Last weekend was an amazing time engaging with God over the things He is placing on our minds and hearts. May it not be just a one-off time but that we might continue to nurture a culture of prayer within our church. While the pastoral team will ensure there are future opportunities to gather for prayer as a whole community, we encourage you to ensure prayer is a vital part of every time two or three gather together. No doubt there are people who need prayer whenever we gather. The team would also like to express our appreciation to all those who contributed to creating the prayer space and for those who led us through the various sessions. It was a great team effort.
Throughout the Old Testament we find that the Hebrews generally prioritised the needs of the whole community and society over their own personal desires. They especially sought the betterment of all of society rather than making decision that only benefitted themselves as individuals. (See Jeremiah 29:7.) They had particular responsibilities to care for the marginalised and disadvantaged such as widows, orphans and the poor. However, by New Testament times, there had been the influence of the Greek philosophers who emphasised the needs of the individual over that of society. Such influences are very evident in western societies today. Self-interest groups are always seeking benefits for themselves, rather than for society as a whole.
As Christians we also have a responsibility to engage in society, seeking its betterment. While we may embrace differing political perspectives, we need to ensure our faith perspective is the primary way we look at how we might seek the welfare of our society. Unfortunately, in the West, as Christians we have sometimes taken a posture of superiority or entitlement, seeking benefits for ourselves rather than society at large. We need to thoughtfully, carefully and prayerfully, consider how we might best contribute to influencing society for good. We also need to ensure that we are well informed about the issues that impact our society.
In a couple of weeks, one such way we will be able to consider how we might contribute is when we vote on the recommended change to the constitution regarding our first nations people. We need to ensure we are well informed. [I provided some resource links a couple of weeks ago.] Another issue to give some consideration to is a proposal to develop a Renewable Energy Zone along the Illawarra coast. The proposal is currently out for public comment until the 16th October. To make comments, residents can access https://consult.dcceew.gov.au/oei-illawarra