Advent is well upon us. This last Sunday we began our short sermon series which will take us all the way through to Christmas. We’ve called it “Jesus for the World” and over the next few weeks we’re going to explore some of the many ways that the Old Testament makes it clear that God’s great rescue plan in Jesus was always intended for not just Israel but the whole world.
This is something that we often take for granted or simply don’t think through enough but it’s an important truth for us to grasp hold of, especially in a church like St John’s where we come together from so many different places. It might actually be more accurate to describe us as “brought together by Jesus from so many different places”.
Last Sunday we saw that the original promises to Abraham, especially that “all nations will be blessed through you” is what the Apostle Paul calls “the gospel in advance” (Gal. 3:8). The gospel, the good news of what God has done for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus, doesn’t just save us – it saves us into a vibrant community drawn from all over the world. This was always the main plan, it was never Plan B.
The last two years of Covid have seen many of us retreat into more restricted spaces. Repeated lockdowns and other restrictions have kept us at home. We’ve been incredibly limited in what we can do and, more significantly, who we can meet with. The last 6 months especially have been very difficult. Yet at the same time we can get overly used to living this way. It’s always safer being in a more limited space; everything is the way that we know it and like it. We feel comfortable there.
But Advent makes us look up and reassess things. The start of a new church year is a great moment to begin again. As restrictions ease it’s wonderful to see more and more people returning to church. Can I encourage you, if you’ve not rejoined us to make this Sunday the day when you join together with your church family again to fully express that “gospel in advance” promise to Abraham that all nations will be blessed.
And, as we look forward to 2022 (yes, we can look forward!), will you commit with me to put new energy into expressing this “all nations” gospel in our life together? Our guiding theme in the first quarter of next year is going to be “back on track”. We want to get things back on track after the last two years. That means not only returning to what we did before but making sure that the things we do are done as well as possible. Over the coming months we’ll share more of what we’ve got planned in areas such as a renewed and remodelled “Partnership Pipeline”, continuing to expand our Growth Groups ministry and some exciting events for all our many leaders of ministry across the church family.
But most of all we simply need to live out the gospel of all nations blessed through Jesus. It was never Plan B so let’s make it Plan A together!
See you at church this Sunday!
David Ould / Senior Associate Minister
St John’s Anglican Cathedral, Parramatta
PRAY: Give thanks that the gospel saves us into a vibrant community drawn from all over the world. Pray that we would put new energy into expressing this “all nations” gospel in our life together.
Join us this Sunday for our Sunday services. We meet at 8am, 9:30am, 11am and 5pm at the Cathedral. Check out out Sunday services page for more information on our face-to-face services.