The start of the year (along with the very end of the old one) has brought the wet to North Queensland in a big way. Already we have seen the first two cyclones of the season. They may not have been the most damaging winds ever, but they have caused a great deal of flooding.
Damage from this has been seen no more clearly than in the community of Wujal Wujal where many of the houses were inundated with flood waters. Those floodwaters don’t wash the houses clean – they bring with them a coating of mud and other rubbish. When the waters subside, the mud remains – and it is not pleasant.
Our own Greg Sutton was one of the volunteers who went up there to help in the clean-up. He has described a part of the process where firehoses are used to blast away at the mud and push it out of the door. There will still be cleaning and mopping up to do, but in a few minutes the bulk of the mess is gone.
Over the years, our lives can accumulate a lot of metaphorical mud. Sometimes it arrives as a flood, but more often it builds up almost imperceptibly over time.
When our sins are forgiven by God, they are forgiven forever and we are washed clean. But that doesn’t stop things that shouldn’t be there building up in our lives. Past hurts, thoughts of unworthiness, grudges, wilfulness, selfishness.
These things need to be cleaned away on a regular basis. We should be constantly asking God to bring in the firehose and blast the things that should have no place in our lives, out the door.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2
December 2023 & January 2024
It is 50 years this year, since Noddy Holder from Slade screamed those words out in the song ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’.
Although I’m writing these words in late November, it certainly feels like Christmas. In many parts of the world (the ones that celebrate Christmas), the Christmas season lasts for around a week. But in Australia at least, Christmas seems to be a 1-2 month long festival.
Perhaps it has something to do with Christmas coinciding with the end of the school year. Our Christmas celebrations seem to get caught up in one big end of year party. Although for many people, Jesus is just one of many Christmas ‘characters’, Christmas still gives us time to reflect on the greatest gift that has ever been given – forgiveness of sins, salvation from its consequences and promise of an eternity with God.
When you think about it, the thought that the Creator Himself would enter His own creation as one of us, in order to rescue us from our own sinfulness, is absolutely astounding. It should be something that causes us awe and wonder every day of our lives.
One day really isn’t enough to commemorate God’s gift of Jesus. Neither is a month or two.
In reality, we should be celebrating this gift all the time. Every day is a good day to celebrate the gift of Jesus.
Have a Happy Christmas and a great New Year.