Today’s readings are Prov. 17 and Ephesians 4:1-16.

Welcome to Australia Day. As it is a public holiday, I hope that as you read what follows, you take a moment to reflect, rejoice and give thanks for our great country and especially those who have gone before us and who made sacrifices to make our home what it is today. To God be the glory.

Before I add some thoughts about our readings today, let me simply ask you to read the first 6 verses of Ephesians 4.

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

All that follows in this chapter stems from Paul’s argument that we are called to live lives that are worthy of Christ. We have been given grace so we should use it. We are no longer infants so we should act our age and allow our maturity to be shown. We should all use the gifts that God has given us so that together we grow to full maturity in Christ.

We can too easily underestimate the value of unity. We can too easily forget that in Jesus prayer (John 17:23) unity itself is a sign that the father has sent the son. to be gentle with each other requires patience and hard work. Grace is required. to bear with each other, grace is required. to serve each other , grace is required.

Today you will no doubt see a lot of unity as people gather together to enjoy the fruits of living in such a country as ours. Let us all join in and remember that it is not about us but more about the message that we bring. Or as Proverbs comments “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet tha a house full of feasting with strife”(17:1).

Let all of us play the role that God has called us to as we seek to give his all the glory.

Happy Australia Day

Pastor Ian