Tim O'Neill President A2A
As we approach Christmas, it’s a great time to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for.
To me the spirit of Christmas is all about giving. We catch a glimpse of this in that this is the one time of year where a diverse range of people across our country engage in the act of giving, and of course also in receiving!
Giving is as old as Christmas; older in fact! We read about the generous giving of the Magi in Matthew 2:11
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The Magi sought Jesus out. They worshipped Him. And they unleashed generosity on Him.
To me, these actions reflect the Spirit of Christmas and the generosity of the Magi reflects God’s heart and it should reflect our hearts as well.
Jesus came to earth as God’s gift to us, and He gave His precious life to us. What an amazing gift that we have much to be thankful for!
For some reading this, perhaps this last year hasn’t gone as you have expected. Perhaps there are dreams that remain unfulfilled and plans that remain incomplete. Perhaps you have experienced the hard of life and ministry in a way that you didn’t anticipate. And maybe you are finding it hard to be thankful at present. Or perhaps this last year has been a wonderful year and a time of great blessing.
Either way, all of us have much to be thankful for and Christmas is a powerful reminder of this. For all of us, Christmas is more than a reminder of what Jesus gave to us. Christmas provides a wonderful opportunity to recalibrate our attitudes and perspectives to embrace thankfulness.
For Sharon and I, 2018 has been a year where we have seen incredible grief and acts of evil, as well as unexpected and major crises, but in the midst of this, God’s grace and love have been amazingly evident.
The world in which we minister is undoubtedly becoming darker, but as this happens the light of Jesus shines brighter through people like us and faith communities like the churches that we lead and are a part of.
Looking back on the past year, we can see the hand of God in calling us to be a “sent” people, carrying the scent of Jesus into our communities.
Being a “sent” people means that we will love Jesus so much that we will obey and follow Him, and we will love our neighbour so much that we will take risks for them in the hope that they will come to know and receive the incomparable grace that Jesus offers.
As churches, we are to be His people on a mission. As a movement we are to be a fellowship of diverse churches united by the desire to see our nation reached for Jesus.
We have much to celebrate from this last year:
As we prepare for a new year, I encourage you to uphold the value of journalling on scripture and develop strategies to see people in your churches decide to practice this as a healthy spiritual habit.
Having adopted this habit now for over 16 years, I still get blessed by the fresh revelation and insights that I receive from journalling on God’s word to us. In fact, I’m still pondering the insights I gained from journalling just this morning!
A short video explaining how to SOAP is below. Why not show this to your church? with thanks to #ourchurch
I would also appreciate your prayers for the National Leadership Team as we will be preparing for another retreat in the new year, specifically putting aside Tuesday 12 February as a day when we will be coming together to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance for our movement for the times ahead.
We have a great sense of anticipation about the 2019 National Conference to be held on the Gold Coast commencing Monday evening 29 April. If you haven’t booked yet, just reminder that the early bird discount is still available until 31 December. You can book for the Conference using the LINK HERE.
And finally, don’t forget to register for the next round of Leaders Together days in February. We have a guest speaker lined up to come and provide excellent input at these days. Dates and locations are as follows:
You can book for the LT using the LINK HERE.
Thank you for being part of A2A.
We are a diverse group of men and women who God has pulled together to be an alliance of dynamic missional churches, loving on our communities, impacting them and making disciples.
It is my prayer that you will be filled with the joy and peace of Jesus, overflowing with thankfulness to Him and that you will be freshly envisioned, inspired and invigorated for the work He is calling you to in the year and years ahead.
19 December 2018