Welcome to the HOPE Project Base Camp! – (Special Intro Edition)
It’s official! We are the part of the body of Christ who gather in the East Corrimal NSW residential area AND we are on a journey towards ‘Being a Church that looks MORE LIKE Jesus’, that is, His will being done and His kingdom rule ON earth (in and through our hearts collectively) AS IT IS in heaven. The journey has been steady, hard at times and reasonably lengthy, BUT we have helped each other along the way and we now find ourselves two thirds of the way up OUR unclimbed mountain.
The air is starting to thin, the terrain and the climate is becoming unpredictable, so we are camping at this point to check our coordinates and tools and to ensure our life sustaining and frontier engaging provisions are on stand-by. We aren’t camped to stay put, on the contrary, we are at Base Camp to learn all we can and practice as much as we can. To sort out how and who to trust for the appropriate God given anointing and for when and where we will need it. To prepare the climbing party and the support team as Jesus modelled.
We will now dig in! With Matthew’s Gospel as our mud map and Paul’s letter to the Romans, his reflection and report brief on all the primary lessons the early church needed to learn along the way as our companion, we will breathe in the Holy Spirit’s counsel and comfort and empowering leadership in order to form, shape and sharpen our tools as we measure each step against Christ’s sure footprint.
The ANZAC Legend has a lot to teach us as we ponder summiting!
It’s April 25th on Wednesday and in Australia it has become increasingly important to annually acknowledge something that takes us beyond the parameters created by our self -obsessed and me-focused culture.
For followers of Jesus Christ, the solemn but grateful observance of Easter is the anniversary where we meditate on values like undeserved mercy and favour, ultimate sacrifice and a love worth living our lives for.
Over the past few years I have increasingly felt that ANZAC Day can be and possibly should be engaged by the Church as a modern day parable in response to which, even the hardest hearts can be infused with the primary traits of Jesus’ character like compassion, humility, redemption, forgiveness, oneness, faithfulness and the right sort of pride; ‘in the name of love’.
When I say parable, of course I’m not talking about it not having real meaning or the life giving purpose that the ANZAC story represents for families, I am reflecting on the fact that Jesus often spoke parables that drew from a great truth or a real event that His listeners could not only relate to, but often has an emotive response to, like the parables of the Good Samaritan, the Lost Son and the Shrewd Manager in Luke’s Gospel.
If the soldiers of Gallipoli died for our earthly freedom, who died for theirs in eternity? God’s love IN Christ can break the hardest heart so faith can flourish in whatever the circumstances. No story I have read about ‘last’ moments on the front line EVER belittled or ridiculed a soldier’s heart felt prayer of seeking God or even of reconciliation prior to battle. Where else could they turn? Where else could the thief on the cross next to Jesus turn? Where else could my own Father turn minutes before he drew his final physical breath? The timing of these moments has always been understood; more likely revered.
At his address during the 2016 Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial, retired Lieutenant-General David Morrison said, “That is why we remember them – the first ANZACs and all of those who have followed. They left us that legacy and we, in turn, commemorate their sacrifice when we ask what legacy we shall leave for those who follow us.” Jesus, the son of God, the King of kings, who, being in very nature God, made Himself nothing for our sakes; humbled himself and became obedient to death said it this way; “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds (John 12:24) …. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13) …. Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again” (John 12:27-28)
What will our legacy be? What will those who follow our footsteps see? Will they see frenetic footsteps trying to do it OUR way or will they ONLY see the footsteps of Jesus because we committed to obey and emulate Christ to the degree that our footsteps disappear into the centre of His.
Base Camp Essentials for THIS WEEK!
Corporate Prayer – Pray intimately IN Christ and strategically for our preparation and practice. We will continue to use Tuesday evenings from 5.30pm to 6.30pm as an anchor. Join us in the Prayer Lounge OR email/text/phone things you are hearing from God about the HOPE Project, so we can share in prayer TOGETHER and record what God shows us in an accessible way for all. PRAYING AS ONE, is key life support for ‘Base Camp’.
