16 July, 2021

18 July Newsletter

Front and Centre

During Term 2 I had the opportunity to work with the Worship Leaders and discuss prayer. One of the exercises we worked through and shared together was the paraphrasing of the Lord’s Prayer. I find intentional paraphrasing to be a helpful and fruitful exercise of comprehension and, in the case of the Lord’s Prayer, an excellent opportunity to reflect and meditate on the words that Jesus gave his disciples in response to the request “Lord, Teach us how to pray” (Luke 11).

A quick deconstruction of the prayer (as found in Matthew 6: 9 - 13) shows that we begin with the glorification of the name of God (as Jesse highlighted to us the other week). This is followed by the verse which reflects the heart’s desire for God’s will to be done. This, to me, is an incredibly important distinction in the prayer as it shows that as Christians we should strive to be in alignment with God as opposed to the other way around. Verse 11 shows the trust we place in God to provide our earthly needs and Verse 12 connects with our relational needs (specifically the repairing of relationships through forgiveness). Finally, verse 13 contains our need for God to rescue us from spiritual harm.

As we shared and listened to one another’s paraphrase of the Lord’s prayer I was encouraged by the different expressions of the same prayer. Through this exercise I was reminded that God gifts us in different ways and I was thankful that the gift that is the Lord’s Prayer was a means through which this truth was highlighted. Over the next few weeks I intend to share the paraphrases with the congregation (whether in the services or in the newsletter). I would encourage anyone who would like to contribute their own paraphrase to email me a copy at dom@emmanueluca.org.au Below is my paraphrase

God, who is above all creation.

Whose name is holy and sacred.

May the earth reflect heaven in its serving of you.

We pray that today we would have all we need to live,

That the brokenness of our relationships would be repaired

Both with you and those in our lives.

May we be protected from evil, and be your disciples for all eternity.

All the heavens and the earth are yours.

The one whose power and glory are above all else.

From the very beginning and throughout the ages.

Amen

Grace and Peace

Dom Chan

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9 July, 2021

11 July Newsletter

Front and Centre

As we continue reflecting upon on relationships, we were reminded last week about the need to put our relationship with God first. When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment he replied ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ So how central is your relationship with God?

Like any relationship the more quality time we give to it the better it will be. Quality time does not just happen it takes intentionality and purpose (and of course time). How committed are you to your relationship with God and how is that reflected in the way that you live your life? Is there time to read scripture, to pray, to listen to God?

It is not enough to say we love God we need to reflect it in what we do and in how we shape our life around our values and priorities. In a culture which encourages busyness we need to invest into the things that are important. If you truly believe that your relationship with God is important then you will invest into it. Some people carve out intentional time, an hour sometimes more once a week. Some spend 30 minutes each day. Some go on a day retreat or walk once a month. Different rhythms work for different people but it is really important to develop a rhythm into all of the relationships that are important to us, including with God. There is also an overflow. As you invest in your relationship with God, you will find it has a flow on effect in your relationship with others. I John chapter 4 reminds us that God is love and that all love comes from God and is centred in God. It concludes saying how can you love God whom you cannot see if you do not love your neighbour whom you can.

Our love of God overflows into our love for others. As we focus on relationships our love of God, our relationship with God gives us the bedrock from which our love for others flow, so please do not neglect your relationship with God but prioritise your time with God and this will help put the rest of your life in perspective and balance.

Blessings

Brian Hoole

Minister

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2 July, 2021

4th July Newsletter

Front and Centre

Last week we were talking about our need to focus on relationships. This week, as Brisbane moves into lockdown, with uncertainty about whether the lockdown will continue and therefore whether this weekend will be face to face or not, the issue of relationships remains front and center for us. COVID has dramatically reduced our face-to-face contact with people. Again, this week we need to work and operate from home. People are asked to stay at home to keep everyone safe. I know for me personally it has been a lot harder to get to know people because of COVID. Much of my time here has been in the COVID environment. I was only here a month before our first lockdown occurred. Our social gatherings have been greatly reduced. Many of our Engage groups have not re-started. Through technology we are providing better ways of connecting virtually. Each week we stream both services, there are daily devotions being provided, there are prayer sessions being streamed, Worship and dig in (Sunday school) material is provided each week. The Ministry team put a lot of time and energy into providing these online resources. However, the risk of people feeling disconnected is increasing.

Right across our society depression, anxiety and loneliness are on the increase. Those issues are also present in our Emmanuel community. We need your help and support. Please take the time and effort to stay connected. It would be great if people would take the time and effort to give a couple of people a phone call or video chat. If you can, try and connect with someone a little bit outside of your normal group. We talk about pastoral care at Emmanuel being for everyone by everyone. Now is a really good time to take that seriously and make a few phone calls and take the time to pray together. Now is the time to emphasise the importance of us all taking responsibility and playing our part.

Blessings

Brian Hoole

Minister

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