For me, the readings of this Sunday are filled with a sense of journey and anticipation. It’s the first day of advent coming up and we can learn a lot about how we’re meant to posture ourselves from the 3 readings this Sunday. In Isaiah, the prophet has this incredible vision of all people from all nations journeying up a huge mountain to the Temple of God, to hear his Word and to follow him. From there peace will come upon everyone in all lands and nations to the point that they beat their weapons of war into peaceful tools for farming! As Christians this text has a deeper meaning, because we have a new Temple of God, we have a Prince of Peace named Jesus - and this season is like our mountain-climbing journey to him at Christmas.
So we’ve gotta be ready for this journey, but how? If you wanted to go on a hike up a mountain, there are some things you have to think about before you head off. I actually really enjoy packing a bag for a journey like that, you leave behind all the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years and only take the essentials of what you’ll need. This is kind of what the second reading and the Gospel are making sure we’ve done as we prepare for this journey to Jesus. Have we left behind the junk in our lives? Have we kicked the bad habits and removed the nasty parts of our lives? Have we made peace with the people who hurt us or who we’ve hurt? It’s so important we prepare ourselves in anticipation of the coming of Jesus at Christmas, and also for his second coming. Are you ready?
"Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light"
This Sunday's scripture readings:
ISAIAH 2:1-5 | PSALM 122 | ROMANS 13:11-14 | MATTHEW 24:37-44
25 years ago, a 17 year old girl boarded a plane from Mackay to Brisbane into a whole new world she had no idea existed. I had just spent the last 2 and a half years not living my potential. I had just discovered the saving power and love of Jesus Christ – I had thought that I had done so many bad things that I had gone beyond where God could reach me. Thankfully through a few people who hadn’t given up on me, I came to know that there was nowhere I could run from God’s love.
It’s been two weeks since summer camp, and while we can’t speak for anyone else who was there, it’s been hard coming down the mountain and trying to sustain ‘faith’ at home outside of the oasis of camp. Life seems pretty different to summer's adventures & our Summer Camp MC's Jess and Claire are here with a few tips on how to make it back into the 'real world'.
A new year has started! Woohoo! New Resolutions have been set, and hopefully this will be the year that they aren’t broken. Because – guess what - it's your choice now.
Today marks a pretty important day in Australia - the Boxing Day Test. Whether you’re a Brit or an Aussie, I can guarantee that in homes all across the country people will be emerging from their Christmas Day food coma, nabbing the best seat on the couch and settling in for a long day of watching the cricket. Of course, tea breaks are the best time to throw in a water fight, play some backyard cricket or grab some leftovers from the fridge. It’s a time-worn tradition. But it's also important for another reason.
As a kid, I was stoked to be a part of Christmas Mass. All the children got to be angels, farm animals, and shepherds adorned in their mum’s tea towels and sheets. The older kids were chosen to be the wise men, and one girl got to be Mary. If you were in Innisfail in 2006 you would have seen the nervous face of 12-year-old me in the special role. Things have changed a little since then...
Do you know where the whole ‘Christmas tree idea’ came from?
Apparently the ancient Egyptians and Romans used leaves as a symbol of worship to their Gods. Pagans would bring evergreens into their homes during the winter months and decorate them with nuts to brighten the mood. There are several stories of how this transformed into the modern Christmas tree...
Have you ever heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a new idea?” Well, this isn’t a new idea ... Even if it is an old idea, it is a good idea, so it is worth repeating.
Do you ever wonder if you are too young to lead? Or too old? Somewhere in between? If there’s anything I’ve learned about leadership it’s that each stage and age of leadership offers a unique perspective and a unique gift.
Students crash down from mountain top experiences because we focus on the journey up, not the journey back down to everyday life.
I don’t know about you but my post-conference week has been brutal. I miss you all. I miss chilling out in the festival with you, I miss the random conversations that start in the food line, I miss the rallies with the incredible speakers and I miss worshipping our God with you.