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Where to find us
100 Malfroy Rd, Victoria, Rotorua ph. (07) 348 5263
Please come and join us at 10am this Sunday as celebrate “Dads”. New Zealand has a record of ‘father-hunger’ and many children are growing up fatherless. At age 15, only about 1 in 4 teenagers live with both their biological parents. Most teenagers in New Zealand have experienced multiple changes in household composition. About 1 in 4 children in New Zealand are growing up in single parent families and the majority of those single parents are female. Males are the parent in only about 12% of single parent families. I myself was raised by my widowed mother in a one parent family. Scripture has much to teach us about fathers: there we find men who lived with the pain of childlessness, fathers who were blending multiple parent families, and adoptive fathers. We see warrior fathers who sacrificed their children for their mission, and Dad’s who sacrificed everything for their daughters. There are rule-book Dads like Manoah, delinquent Dads like Eli, wounded fathers like David, and waiting Fathers like the prodigal’s Dad. There are fathers in the faith as spiritual Dads. Above all, we see God, the perfect father, who defines his identity toward us as our Abba Father who is in heaven. Jesus himself was co-parented by a man who was not his biological father. Just as Mary was specially chosen, so was Joseph chosen. He was probably much older than his young wife, and it seems likely that Joseph died before Jesus began his ministry. Certainly Joseph was around when Jesus was missing aged 12 but he doesn’t appear later in the Gospel record. Joseph was a man who heard from God, he was courageous and protective, he obeyed […]
This Sunday we look at forgiveness, 10am kick-off. The Bible says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb 9:22b) which alerts us to its cost in terms of sacrifice – but also its importance. In Matthew 18, Peter was prepared to go to 7 times (cf. Luke 17:4). But in response Jesus said not 49 times which would be seven times seven, which is what I used to think he said. If you read this again you will see Jesus said 77 times – which is even more. What did the Lord mean and what was he emphasizing? And why 77 times? How many times have we been forgiven by the Lord? Are we already forgiven everything we will ever do? Where is the place then for confession of sin? I think you will see that the whole area of forgiveness is worth thinking into quite a lot. There is a saying, “To err is human, but to forgive is divine’. That’s not a Biblical reference. It comes from an essay on criticism by Alexander Pope. But Jesus did forgive sins and demonstrated that He had the authority to do so. He forgave a sinful woman and forgave the sins of a paralysed man who was lowered through the roof. But ultimately Jesus went to the Cross as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, grief and shame. Also, he forgave those who crucified him. We too are to forgive. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you.” (Eph 4:32)