Prayer in the midst of Covid-19

Gracious God, 
We give thanks anew for your providence and presence. 
We prayerfully seek your grace, amidst COVID-19 here and overseas. 
We pray for those in need of healing. 
We pray your peace for those who are anxious or grieving. 
We pray you will continue to strengthen and sustain all those who are serving in response. 
We pray for your Holy Spirit’s discernment amidst the many choices and decisions facing our national, community and medical leaders. 
We pray we each might see quickly what more we can do to help those who are vulnerable. 
This prayer for our nation in the family of nations, with all that is on our hearts, we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
AMEN. 

God’s View From The Top

Australia seems to be having a leadership crisis. Or at least an outsider might think that. We go through leaders more quickly than catty contestants on the Bachelor. Take for instance, our national broadcaster. In almost a week, the ABC lost both chairman of the board and the managing director. Reasons include interference, bias, leadership style, communication issues, and not having a grip on how the media works. Prime Ministers here don’t do so well either.

We suppose this is just how these things work in a free economy. One has to be competent in their job or else it will be taken by someone more competent than you. Darwinian survival of the fittest and all that. In this country if one wants to get to the top (and stay there) one just has to perform well.

God however has an unnerving habit of not playing by the rules. When picking a leader for Israel, we are told that God didn’t really care for physical ability. God tells the prophet Samuel not to look for things like height or appearances. “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7).

We suppose this might not work so well in our world. Can you imagine what it would be like if we suddenly did an audit, not on competence, but on Godly-heartiness? We may not be left with many left by the end of the day!

It is great to want to be a leader but if one wants to be a leader approved by God, one should be working on character. God is less interested in how good you are at doing something than the motivation and attitude you have when doing it.

For followers of Jesus, thankfully we have the Holy Spirit who helps us grow in ways that please God. The fruit of the spirit, we are told, are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. We don’t really see these qualities much on CVs these days, but it is what will change the world.

Sources:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-27/abc-chairman-justin-milne-resigns/10311472

All brickbats, bouquets and banter welcome at pastor@pmbc.org.au
Copyright © 2018 PMBC, All rights reserved.

Priceless

Priceless.

What is he/she trying to say? One of the fun things about enjoying art is trying to decipher the artist’s message. Whether it is a song, a movie, a drawing, a painting, a sculpture, or whatever other medium the artist is using, there is usually a message. But what is it?

For years, artists have smuggled out secret stories. It could be about life, the meaning of life (or the meaninglessness of life!), their dreams, struggles, joys, etc. Sometimes, it is a lot of fun to discuss these things with friends. Patronise your local art gallery! Talk to local artists in your area! It is fascinating to approach a work from different perspectives and angles and talk about it afterwards.

One such artist with a story to tell is Banksy. No one really knows who he is (but some people have made a calculated guess). He is well known for guerrilla art (who knew such a thing even existed) in public places. The prolific street artist recently made headlines when one of his works was sold at an auction, and as the hammer came down, the work of art self destructed. Did we mention, it sold for $1.86 million?

What was the artist trying to say? Some might guess Banksy was saying something about how we put value on something that really has no value at all. He apparently despises art auctions for example. But don’t we prioritise things over people? Don’t we stay at work too long and sacrifice family? Or neglect eternal joys for temporal pleasures?

Or perhaps one could see it from a spiritual perspective. Not a few people have speculated that the value of that particular self destructing piece of art has appreciated tremendously. In shredding itself- that became a piece of invaluable art. The scriptures have something to say about how if one wants to gain life, he or she must first throw it away (Luke 9:24). Or how through the death of Jesus, an opportunity for life comes to all people. Value that comes through destruction – see?

Sources:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-07/why-banksys-artwork-could-be-worth-more-shredded-than-intact/10348210?section=arts-culture

All brickbats, bouquets and banter welcome at pastor@pmbc.org.au
Copyright © 2018 PMBC, All rights reserved.