Kia ora All Saints whānau,
This week is house church Sunday and as you gather we will be praying for more of God to be present in your house churches. As you will have seen in the newssheet as Omicron increases we are going to be in house churches for at least three weeks to just help protect ourselves and keep the risk of big spreading events low.
In the office now we have two jars, miracles needed and miracles received (see the picture below). This week I got to shift one pebble from miracles needed to miracles given because we bought a house this week which is on Moxham Avenue. God was at work throughout the process and we have been blessed with such a great house to connect in this community.
We have put in another pebble to miracles needed though - this time for Ukraine. We are weeping as we see this sort of chaos unfold and people are displaced, killed and in terror.
Perhaps I should add a miracle given pebble in because no one was killed by the violence that we saw this week in our very own city.
I wrote last time on Waitangi Day that the events that enfolded there were about selfishness and self-interest. It is fascinating that I write this when the reading for Sunday is the Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness, a very similar theme. It is often said that the temptations of Jesus orientate around Appetite, Approval and Ambition. These are described as the three main temptations for all of us - including world leaders.
Appetite is about what do we want and need. There is was an appetite for violence this week at Parliament. There was also an appetite for revenge and settling scores. Approval is about seeking the approval of others. Ambition is about seeking to grow our own kingdom. You can see this clearly in Russia's invasion of Ukraine - Putin has some sort of ambition.
The problem is these are temptations and not the way of the kingdom of Jesus. So I pray that our world may move more and more into the kingdom and that way find true peace and true love and the true kingdom. But that is definately a miracle needed - so I shall drop another pebble in our jar!
Kia pai ō rā whakatā
Andrew Spence on behalf of the Co-Vicars