Brothers and Sisters,
There is a saying that the world is divided into those who have read Lord of the Rings and those who are going to read it! That’s like Café Online. Some of you were at Café Online last Monday. Some of you watched it since then. And the rest of you are going to watch it! I wish. And pray. Last Monday was for me a really special occasion and I would encourage you to watch it. As it was going on, I was deeply conscious of the Lord’s hand upon us.
The evening went in a direction I did not expect. As we talked about the message of Jesus it became clear that Ray Galea was the perfect guest to deal with the question of the racial and ethnic tensions in the world. A pastor of a church in Western Sydney which has 71 different nationalities and ethnic groups. What unites them all? Not politics. Not race. Not culture. Not social status. Not sport. Not family. Not tribe. But simply Christ.
I gave a talk to Rosebay Presbyterian on Sunday asking if Christianity was the cause or the cure for racism. Monday night provided the answer.
It is important that St Thomas’s reflects the diverse and multi-ethnic community around us. It is also important that we treat everyone in the church as first of all our brother and sister in Christ – and that we don’t just hang around with PLUS (People Like Us). This does not mean that our local, ethnic and national cultures are not important – but that they are not the basis for our friendship and fellowship. I for example, am very proud to be Scottish…and will gladly regal you with tales of how wonderful Scotland is. But I should never discriminate in favour of someone because they share my nationality. But it’s lovely when we are interested in and care for other people’s cultures. One small example – we were invited for lunch with a couple who kindly provided us with a starter that included haggis, neeps and whisky! It was a lovely gesture.
Back to the café. This Monday we have Rob Smith and we will be looking at the Cross of Christ. You are welcome to come to the hall or to watch online. Most of all pray that many non-believers will come to know the crucified Christ. As before if you have any ideas and want to help feel free to contact me here.
The first resource I want to mention this week is one of the best books on the Cross – John Stott’s The Cross of Christ.
The second is the talk from Rosebay on racism click here.
Finally, Rob Smith is one of Australia’s finest Christian singer/songwriters. You can listen to his music on Spotify here.
22Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
Yours in Christ