Dear Friends and Families,

Welcome back to Term 2.

The last few weeks for many of our families have perhaps been a contrasting experience of both gratefulness and grief.

It is indeed a sombre experience to be in Australia presently and experiencing a renewed sense of normality (with restaurants, workplaces, schools and sporting fields all open) and yet also be aware of the terrible COVID toll that is affecting the nation of India at this time.

In one sense, this is a manifestation of the sentiment expressed by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans in the first century, when he affirmed that, ‘we know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now ... in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God’ [Romans 8:21-22].

We are all too aware that in this broken world, death and disease are a part of daily life, and so we rightly grieve (as God himself does), longing for the restoration of creation and the healing of human lives.

The ongoing message of Easter (as was celebrated several weeks ago), is that God indeed has provided the ultimate balm that is required through the person of Jesus Christ: the forgiveness of sin, the disruption to decay, the reversal of death and the promise of new life to come.

In the meantime, we work for the kingdom that is to come by intentionally seeking to mend lives and foster solutions that bring both dignity and healing to the people of this world.

So, in that spirit, below are two set prayers that ask God to look upon this world (especially the nation of India) in mercy and to move his providential hand of control, so that good and wise decisions will be made by those in appointed positions of authority, and so that those people most affected by the coronavirus will know the comfort of the risen Christ at this testing time.

Some final words from Psalm 46 in the Bible to encourage us:

‘God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,

though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;

though its waters roar and foam,

though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;

God will help it when the morning dawns.

The LORD of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge’.

If you would like to speak further, or have questions about the Christian life, then do please contact me at: [email protected]

If you would like to explore the certainty of Christ further, the two local Anglican churches listed below lead regular Sunday services.

St Peter’s, Craigieburn (meeting at 10.30am in the Chapel at Hume Anglican Grammar – 100 Mount Ridley Road, Mickleham)

Locum: Father Charles Potter

Mobile: 0468 331 549 / 03 9308 2452

Email: [email protected]

http://www.humeparish.melbourneanglican.org.au

https://www.facebook.com/humeparishcraigieburn/

Redemption Anglican Church (meeting at 4.00pm at the Hume Tennis & Community Centre - 225 Marathon Blvd, Craigieburn)

Pastor: Rev. Akhil Gardner

Mobile: 0400 021 381

Email: [email protected]

https://www.rccraigieburn.com.au/online

https://www.facebook.com/rccraigieburn/

Two prayers about the Coronavirus crisis in India

Lord Jesus Christ, healer and friend,

come and care for all those in India through the danger and uncertainty of the coronavirus epidemic.

To people who are sick, bring healing.

To people who are displaced, isolated, or cut off from family, friends or work, bring comfort and companionship.

Work with medical staff as they care for the sick,

and protect them from harm.

To the government and the public health authorities, give wisdom and diligence in deciding the best way to manage both the crisis and the rollout of the vaccine.

Where communities are fearful, give a calm spirit,

and generate kindness to both neighbours and strangers.

Through this testing time, and through all the risks people face together,

teach us once again how we can love one another as you have loved us. Amen.

 

Keep us, good Lord, the people of India under the shadow of your mercy,

in this time of uncertainty and stress.

Sustain and support both the anxious and fearful,

and lift up all who are brought low;

that all may know your comfort & hope.

May those in India be empowered to face these challenges with empathy and compassion, always mindful that you are in control.

May those who are caring for the sick be encouraged in their work,

and those who are leading the Indian government and organisations know your strength and support in their important decision-making.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray.

Amen.

Song (Abide with me)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzmvagnGTYY

Reverend Peter Waterhouse - School Chaplain