Dear members and friends of St Peters Lutheran Church, Hobart,
Greetings in the name of the risen Lord who says ‘I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades’ (Rev 1:18).
I hope you had a blessed Easter weekend despite the different circumstances in which we celebrated it this year. If we look back over the history of the Church we will find many periods where our Easter would not have been too much different and, in fact, compatibly and relatively safe for the bulk of us. Our Easter weekend services were very well received, averaging around 200 viewers each up until this point (we are finding the numbers viewing our services still continues to grow even some weeks after the live stream) with many positive messages of encouragement and appreciation. Thank you for this. They mean a lot.
I take this opportunity to invite you all to join us this Thursday evening, the 16th of April, at 7.30pm for the live streaming of the first edition of ‘To the Point’. To the Point will be an electronic chat session I will be hosting from time to time during our time of self-isolation. This first edition of ‘To the Point’, will feature a chat I will be having with the Pastoral Assistants. Simply go to our St Peter’s website splchobart.org and click the button there just as you would to receive the live stream of our Sunday morning services. The format will incorporate some Q & A (Questions and Answers). If you would like to send a question, comment or greeting please send it in advance by email to firstname.lastname@example.org I have already received a lovely and meaningful poem composed by one of our members to readout. While I expect most contributions will simply be typed, those who are tech-savvy are welcome to forward something in electronic format.
While I have your attention, I share for your interest and edification the following which I wrote, upon request, as a local Church leader, for the Good Friday edition of our local daily newspaper, the Mercury.
“That's how the light gets in”
"Our technological world has created the expectation of ‘the quick fix’. COVID-19, however, is reminding us collectively of our limitations and the fragility of life. What might God be telling us at this time?
"C.S. Lewis, the famous atheist academic who turned Christian, wrote the following at a time of national crisis and threat: ‘God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world’.
"The late Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen creatively makes a similar point in his song ‘Anthem’.
‘Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
that's how the light gets in’.
"Good Friday and Easter show us the light of God in unexpected ways. God with us. God for us. God, in the person of Jesus the eternal Son, suffering God’s justice in our place for our forgiveness and suffering human injustice in solidarity with us. The God of rejection and of the cross. God triumphing over our mess out of deep love for us in order to bring us back to Himself and into a transformed, eternal new heavens and new earth under the perfect reign of the glorified King Jesus. No more pain, brokenness, loss, death or tears there! This enigmatic God, revealed in Christ Jesus, can be known and is utterly trustworthy!
"We kept trying to cover the cracks which were already evident in the unsustainable world we were constructing. Now the inevitable has happened. The walls have been torn apart. Will we, will I, use this opportunity and the extra time some now have to search out, stand in and receive the unexpected light, love, presence and triumphs of Christ that shines all the brighter in the darkness? To assist in this please access our past worship services and live streams at splchobart.org which also contain relevant messages."
Once again, mark your calendar or make an entry in your diary for 7.30pm this Thursday in order to join the Pastoral Assistants and I for the first edition of ‘To the Point’.
A happy and blessed Easter season to you all.
Warmest regards and blessings,
Pastor Mike Steicke,
St Peters Lutheran Church, Hobart.
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This is the page for all the news and updates from SPLC. Pastor regularly sends messages of encouragement, especially during these uncertain times. Read on to keep informed about the community!