More specifically, he gives them a list of qualities they should pursue; moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, patient endurance, godliness, brotherly affection and love (1:5-7)

These Christians are standing firm in the truth, so why does Peter need to remind them so often?

Did they completely forget to live godly lives just as we will forget a password, birthday or anniversary?

I don’t think so. Peter knows they didn’t intellectually forget but that they may practically forget.

Peter doesn’t just want believers to intellectually accept the truth, he wants them to live it out!

You are going to be reminded of things you already ‘know’ because the things in our heads don’t always carry across to our hands.

Which of those qualities do you know you should live out… but don’t?

Take heart friends, for “by his divine power God has given us everything we need for living a godly life” (1:3). 

We can change because God lives in us!

Take every reminder from God as a blessing and keep pushing into godliness so “God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (v. 11).


Facing the Future

How confident are you about the future?

There are so many unknowns right now, aren’t there?

At a time of escalating war in Europe, and an ongoing global pandemic, it’s harder and harder to make plans about anything.

Sometimes it’s hard to be confident in the future when there’s so much uncertainty, but there’s actually something in which we can have total confidence.

We can have total confidence in our eternal future, if we personally follow Jesus.

The Bible tells us that if we personally follow Jesus, then we can be totally confident about Judgement Day.

In Romans 8 we read that, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” (verse 31 and 32)

We can have certainty for eternity because God gave up his Son Jesus for us.

But what’s more, we are spiritually bulletproof if we follow Jesus, verse 33:

33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honour at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

That means that on Judgement Day there will be no condemnation for those who personally follow Jesus.

Furthermore, because Jesus rose from the dead, it means that we’ve got more than enough evidence for our confidence.

We can have “right standing” with God, because Jesus took our place.

If you personally follow Jesus as your loving ruler, then he will take care of you on Judgement Day, and you will have nothing to fear.

That’s a future we can have confidence in!


(photo credit: Dr. Matthias Ripp via

Spiritual Confidence

Often when I’m having a chat with someone and it seems right to talk to them about the good news of Jesus, I’ll ask them this question: “If you were to die today and stand before God and He were to say to you, ‘why should I let you into My Heaven?’ What would you say?”

It’s a question that the ‘Evangelism Explosion’ organisation wrote to help people get talking about God… and to help ‘diagnose’ where people find their confidence in eternal things.

Just recently I asked someone this question, and I heard again the normal answer: “Well, I’d tell him that I’ve been a pretty good person and that I haven’t done anything really bad…”

This answer naturally leads me to say, “well, you know, that answer doesn’t actually work for anyone, because with God, even one rebellious act against him is enough to make us deserve Hell.”

And from there, I tell them that there’s only ever been one person in history who lived a life that pleased our Father in Heaven, and that’s Jesus.

And because Jesus lived a perfect life, he is the only person who could offer to swap his perfect performance for our imperfect performance… and that’s exactly what happened when he died on the cross for us.

So, if we follow Jesus, having asked for his forgiveness, then he will bring us that certainty for eternity because of his great kindness to us.

Then, I’ll often talk about the story of the salvation of the thief on the cross… which is such a great moment in history that shows the power of grace, not works.

This then leads to a stark reality: since this is true, we can have complete confidence in our eternal life with Jesus in Heaven.

That’s spiritual confidence… because all our confidence is on the performance of Jesus, not us… and his grace to us is not because of anything we’ve done.


(Photo credit: Chris & Karen Highland via

A Memorial To God

On Wednesday night I joined with millions around the world to watch the telecast from the MCG of the memorial service for Shane Warne.

It was a joyful occasion of thanksgiving for the life of a man who entertained people throughout the world with his antics on and off the cricket field.

As someone who has the privilege of conducting funeral services, I found it fascinating to watch what happens when unbelievers try to make sense of death and the afterlife.

We heard that Shane was “taken from us” too young… an acknowledgement that someone or something was in control of the universe.

Another person was certain that he would be together with Warnie again soon… which showed a confidence in life after death.

Others mentioned that they knew that Shane was watching down on them, as a star in the sky.

Furthermore, nearly all of those who reflected on his life did so by directly addressing Shane, even though they had already conducted a funeral to dispose reverently of his mortal body.

It seemed that there were very few, if any, materialistic atheists at that memorial service.

Almost everyone spoke as though there was immortality of the soul in some way, and that the death of a body does not signal the end of a person’s existence.

And yet there was almost no mention of God at all.

This is tragic, for we know that, “each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27).

So, no matter how positive a person might feel about their eternal future, there is judgement awaiting them.

And the only way to be rescued from that judgement is through Jesus, for “Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people” (Hebrews 9:28).


(Photo credit: Tomme G via

Jesus Will Forgive

“We. Will. Not. Forgive. Hundreds and hundreds of victims. Thousands and thousands of sufferings. And God will not forgive. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never. And instead of Forgiveness, there will be a Day of Judgment.”

Last week the President of the Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, pronounced an emotional judgement on the Russian enemy that has caused such horror and destruction.

His words were confronting, but if it was the mothers and babies at Shellharbour Hospital that were bombed by a ruthless enemy, then we’d have more empathy with this response.

Around 3000 years ago, God’s people were attacked by a brutal enemy, and so they cried out, “O God, do not be silent… Don’t you hear the uproar of your enemies?” (Psalm 83:1-2)

They call to God to act, asking him to “chase them with your fierce storm… terrify them with your tempest” (verse 15), and above all, for those enemies to be disgraced (verse 16-17).

We might feel a little embarrassed by this violence in the Bible, until we see another report from Ukraine… and then we empathise with their president’s lack of willingness to forgive.

When we or a family member is a victim of crime, we want justice, but the problem is that every human is naturally guilty of rejecting God.

And so whilst we seek justice, we also know our deep need for mercy.

Which is what makes Jesus’ words on the cross so remarkable: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Justice was satisfied on the cross of Good Friday, and all of us who deserve God’s anger can be forgiven if we ask Jesus for mercy.

God understands justice, and he also understands mercy.

For at the cross, justice and mercy embrace.

Jesus. Will. Forgive.