Welcome to The Pastors’ Post, an update for life at Southern Cross.
Yesterday, I had a neighbour yell out to me, and as I approached them, they just broke down crying, “it’s just awful”.
Phrases like; “roof top”, “many still lost”, “everything gone”, “unprecedented”, “biggest ever”, “evacuate”, “help!”.
It’s just chilling.
Today, that nightmare has continued and it is just awful. Many of us are desperate to help and we feel powerless, hopeless and useless.
I am reading the Bible in a year in 2022 and one of today’s passages was Psalm 81 that exhorts the people of God to begin listening to God or God would give their stubborn hearts over, to follow their own devices. It was confronting for me to hear: for I am very quick to try to follow my own devices! Are you? So what is the answer?
The Psalm ends by again encouraging God’s people to listen to him and if they did they would be ‘fed with honey from the rock’. Give up your own devices, listen to God and be fed honey from the rock. It was sweet and sour news to me. Sour to me because I know I am often far too quick to act on my own devices and yet so incredibly sweet.
This will be my meditation for the week. I wonder if you might join me. Give up your own devices, your own plans, be fed sweetness from God. So how ought we then respond to this awful crisis?
What is the speed of love at his time? Many have known the speed instinctually. They simply ‘dropped everything’ to meet the need right before them. For some of us we have simply stood helpless from a distance.
Collectively this week, I would love us to consider ‘dropping love’. Where do we start with this love? How do we have the energy? The wisdom? The patience?
Remembering that God first loved us. That is the goal of our speed of love is that people would ultimately experience the deep love of God. Many have already done that, everything has been dropped to respond with speedy love. Thank you and keep doing that.
For others, you want drop what you’re doing to love others, but you just don’t know how. Here are ways you might consider ‘dropping love’:
- Drop some funds into an account for our flood response. We will provide that account to you so you can direct to that. We have had many Christians across the country eager to assist, if you have had that too, they may like to consider giving to that account. Our goal for these funds in the first instance, is to provide food vouchers over the coming weeks.
- You might like to drop some love to Park Ave. We will aim to collect some items; we are working on a list of items so you know what would be helpful to drop.
- Thank you to those who have dropped in to Park Ave or filled in our online form for providing accommodation. We are finding it difficult to connect the opportunities to the needs but we will be in contact if that is available.
- Over this week we will aim to have people on the premises at Park Ave and some gospel communities here each day if their members are able to come and drop in.
Just a few initiatives as we respond with the speed of love in this awful time.
Please, as we seek to love our city over the coming week, month and year, here is the love that ought to define us.
Love people well by listening.
Reflect to them how they are feeling.
Be empathetic, don’t try to drown them with your stories of hardship.
Remember, we have a loving father who is eager for you to speak to him, he will listen to your cries.
Whenever possible try to remain calm. Calm can be a refreshing gift to people in the midst of these awful events. So before you enter a premise to help or offer any assistance to others, ‘drop a line’ to God and pray to him. Cast your anxieties to him and then pray that you can calmly enter the room and listen well to the person before you.
Finally, this Sunday we have made a rough plan to meet on Sunday for a short gathering with SCG at 9am and East Lismore at 9:45am at Lismore High School. We are planning for kids to head directly into a kids program. Following our time together, we will not meet for morning tea but rather mobilise ourselves in order to ‘drop love’ to our city across the Sunday with time for people to debrief in the afternoon, therefore, we will not meet for 6pm.
Thanks for tuning in to The Pastors Post: