Today is a bittersweet day. The sweet part is that we will be celebrating the baptisms of Sabine (3) and Sampson (1) Leaversuch, friends of the Spaldings. It is wonderful to have these little lives being dedicated to God by their parents. Children are such a gift and our role as parents is to give them the best foundation we can that will prepare them for a life well lived. The most important foundation we can give is daily walking with Jesus ourselves. How can we expect them to follow Jesus if we ourselves don’t?
The bitter part is that today is the last Sunday the Spalding family – Dean, Kate and their three gorgeous girls – will be with us. We have grown to love this family very much and we will really miss them. They head to the outskirts of Melbourne to the suburb of Drouin where Dean will be Priest at the Anglican Church there. It’s a big move for them and new territory for the family. Lots of adjustment but, when God calls you, He will give you what you need to do the task. Please keep in touch with them and pray for them in this new venture. We will be having a potluck luncheon today from 12pm to wish them farewell. Please come along and bring some food and drink to share.
I was reflecting, through Malcolm’s sermon last Sunday, on how selfish I can be. The nature of our human condition is to seek a way out of hardship, suffering and costly service. Paul in Philippians 1:23 talks of being torn. He’d rather go (die) and be with Jesus, which would be fab; but he knows it’s better to hang in there and continue to see the people grow and find joy in the faith.
Serving others, persevering in relationships, loving when misunderstood, not giving up when a quiet life is preferable is costly. I found myself repenting and asking God’s forgiveness and asking for his help to continue to put myself in his hands. The example of Jesus is one of a humble servant and Paul wants to emulate his Saviour’s life, and encourages us to likewise live lives worthy of the Gospel of Christ.
Speaking of service, we are honouring Paul and Helen Manley today for their tireless servant hearts to this community. Much of it goes unnoticed – a testament to their humility. I think if the apostle Paul were around today he would be mentioning their faithful service in his letters! May God richly bless them.
My prayer is that you will find our Saviour and Lord more than sufficient and very near as you walk this narrow way, that He will give you grace for the hard parts, wisdom for the tricky bits and fill you with His love for your fellow travellers.