Greetings in Jesus’ name!
To my shame I was behaving like an over-eager puppy. Jack Gibson, the legendary ARL coach had been invited – and was coming – to a men’s dinner run by our church. He was to be part of a group gathered at a bowling club to eat and then to hear a great gospel talk. We knew he was coming and it would be best to leave him alone. But I couldn’t. “Hello Mr Gibson, how are you? Is everything alright? Are you comfortable? Do you know where the toilets are? Will the Roosters win on Sunday again?”
I know I should have shut up. But I couldn’t. Jack Gibson!
With four words he firmly put me in my place. Jack: “Do I know you?” Me: “Uhmm…”
I don’t know most of you at St Peter’s and St Andrew’s, though I hope in a very short time that I’ll be able to write these letters and have faces flash before me as I begin with “Dear friends”. And I’m really looking forward to that as together we continue to serve the Lord and bring the glorious gospel to the community and the world beyond.
My wife Glenda and I were delighted to serve in the Rosemeadow parish for 6 years before moving to Fairy Meadow where I’ve been part-time senior assistant in that growing ministry. I’m very grateful to Roger Fitzhardinge, my senior minister, for releasing me for a few days a week to help you prepare for the next stage in what God is doing through this community of God’s people.
But, imagine God were to ask you, “Do I know you?”
We so often put the question the other way round and ask others, “do you know God?”
But it’s much more important to know what the answer is to the first question.
So, may I respectfully ask you how you would answer when God asks “Do I know you?”
On July 17 Rev Dr J I Packer, at the age of 94, went to be with the Lord he was known by and served for over 70. His most significant book, a classic, is “Knowing God.” Packer knew that knowing God was based on God knowing him. Every day of his life he expressed it like this:
“I am a child of God. God is my Father; heaven in my home; every day is one day nearer. My Saviour is my brother; every Christian is my brother or sister, too.”
Do you know, like Packer, that God knows you?
Your brother in Christ,
Acting Senior Minister