Welcome to the Pastors’ Post, an update for life at Southern Cross. Only two more sleeps to go until Carols at City Hall and I can imagine for some of us it is like a ‘dream come true’ where you are able to take your mask off and see each other’s smile and then sing together at City Hall…‘Heaven on earth’. And yet for some of us it sounds like a ‘nightmare’. People with no masks, at an indoor venue, with no capacity limits, and singing…that sounds ‘hellish’ to me!
So before 5pm on Sunday, can I encourage you to have a think about what your expectations are? And can I cautiously suggest Carols will not meet your expectation. Because again for some of us, we might be excited to think we will see a heap of smiling faces and be struck by how many people are still wearing masks! And the person behind you may be thinking how very few people are wearing masks!! It is a confusing and complicated time…and again the path forward for us is love. Love in crisis. So for some of us, for our family and friends, a loving thing may be to try to paint expectations for a visiting family member and try to be upfront about what will occur there and it may be they choose not to come, and that’s ok. Then for some of us we might have a visiting friend who is desperate to go and you’re desperate not to go because with all the many changes over the last few days you are feeling more and more anxious and you are weighing the risk about whether to come and that’s ok too.
And if you are just happy either way, I think what is certainly true is, we need to pray. On lots of levels. For here are some hypotheticals. Let me list three possible scenarios:
1. Is it possible our friends or family may not feel comfortable to come? Yes, maybe.
2. Is it possible someone may be present and unknowingly have Covid? Yes, maybe.
3. Is it possible someone may hear the news of summer, the news of Christmas, and they may see they desperately need saving by Jesus? Yes, maybe.
So what can we positively know? We can know beyond a doubt…that we need to definitely PRAY!!
Carols at City Hall is this Sunday 19th December. The first session is 5pm-6pm. Second session is 7pm-8pm. Book via the link from City Hall. Current Covid guidelines are in place as of 15th December for NSW. You’ll need to sign in with NSW service app as per guidelines for religious gatherings. We will have that available on entry. Once inside, there’ll be ushers that will direct you to your seats that reflect the details from your seat number, so bring along your booking details on your phone or a print out. At the conclusion of the Carols we will encourage people to move directly outside to enjoy the fresh air and pass on your Christmas greetings.
Now, finally, Christmas Day, we’ll be back at Lismore High School at 9:45am Saturday 25th December, and then back again Boxing Day at 9:45am Sunday 26th December at Lismore High, followed by a BYO picnic lunch on the River at Coraki. No 6pm gathering on Boxing Day on that Sunday, and remember no Southern Cross Goonellabah gatherings on Christmas or Boxing Day.
Then our summer series kicks off in the book of Joshua, that is Sunday 2nd January at 9am at Southern Cross Goonellabah at Invercauld House, 9:45am and 6pm at Lismore High.
Let me conclude with a call to prayer for this crazy Christmas and summer that we are all about to embark on across the nation. Let me read from Paul’s prayer in Colossians chapter 4 and verse 2:
2 Devote yourselves to prayer,
being watchful and thankful.
3 And pray for us, too,
that God may open a door for our message,
so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ,
for which I am in chains.
4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.
5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders;
make the most of every opportunity.
6 Let your conversation be always full of grace,
seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how to answer everyone.
That’s it from the Pastors’ Posts for 2021. If you’re off for holidays, hope you have safe travels. The Pastors’ Post will be back at the end of summer so Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.