25th April 2021 – 3rd Sunday after Easter

Although we are probably not used to marking this day with a Sunday church service (Anzac Day last fell on a Sunday in 2010), I am sure there is no better place for us to be on this day when we reflect on the reality of war in our fallen world.  I hope you will be encouraged by the word of God.  We will be observing a minute’s silence at each service.

There is comfort and strength in the words of Psalm 46, the traditional psalm for times of war, and the basis of one of today’s hymns, “God is our strength and refuge”.  Many of us cannot imagine just how much the experience of war must make the world seem to shake for those in the midst of it.  Yet while the mountains may shake and the earth change, God is unchanged, existing in the serenity of his heavenly sanctuary.  This would be no comfort if God were far off enjoying his serenity while we shake.  But as the psalm teaches, “God’s help is swiftly given”; he is a “very present help in trouble”.  He is not far off.  And the proof of this lies in the fact that his Son has walked his earth with us, and is still intimately involved with the work of his church right now.

The “works of our maker” in the psalm refers to the destruction of all weapons of war – something we will only see at the end when Jesus returns for all to see that he is king.  But this very day we can call on him for help, and he will hear us and answer.

Here is a good thing to think on: the words of today’s collect, that God alone can “order the unruly wills and passions of sinful men”.  That is the truth, and it is why we need to call on God for help.

In brief:

  • Sunday School and Youth Bible study are back on today at the 10 am service.  Kids’ Club, Youth, Playgroup and ESL have also recommenced after the school holidays.
  • There is a working bee this Saturday.  I hope you can come and get involved in some gardening, tidying and cleaning.  It’s good fun!
  • Please keep the Archbishop election in your prayers (to be held next week, beginning 4th May).  I will write more about it next Sunday.
  • You may remember that two weeks, ago, on Sunday 11 April, the WA coast was hit by tropical cyclone Seroja.  In Kalbarri, 70% of the town’s buildings, including the church, have been damaged.  Anglican Aid (a.k.a. the Archbishop’s Appeal) is raising funds for the parish of Kalbarri.  As well as repairing the church, these donations will enable the church to reach out in love to the community.  I made a donation to this appeal and would encourage you to do so as well, if you are able.  Sometimes we are quite able to afford to give, and the only thing stopping us is the bother of putting our details into the website!  You can give here: https://anglicanaid.org.au/cyclone-seroja-emergency-appeal/. Please also keep the parish in your prayers.