Jesus final words to his disciples before his ascension were inspirational: 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
These are inspirational words because they help us ponder the world to come, and even live for the world to come. The Apostles had already given up their livelihoods in order to be devoted to Jesus. Many of broader group of disciples put their lives on hold to follow Jesus around the countryside, hanging on his every word.
They recognized that something was special about Jesus, and brought others to come an experience his power as well. Others were just investigating everything that was going on.
In the next few weeks, while we may not be having Jesus come in the flesh to TAC, we will have a very special couple of opportunities. Next weekend, we are privileged to have former Archbishop Peter Jensen coming to TAC. At our combined 10am and then 6pm services, Peter will be introducing people to Jesus.
As the people of Jesus day brought their family and friends to understand more about Jesus, next weekend, may I encourage all of us to make the most of this opportunity?
We also want to invite all at TAC to join a special lunch with Peter, in which he will be sharing what is happening in worldwide Christendom. Peter is recognised as a world leader of evangelical Christianity, even in his retirement. While many churches in Sydney are Bible believing and Bible teaching churches – like ours – this is not the case around the world, even in our own country. The attacks of the evil one are coming closer, and this will be a unique time to understand more about what is coming and how to be prepared. It will impact all of us.
We are privileged to have these opportunities, which I lined up sometime ago to co-incide with my own leave. I might take this opportunity to ask for your prayers for Nicole and I to have a refreshing break.
May we have a great year of Bringing, Building and Sending. It’s the reason that God has left us here in a world that so desperately needs to know Jesus.
10am Morning Church
8am and 6pm Service
When Australia was settled, did you know it was churches that set up schools? Contrary to some popular opinion, education has always been important for churches. For, at a very fundamental level, education and thinking allows one to better understand the Word of God. There were predominantly two denominations who were operating schools – the Roman Catholics and the Church of England (now Anglican Church).
It was in 1880 that the Government struck a deal was struck with the Church of England. The Anglicans would hand over their established school network to allow the Government to develop, maintain and run schools. In return, the Education Act of 1880 provided that school teachers would teach ‘general religious education’, and churches were provided with an hour a week to teach ‘Special Religious Education’ (SRE). The Roman Catholics decided to maintain their own school network.
How far things have come today, with much pressure now on the future of SRE.
We are delighted that you are joining us this evening to formally commission the SRE teachers of this area, and particularly our High School co-ordinators. It is a privilege that we continue to have in an increasingly hostile society, and one that we should not take for granted. An independent review is currently being organised to review the outcomes and teaching practices of SRE.
While the quality of SRE in many quarters is commendable, we should at the same time be thankful to God for those who have dedicated themselves to enhancing SRE even further. As this impacts many among us, in the form of investing the time necessary to increase our skills, we should be thankful. Apart from protecting an SRE coming under increasing scrutiny, further training will improve our effectiveness as we seek to teach children about the life and saving work of Jesus on the cross.
While it was normal 50 years ago for children across the country to participate in Sunday Schools, today this is not the case. Children today rarely have the opportunity to hear about all that Jesus has done – in fact, SRE is one of the few opportunities.
Let us praise God for our Scripture teachers, and pray for God to raise up many more, especially while the opportunity still exists. As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things! (Romans 10:15, HCSB).
Toongabbie Anglican Church