Welcome to the Pastors’ Pen – a written update for life at Southern Cross.
This Sunday is my last before I begin Long Service Leave. It has felt like a flustered time to get to this point. They say you need to work ‘double time’ before a period of leave like this! Yet, it is with deep joy and satisfaction that our mission continues with enthusiasm in my absence.
Our staff team has done a sterling job in preparing for this moment. A number of staff members have requested meetings with me to ensure they execute tasks required during my leave. Although these meetings take a good deal of time, they are always remarkably profitable. Meetings this week with some of the staff team began laying plans for our Christmas season at Southern Cross in 2022. You may be surprised to hear that! (Yes, even earlier than the shops’ Christmas decorations!!). This, however, is the fruit of a wonderfully gifted and proactive staff team. What a team! What a relief to leave with these competent leaders holding the fort!!
If you wish to pray for our family, pray that in the excitement of our leave, we will retain strong and vital communion with our Father God. We expect some of our travelling days across the country and back again to be filled with tension, irritability, and even exhaustion. However, in this tense state, pray that we would rest comfortability in our Father’s deep and tender care. Lots of wilderness images have filled my mind as we prepare to cross the ‘red centre’ of Australia with its dry, barren textures. We anticipate we will need to, at many moments, entrust ourselves to God’s daily provision. May this period grow our reflex to turn to our Father in prayer rather than blame each other or turn to flimsy human strategies and efforts. May God sustain us by his word. May we mirror Christ in his wanderings when he was pushed to grapple and cling to the deep and nourishing word of God.
4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:1-4