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President's reflection

Liturgy for Sunday 26 July 2020

"nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39.

Let us pray

Almighty God,

to whom all hearts are open,

all desires known,

and from whom no secrets are hidden:

cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you,

and worthily magnify your holy name;

through Christ our Lord



The Two Great Commandments. 

'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' Jesus said: 'This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: you shall love your neighbour as yourself.' 

The Reflection 

Romans 8:38-39 "nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

In recent weeks, I have been sharing blessing songs based on Numbers 6. They have come to us from Scotland, Ghana, the US, Zimbabwe, France and many other places, including Australia. What I love about them, along with the buoyant music, is the faces of those singing. They glow with a radiant faithfulness and express such trust in our God.

In relation to Jesus parables in today’s Gospel, the singers and the song express that the treasure has been found; the pearl of great value has been found! From every corner of the earth and across time we hear those singing proclaim how nothing can separate us from the love of God, visible in Jesus.

“God is for you. God is for you” they all sing. Then, “Amen, Amen, Amen.”

God is for you and God is with you in the morning and in the evening; in our waking and in our sleeping. 

The painting that I share with you today is thus of “God’s Grace”, conveyed by artist Kristy Naden whose language is Wiradjuri and who is from Coffs Harbour. Kristy says her painting shows God the Holy Trinity at the centre of everything. While some may turn away, there is always a path back through faith in Jesus. (Ephesians 2:8). Amazing grace! 

A related story:

I have a friend who has thought, studied and prayed to be a good evangelist. He tells the story of boarding a plane, dressed in his clergy gear, going off to an Evangelist’s Conference. At the check-in, with people behind him, a Flight Attendant, seeming by dress to be of another faith tradition, asked him: “So, what is this Gospel of Jesus?” 

My friend paused, very aware of those behind him. Then heard himself say: “It’s BIG!”.... He then took his ticket and disappeared inside the plane. 

Once settled and seated, he began to berate himself. As an evangelist, he had been asked the dream question by someone of another faith: “What is this Gospel of Jesus?” But all he had been able to say was: “It’s BIG! “As we all can do, he began thinking of all the wiser things he might have said.

He was a bit hard on himself, don’t you think? Because it is BIG! 

Last week we pondered Jesus, Mary Magdalene and the Communion of Saints, here and in heaven. That’s BIG! 

This week, we absorb afresh that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God. Nothing even. That is BIG at any time but most certainly in this time of global, shared fragility. 

One last related reflection, from Dostoevsky: “Beauty will save the world”. 

Our spirituality is about discerning God’s truth and trying to live by it. It is also about enjoying the divine presence, which is so beautiful, thus too, enjoying the divine image and likeness in the wonderful uniqueness of one another. 

Creating and appreciating beauty, in the opportunities of daily life, is a way we colour in our trust in the love of God , so visible in Jesus. 

Every blessing, +Philip. 


Some listening suggestions:

“Memorial For Us All” - Yo-Yo Ma https://youtu.be/bDZ4gNRKdoc  

Hymn- All Souls Orchestra  https://youtu.be/AUfyowttvmY    

JS Bach- “I Call to you Lord Jesus” https://youtu.be/V-ALVM9zOZM 

“What a friend we have in Jesus” by Aretha Franklin https://youtu.be/8SCorW9r_Is 

JS Bach “Jesus, Joy of our Desiring’ https://youtu.be/T5Df7f_BLU8  

The Blessing (Global Choir) | Live from Elevation Ballantyne https://youtu.be/y9EK8dAXl6I 


Bishop Philip Huggins,

NCCA President