3 October 2019

Spring is in the air!

I have a theory that the week leading up to the October long weekend is always a foretaste of the warmth to come, and that theory has certainly been upheld this week. There will be cold and bleak (and hopefully wet) days to come before summer hits, but this is a week of warmth and sun and still cool nights. The trees and flowers are blooming (even in my neglected garden) and the birds and bees are busy and noisy. And those annoying flying bugs have been flying around being annoying.

Spring is in the air at St Michael’s too. It’s our Equip season – the time for our particular focus on being equipped to serve God and his church here in Wollongong, and beyond. A bit like a spring clean, it’s time to clear out the cobwebs and be refreshed in our service of others; whether that means being equipped to try something new, or being encouraged in a ministry we’ve been involved in for decades.

Recently in our morning services, we’ve been working through 1 Peter and thinking about what it looks like to live distinctive Christian lives in an increasingly hostile world, because we know that the end is coming, and our eternal inheritance is certain. In the evenings as we’ve looked at 1 John, we’ve been reminded that those who have been made God’s children through Christ are to love him by the way that we love our brothers and sisters.

Any goal that I’m working towards will change the way that I live now, whether it’s waiting for a wedding, waiting to move house, or waiting for my retirement. It will change my focus and change my behaviour. As God’s children who are chosen by the Father, and made so by the work of his Son through the work of his Spirit in our lives, we are waiting for eternity with him. That must impact how we live now. It must change our focus and our behaviour. We live hope-filled lives that will prompt others to ask the reason for the hope that we have. We seek to grow God’s kingdom and to build up the body of Christ by the way that we love and serve others.

One of the things we really value at St Michael’s is the contribution that each person makes to the building up of the whole body of Christ. Each of us has something to contribute in order that as a whole body we might grow in unity, and Christ-like maturity. What can you do this spring to be better equipped to love and to serve your brothers and sisters? How can you serve the body of Christ? It starts with being equipped by his spirit through his word; on our own, with others, and Sunday by Sunday as we meet with our brothers and sisters.

In the next week or so, the programme and rego form for our Equip – Ministry Training Week will be available. It includes a wide variety of opportunities to be equipped to serve, whether it’s by the way that we come to church on Sundays, by reading the Bible with another person, by reaching out to your community, or by leading a team.

With spring in the air, how can you be equipped for the summer ahead?