I wonder if you watched the Commonwealth Games recently. It seems that Cairns was abuzz with Games fever. Us Aussies did really well and some of our athletes performed out of their skin. The Games were not without controversy – a couple of transgender athletes, nightclub fights and a handful of athletes disappearing but there were also some truly amazing and inspirational moments coming out of some of the events.
One of these moments was when 3 Australian women who had just completed the 10000-meter race waited at the finish line for the last runner to compete the grueling track event. Although they had finished around 4 minutes ahead of the last placed Lineo Chaka, Celia Sullohern, Madeline Hills and Eloise Wellings did not leave the track
until they had clapped and cheered the African runner across the finish line. When asked why they stayed back for the last runner, one of the Australian athletes commented, “We’re there for each other and we’re out there having a go,” Sullohern said. “They always want to be there for each other when times are tough on the track.” It seems to me that the actions of these athletes were a wonderful illustration of sportsmanship and support for those fellow athletes running the race along side them.
Their actions also are a great illustration of Romans 15:1-2;
“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbour for his good, to build him up.”
At times being a believer can feel like long distance running and there are particular seasons when it is ‘tough on the track’! It is at these times when a word of encouragement or act of care can make a world of difference. Has someone cheered you on when things were tough? Is God prompting us to cheer on and encourage and build someone else up today? We are all in this ‘race’ as the Apostle Paul also writes, so let us be there for each other when times are tough on the track!
One way we can be there for one another is to keep an eye out for each other at our Sunday services. We have been made aware that there have been a few incidents where some would seek to intimidate a few of our members during our services. We do have a wonderful opportunity to welcome people to our church, and for the majority there are some wonderful people that visit us but unfortunately, from time to time, there are some who would seek to disrupt and take advantage of our hospitality. Now we are not on a ‘witch hunt’ but can I encourage every member to be alert and to speak out if you see this happening.
We had a great prayer meeting in April. Over 30 of us came together to pray for the church and to encourage one another. I am calling for another prayer meeting on the 23rd May, 2018. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 tells us:
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
At this time we will come together to pray as a church about our mission. Who are reaching? How can we reach them? We’ll pray for our family and friends that don’t know Jesus yet. We’ll pray and ask the Lord to show how we might reach those with the gospel. I trust you will be able to put it in your diary and make it a point to come.
May is Missions Month and we have a few guest speakers organised during the month. In the past, there has always been an offering that was taken up for all our missionaries and mission organisations that we support or have connection with. This year we want to do our mission offering a little differently. Instead of taking one offering up for Mission in May, we will over the year be making the church aware of some needs that arise from those people we support and we will as a church try and meet those needs when they arise. This offering is as it has been, on top of our normal budgetary mission allocation.
There’s plenty of things happening around the place over May, I trust we will have a great month of fellowship and that the Lord continues his work amongst us.