Wondall Road Church
Wondall Road - Easter 2017
Messy Church
Galah in the grounds at Wondall Road
Vi Heaton Hall, Wesleyville
Vi Heaton Hall interior
Wynnum foreshore
Wynnum foreshore
Men's Shed
Reverend Craig Blackburn

 

 

Welcome to Bayside Uniting Church





  

REMEMBERING, REFLECTING & RESEMBLING

 

As Cyclone Debbie was forming off the coast of North Queensland a week ago, people were preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

It reminded me of being at one of the two Presbytery live-in weekends in Townsville, with the threat of a cyclone further North. I determined to head for home in Mossman to support Janette and our young family, rather than potentially get stranded for days if it struck hard, but it didn’t come to much other than rain and more rain.

The previous damaging cyclone was ‘Rona’ in 1999 that made landfall near Pt Douglas, the year before we were based in Mossman for ministry (2000 – 2005). The next major one was Cyclone Larry in 2006, the year after we departed from the Douglas Shire. 

I did travel back up there in May 2006 to access our 20 foot long shipping container packed with our belongings that we had left on Colin & Dawn Gray’s property at Gordonvale (Southern Cairns). Everything had to be transferred into another container before the Church could move our gear to Pottsville. People we knew in Innisfail were happy to purchase our shipping container after the cyclone had damaged their buildings. But I was amazed by the obvious strength of wind that had stripped trees bare of their leaves and knocked out large areas of cropping. 

Mark 4:35-41 records Jesus saying “Let us cross over to the other side”. But a great windstorm arose, and the disciples were freaking out. After Jesus rebuked the wind and pronounced peace on the sea, everything settled. What would Jesus do if confronted by a cyclone in 2030AD? What would, could, should (did) you and I do in 2017? 

CycloneDebbie

 

Some serious devastation resulted as ‘Debbie’ hit the islands and coast and headed South bringing driving rain and flooding to substantial areas of South East Qld, even where we live. Unusual for a slow system to move so rapidly, but we were warned of the “unpredictable nature” of such weather.

Jesus advised Nicodemus “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it,  but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).

 Even though the Bureau of Meteorology can now tell us basically where this large mass formed and was able to track it, the power or authority to stop it is not within human capability. To warn people how to best avoid the danger seems to be working.

 This claim was that this cyclone could have a 100km core, means it was BIG. Reminds me of something else visiting Far North Queensland. I remembered the Church of Christ’s Big Band (a large gifted group) that had travelled to us, playing a particular song by Planetshakers;

“I want to be a reflector, want to shine with Your glory

I want to let the whole world know that You’re living in me

I want to burn with Your fire, shine my light a little brighter

I want to let the whole world know that Jesus lives in me”

The desire to direct the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ towards others who are oppressed by darkness is a crucial concern for Christians. Reflecting and directing that light in creative and lasting ways is our clear mission.

 Some of the most special moments I have experienced in nearly three decades of training and ministry, is when children make special random comments, like; (at the supermarket) “Hello Mr Blackburn! Mum, that’s my Scripture teacher”, (at a sporting event) “Didn’t you come to our school to tell us about Jesus and Christmas” (or, have a child see me and start singing) particular song words, including “Amen x10…” It is when the message we share, is backed by character and care, of children valuable and precious to God and us. Surely they are times when we identify with,  even resemble our heavenly Dad and our Saviour Jesus. Let’s continue to be unpredictable – like the wind – led by the Holy Spirit, (Romans 8:14) for good and God, like Jesus (Acts 10:38), remembering, reflecting and resembling Him who matters most.         Craig B.