At the principals’ retreat on Thursday and Friday last week I heard many personal reflections on the benefit of having time to stop, to be still and sit in the presence of God. In our lives which are so full of congestion and busyness this can sometimes seem a luxury.
Over the last weekend I was in Alice Springs involved in a variety of meetings and interactions with very passionate and dedicated people involved in the extensive ministry of our Church in Central Australia. The enormity and complexity of the different ministries and human interactions was once again very evident. Amongst all of this it was a privilege to stop, listen and engage in worship with the Alice Springs Lutheran Church congregation on Sunday morning. Bishop David Altus preached and his message focused on Ephesians 5:1-2.
‘Therefore become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]; and walk continually in love [that is, value one another—practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seeking the best for others], just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God [slain for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.’
He shared an image of his grand daughter who was wearing her grandmother’s glasses. The granddaughter was wanting to imitate her grandmother; to be like her and see things through her eyes.
This metaphor can carry through to each of us and our relationship with God. What If we chose to imitate God and be like Him and see things through his eyes? In doing so we would reorient our focus away from our hurt, personal biases, selfishness and ulterior motives. In imitating God, we would see the worth of others and be drawn towards empathy and compassion. This love then has the power to heal hurt, to bring unity and restore brokenness.
May each of us find peace in the stillness of God’s presence and imitating Him in everything we do.
Please uphold in prayer the Lutheran Church in Central Australia and its 6500 members; the staff, students and families of Living Waters Lutheran School and Yirara College; the Finke River Mission pastoral workers; Lutheran Community Care and the Child Care Centre.
Blessings and peace,