[First published in the monthly congregational “Notes” for January, 2020]
A few years ago I enjoyed a session in a flight simulator for a Boeing 737. Everything was exactly as it would be in a real aircraft except for the lack of bumps and jolts that surely would have been felt if I had been flying a real plane. I managed to take off and land at Tullamarine without crashing. One can even say that taxiing, taking off and flying are all relatively easy especially if it does not really matter where we choose to go!! But landing safely at a given destination is the hard part and getting there and not crashing along the way is essential to that. While all the maze of instruments have their place and understanding them all is part of the art of flying, the Artificial Horizon Indicator is one of the most important…continue reading
[First published in the monthly congregational “Notes” for December, 2019.]
If we are familiar with the narrative of the Wise Men [Matt 2:1-12] we will have heard often Micah’s most well-known prophecy, when the priests of the day, confidently paraphrasing Micah 5:2-4, told Herod that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. More than 700 years earlier, God had promised someone from Bethlehem who would be Ruler, who would be from of Old (Hebrew idiom for ‘very ancient’, even ‘eternal’). This One would feed Israel like a Shepherd in the strength and majesty of the Lord, and He would also be great “to the ends of the earth.” No wonder Herod was upset.
That was not all that Micah said. He had also spoken of a remnant gathered together into a flock (2:12) and a strong nation (4:7) from among the many people where they…continue reading
[first published in the monthly congregational Notes for November, 2019.]
In recent years we have learned of companies paying their employees less than the appropriate award requires. Some have self-reported when audits have disclosed the issue and voluntarily promised to make good the difference, while others cases have only come to light as a result of complaints and adjudication by courts. We are rightly offended when someone is not paid properly and it goes against our Aussie sense of fair play. Put bluntly, deliberate underpayment is theft. It is ‘taking without paying’ (Deut 24:14-15; Jer 22:13). We might accept an honest mistake but we still expect the wages deficit to be made right. Fair is fair. But fairness works two ways! To be consistent we must also expect that overpaid wages should be returned as well.
Now, let us extend the matter a little bit. Because God is…continue reading