Anglican Diocese of Armidale

The Anglican Diocese of Armidale exists to glorify God by introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven.

 

In Focus

An Introduction on Offer

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Is there sufficient evidence to convict us of a sense of insecurity and need? News broadcasters seem to be offering more warnings that some viewers may find their next report distressing. In those moments, my experience is not that some viewers, but all viewers, should be distressed. In fact, I might be tempted to argue that there is something radically wrong with our humanity when we are not distressed by such reports. Even if I am not personally distressed by what is shown, should I not share in the distress of others?  Beyond those reports the Lifeline number is added and so I imagine the ever increasing number of callers. I observe the stats on suicide increasing and listen as I am told of the alarming rates of teen depression. I live with a death carrying pandemic, causing economic woe. I listen as medic and politician try to calm our anxious fears. I watch, as once stable foundations for the likes of justice, life, family, employment and national security become increasingly unstable. In that context how is one to think about the future with a sense of security unless there is something greater than ourselves to rely upon?

That sounds like a long and depressing introduction and perhaps I should have offered a warning that the reader might find the following distressing. However, it’s onto this dark introduction I want to offer some light and life, some hope and joy. 

Throughout history, in both the good times and the bad, God has offered an anchor of security that can hold a person in the worst of storms – the general storms of life and even the storms of our own making. 

There is no doubt that in my lifetime the anchor of Christian faith has increasingly been ignored and in the past decade an acceleration of antagonism has grown towards that which anchors the soul in the promise of something better. As any sailor would admit, the absence of the anchor leaves the vessel at peril of drifting, subject to the storms.

The love of a parent or friend would commendably offer themselves as an anchor to the one in need but neither are fool enough to think they can handle any storm. There is a divine expectation on Christians to do the same but they are also not fool enough to think they can handle any storm. There is only one who can calm any storm and God’s expectation of the Christian is that they will introduce others to the one who anchors you in the storm and brings calm to the storm.

It is this introduction I want to offer to the reader.

COVID-19 has proven a moment in which to rethink life and beliefs and a brief course explaining Christianity may be really helpful. The Course is called “Christianity Explained”. People meet for 1.5 hours a week for 4-6 weeks. The whole course focuses on a primary document in the Bible, the biography of Jesus Christ’s life, often called the Gospel of Mark. It’s a course where you read or perhaps reread this Gospel and we discuss its message. It’s a course where you can raise questions of the primary document and, if time allows, any other questions you may have regarding Christianity. It doesn’t matter what your background is, this course is not making judgements about the attendee but invites us to make right judgements about Jesus Christ. To allay any fears, there is no obligation to attend a church. At the end of the course the only follow up is at your request and there is no cost to the course.

The course will be offered over Zoom, or if Covid19 restrictions allow, via a gathering. If you are interested all you need is the time, the interest, a copy of the Bible, a capacity to join a Zoom meeting and to contact me at bishop@armidaleanglicandiocese.com.  Once I have your details I will contact you to confirm arrangements. I hope you can join us. Numbers are limited.

Rick Lewers