Positioning (gifts and anointing apportioned by Christ) – We are still signing up on the task list sheets that have been available at our meetings and online. REMEMBER – this is simply a response to God’s call to our church to ‘move on’. Its’ God’s plan so we don’t want names on bits of paper as some sort of skills inventory. We are looking for responses that reflect how the Holy Spirit is nudging you, whether you understand why or not; whether you have the skills or learning or experience or not. We want God to shape something He’s looking for, something Jesus can build, based upon what has been revealed to you AND to us together. Please register your response on the sheets or via email/text, however that looks or feels for you.
Develop Life-saving Mateship – Utilize the public holiday Wednesday as a time to reflect upon ‘mateship’ and what it might mean for you to ‘have someone else’s back’ amid opposition or obstacles. PRAY FOR EACH OTHER and explore ways to carry each other’s’ burdens. We can only make this climb together. On our own we can’t represent Jesus.
Engage NEXT Saturday’s ‘Heroes of the Victoria Cross’ Event – At 2.30pm next Saturday (28th) at the church Hub, Craig Blanch, Curator for Military Heraldry & Technology, Australian War Memorial will present some interesting facts and stories about the Victoria Cross and its recipients. If you have the opportunity, invite someone along OR help us host our visitors. It’s a chance to practice seeing AND engaging the harvest.
A Summary of this week’s message for Prayer, Reflection & Response. ‘It’s Already TWO THIRDS of the way up’ (See & Engage the Harvest)
A handful of key introductory points.
- We are 60% up the climb towards realizing God’s Primary Purpose
To BE a church that is regarded by others as ‘Heaven’s Embassy’ or ‘Heaven ON Earth’ – a church that looks and operates like Jesus
- After spending a bunch of time in Ephesians a while ago we believe God revealed that … Holiness + Oneness + Fullness = Completion
Holiness – Jesus loved (all) people (incl. the lost) with totally non-discriminating redemptive love. We want to dwell with the revelation Christ brought to discover in our hearts how we can love people like JESUS loved people then DO IT. + Oneness – Jesus modelled a relationship of oneness with the Father (John 17) that was the key to his ministry ‘success’. Not UNITY in ideology or task … UNITY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, the dynamic, reproducible divine dance that the Father, Son & Holy Spirit want you and I to join in with. Only as we discover this for ourselves (practice it in our personal relationships & in ‘the body’) can we get it AND DO IT. + Fullness – Jesus’ life & work represented & demonstrated five essential and anointed equipping ministries.
Fullness is the WHOLE body representing the whole of Jesus’ ministry empowered & led by the Spirit; NOT by personalities. EVERY believer needs ACCESS to all of these equipping ministries (anointings) if they are to be FULLY resourced and empowered to DO IT.
Why am I so convinced IN Christ that this is the right course to take to see and engage the harvest that lives around us in 2018?
= Completion – Jesus completed what was needed for every person to be saved. We MUST develop a plan that DOES IT AS JESUS DID, to ensure our families, neighbours, mates & other relationships can SEE & ENGAGE Jesus!
So … At Base Camp, (Matthew 4 mud map)
We need to pray strategically & holistically for every step.
We need to breathe in the Holy Spirit more fully, so we acclimatize to the
life sustaining breathe / creative power of God
We need to trust God (as Jesus did in the wilderness) to deal with the devil’s deceit within us & become combat ready, then the armour will fit as a yoke because it’s in the shape Jesus formed us (Khumbu Ice Fall)
We need to check & re-check the divine plan blueprint, so we know where to put our feet on the journey
We need to ‘body build’ so we have access & confidence
At Camp One
We need to find & invite apprentices to the adventure
We need to equip people with the tools they need and ….
At Camp Two
We need to appoint & commission team leaders
We need to send them ahead …. And so on …… up & back, further & back (On the Everest climb its about 8 weeks from March till summiting in May)
The summit ISN’T the completion …. Getting back to Base Camp is, with the knowledge to PUT THE PLAN IN PLACE SO OTHERS CAN SUMMIT etc
Please contact Graeme via firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like the full transcript of his journal response shared on Sunday about why Base Camp is a vision reflecting the right way forward for us as a church.
Here’s the Link to the home page for all that’s happening at the HUB https://www.corrimalcommunitychurch.com.au/blog