Bishop’s Letter – November 2016

Bishop’s Letter – November 2016

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 35, 37-39

There is a myth prevalent in our Western society that we can control our reality.  This week this reality has been brought home to us hard and our deep prayers are ongoing for those affected by Sunday’s earthquake.  Thankfully the damage to our buildings, with the exception of the Cathedral organ, has been minimal, and most importantly, we are all safe.

As followers of Jesus this is the hope that we can offer – that we can be released from our need to be in control.  Paradoxically, admitting our own powerlessness and our reliance on God brings in itself a sense of power in us – but not our own power, rather the deep knowledge that our future is in the hand of a God who laughs when we laugh, weeps when we weep, and has a loving future planned for us far greater than anything we can even imagine.  We know that He will never leave or forsake us.

Whether we find ourselves in an earthquake, receiving bad health news, suffering relational breakup or any number of the ways that life challenges us, we know that God of the whole universe is with us.  Jesus experienced suffering; God the Father watched his Son suffer – nothing we will experience has not already been dealt with.

While we still do pray for God’s miraculous intervention in difficult situations, even when we don’t get the outcome we desire we still know we are never alone.

This is the hope that we can offer our friends, families and neighbours.  May God’s blessing be upon you as you seek to be Christ’s hands in your communities.

Your brother in Christ,

+Justin

PS: A short message from the office of Archbishop Welby, sent through to Archbishop Philip, Bishop Victoria and myself:

We were deeply distressed to hear of the destruction and loss of life as a result of the powerful earthquake that hit the area around Christchurch and Wellington at the weekend.  We remember also all those stranded in Kaikoura as the result of the aftershocks.  Please know that the Archbishop and the staff at Lambeth are holding all the people of your region are our prayers at this difficult time.

PPS: More on Donald Trump next time….!