Tena koutou, Huang Ying, Talofa lava, Fakalofa lahi atu, Malo e lelei, Bula, Welcome, and greetings church family.
As we celebrate God’s greatest gift to the world we remember His blessings to us during the year. Felicity and I want to thank St Peters congregation for welcoming us to the St Peters church family. We have been overwhelmed by your generosity, your welcome, aroha and care for our family. I want to give thanks and gratitude to God for Session and the Board of Managers for their support and help to me and Felicity as we continue the work that has been in place for over 100 years.
We feel a great sense of responsibility as we endeavour to honour God in this work and carry on the wonderful legacy of those now with the Lord. Jesus reminds us that it is not by our own strength and understanding but by His grace that will move His church. We are excited as we trust in God and look forward with anticipation to the future of our church as we move forward to the New Year (Prov 3:5-6).
The last four weeks has been an exciting time as we celebrated Advent together with our friends at the community luncheon, (I call them church of the unchurch), using the Christian celebration of lighting the four candles of Hope, Joy, Peace and Love. In our last luncheon for the year, we sang carols together and experienced blessings of God’s love over these people.
While writing the pastoral message the Lord impressed on me His word from Mathew 25 for our encouragement:
“34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
With two days before Christmas, I pray that you will dwell in the joy of the knowledge of God and in His Aroha in sending us his son Jesus that we may have an eternal relationship with God. Take time out to allow the Holy Spirit to calm you in all your busyness and may you experience His peace in abundance.