Vicar's Blog

Many people in Australia and possibly Dingley identify as being spiritual but not religious. Fair call. It’s fair to say that people are religious about many things, like going to the footy or heading out on a Friday night. But what about being spiritual?

This June at Christ Church Dingley we’re opening the bible to hear what the living God says about his Spirit impacting us. You are invited to come and hear how the Spirit of God can change your life in ways that release you from the past, anchor you in the present and secure your life with amazing hope for the future. We think this kind of spiritual life is worth exploring and thinking about.

If you identify as spiritual but not religious, we get it. We want to meet you; we want to get to know you. Why not come and hear what God has to say about being spiritual this June?

The art of distraction is perfected by magicians to enhance the impact of their feats.
The same ruse is at large in keeping people from marvelling at the truest life ever lived being given up in a death for others – and then given back by God in resurrected life.
It is this life that calls for our attention and allegiance. Enjoy your chocolate – it will last for a moment. Unwrap Jesus by reading his life story. (Start with ‘Mark’ in the New Testament www.biblegateway.com ). Put your trust in him, and you will have all eternity to enjoy.

It is a social custom to express appreciation for a kindness done. When a ‘thank you’ is not forthcoming we can feel taken for granted, used, or explain it as a lack of social awareness. At a deeper level though, saying ‘thanks’ is more than a social custom. Depending on the extent of favour or sacrifice given, it is an outflow from the heart that is moved by the generosity and thoughtfulness of the one whose act of kindness has touched us. It evokes a desire to reciprocate, to honour and bless the person for what they have done for us. Whether by gift or word, gratitude expressed complements and completes the act of kindness. Some years ago the writer C.S. Lewis pointed out the dilemma of the atheist – when moved by the beauty of a sunset or any one of the intricacies of nature, to whom do they give thanks? Gratitude is a very human instinct, and it is most natural to be offered to our Creator from whom all life in its marvellous complexity and beauty has come. Even more so is

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A survey was done in America of people aged over 90 asking what they would do differently if they had their time again. The three top responses were these:
I would take more risks. I would give time for reflection. I would invest myself in something that would outlive me.

These are sobering words. They seem paradoxical. We don’t generally see risk taking and reflection as companions. Yet in the person of Jesus these qualities were in perfect harmony. Jesus frequently got away on his own in the early hours of the morning or all night to spend time with his heavenly Father. This was how he gained God’s perspective, received instruction for the day, found his peace and poise amid the conflicts that swirled around him. It was the confidence and power that came from the intimacy of these God encounters that gave him the wisdom and boldness to confront the powers of the day, resulting in his unjust execution. Yet in light of the cross and the resurrection, a path Jesus willingly trod out

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I have a dream – that the commercial frenzy and shallow glamour that suffocates this season will fade into noiselessness - that the light of the humble coming of the Christ-child will fill our hearts with hope and a yearning for truth much stronger than the longing for a bargain. In a time when the world seems to have gone mad, that we will find sanity in silent reflection on a young mother and her infant son, destined to change the course of history, and of the lives of all who yield to his love.

This One-it was said-was destined to become a sign that would be spoken against, and who would reveal the motives of many hearts. This has proved true. What is also true is what he later promised – that all who come to him with a thirst for their lives to be set right, will receive an outpouring of love like flowing rivers within them. It is this that we and the world need. There is no other answer.

 

This One who reaches out to you is Jesus. Why not say ‘yes’, and receive him today?