2018 principal blogs

The Journey to Us
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-12-6 15:06:11
 
She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby.  She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger—there was no room for them to stay in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7)

Continuing the Christmas message in chapel, this week we focussed on the journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus. It was not an easy time for Mary and Joseph, and the end of the trip resulted in nowhere to stay – except a stable at the inn. How incredible it is that God made himself so vulnerable that he came into the world as a helpless baby in challenging circumstances – all for us. He totally humbled himself and reached down, knowing that we could never achieve enough to rise up to him. And that’s the unique difference about Christianity: God does everything to save us – he takes the journey, he takes the risk, he takes the pain and he takes everything away that separates us from him. There is nothing we need to do except receive his gift. May that be the focus this Christmas as we navigate everything else that people at times identify with this season. And may we rejoice in his amazing love. 

The Big Announcement
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-11-29 11:53:26
 
The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favour with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name Him Jesus.” (Luke 1:30-31)

In chapel this week, Mrs Ogilvy has been sharing about when Mary and Joseph learned that God’s Son, Jesus, would be joining their family. It would have been quite a shock I assume. But they didn’t fear what lay ahead – an unexpected baby, the accusations, the disbelief – instead they fully trusted in God and his plan for them and the world. Although it was a big announcement to them, in many ways it was a very small one in terms of the world. It wasn’t written in the sky or heralded by the local messengers. Mary’s pregnancy happened in a small house in a quiet part of the world. But as was foretold 700 years earlier, it would become one of the most significant events in human history. As we approach this Christmas, consider how you might respond if God sent an angel to your family with the same news. It would be lifechanging, just as Mary’s pregnancy has been lifechanging for everyone. 

God's Great Creation
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-11-21 13:42:19
 
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Each morning I drive past a house that’s been under renovation for at least a year. It’s not a particularly large house or challenging one but each day of that year it has had at least 6 trades vehicles parked outside, often many more. One day it had 15 utes, 2 cement trucks and a crane! And yet progress on this non-descript home seems extremely slow for the number of workers always on site. I certainly hope that when it is finished the owners look at the final result and see it as worth the time and expense. That’s how God looked at his creation. After each significant stage of creation, God saw that it was good and was pleased. He sees us as the pinnacle of his creation and desires to be with us eternally. What a special position for us to be in. In the lead up to Christmas, let’s give thanks to God for all he has given us to enjoy.
 

Break Down the Barriers
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-11-15 08:29:26
 
We have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.
(2 Corinthians 5:16)

Humans tend to be very good at labelling others. This can be based on all sorts of features, traits and conditions, and is probably used more often to justify not being involved with a particular group than it is to unite with them. This happened just as often in Jesus’ time too. In fact, he was highly criticised for spending time with the “wrong” people.; talking to them, eating at their homes and partying with them. He healed them, forgave them and raised their social standing. Jesus was fully God but he never used that as an excuse to not interact with someone. Instead he humbled himself in order to serve them; giving them value and worth at the same time. We are challenged to do the same by not looking at others with a critical eye. Instead, let’s see them as God sees us, as people worthy of love and inclusion. Let’s choose to accept rather than reject and break down the barriers that separate us. 

Waiting for Jesus
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-11-7 15:28:37
 
So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
(Hebrews 9:28)

Sadly, war and conflicts have been a part of our world almost constantly during the past century and the amount of destruction has been amongst the greatest in history. The tensions are usually around those fighting for peace and freedom and those fighting for oppression and dominance. As a nation, we are blessed to have escaped most of it on our doorstep but plenty of our citizens have served, fought and died in the pursuit of freedom and peace in other regions around the globe. They have made significant differences, often at great personal consequence and sacrifice, so we pray constantly that humanity will seek to unite rather than separate and take active steps toward global peace. In the meantime, we wait with hope for Christ’s second coming to free us from conflicts, for it is then that he will raise up all who have acted for him and in him and bring about a new heaven and earth that is filled only with peace and joy.  

Names of God
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-10-31 13:55:42
 
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the
people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14)

During this term’s chapels, the children have been hearing about the different names that have been given to God or to describe God: Immanuel, Wonderful Counsellor, Good Shepherd, Redeemer, Prince of Peace, Mighty King. When Moses asks God what name he should use so his people know which God has spoken to him, God simply says, “I Am”. I am who I am; I am what people call me; I am God. As the Jewish people understood him to be the one and only true God, God did not need to use any other name. And it’s a name that holds much weight and it’s a name that has endured for thousands of years. The other names have special significance too and point to what makes God different to us; what places him above us. However we know him, I’m pleased that he has revealed himself to us, and that what he revealed was that he is a loving and generous God. 

Generations
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-10-25 08:10:32
 
One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts. (Psalm 145:4)

With Grandparents Day happening at school today, we saw many wonderful interactions. In some classes, grandchildren taught their grandparents; in others the grandparents shared their knowledge and skills. And in yet others they worked as equal partners. The children were certainly excited about showcasing their work and spending time with their much-loved family members, and I trust that the grandparents enjoyed the opportunity to express their pride and gather stories to tell to their friends. As a Christian community, we started the day in worship and grandparents had the opportunity to hear about God’s creation. We also hope that the grandparents will want to hear more from their grandchild about the great love of Jesus and the amazing things he has done for each of us. 

Change Your Perspective
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-10-18 08:43:42
 
Let the weak say, “I am strong.” (Joel 3:10)

All of us face challenges every day. Some we hide away and others are in full view of the world. But they are there. It could be a troubled relationship, illness, work issues or financial pressure. It could be a local, national or international event that impacts us in some way. How we approach it can make a difference. God certainly wants us to think about it and pray into the situation, but he also wants us to picture ourselves as having overcome the challenge. Let the weak say, “I am strong,” is about perspective. If we view our circumstances as if God has already answered our prayers then we can find the strength to face them. God knows the size of our challenges, so let your challenges know the size of our God, for through him all things are possible.
 

Strength to Endure
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-10-11 08:12:46
 
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. (Colossians 1:11)

“I can’t believe it’s Term 4!” has been a common statement I’ve heard this week from parents, staff and students alike. The run up to Christmas and New Year will see many of us working harder to finish tasks, meet targets and achieve goals. I also asked the children at Assembly yesterday to consider how they can best use the remaining 44 days of school, encouraging them to make wise choices, apply best efforts and make positive differences for themselves and others. Of course, that all gets harder as we get more tired, but God will help us with the strength and courage we need. May we call upon him in whatever measure is required to endure the challenges so that we can enjoy the rewards and blessings that also flow. Blessings for the term ahead. 

The Peace of the Lord
  Adam Richardson  -  2018-09-20 10:50:33
 
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.
The Lord be with you all. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

This Friday is the International Day of Peace. With Peace being our focus theme for this year, it’s timely to take a few moments and give thanks for the peace that we enjoy here in Australia. Our lives are relatively free of war and violence, we have religious freedoms, we have free speech and can choose our careers. Life in Australia is pretty good. But of course that means there are others in our world whose lives are not as peaceful. They live in constant fear, suffering and oppression. It’s not as God intended but nonetheless reflects the effects of sin in our broken world. So let’s pray that worldly peace is experienced by all people as soon as possible and that in the meantime there is peace found in the hope that our Heavenly Father offers through the saving grace of his Son, Jesus.
 

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