Happy Anniversary! 151 years is a long time in terms of Australian history (at least the European settlement part of it). Today we give thanks for the people who have faithfully proclaimed and lived the gospel here for almost 2/3 of the time since the First Fleet arrived on these shores. We have a rich and godly heritage, and we rightly celebrate and give thanks to God!
And yet we know from Scripture, church history and from the many empty church buildings in our city that the future of the church depends on the continuing clear and bold proclamation of our founder, the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who died for us, and for the whole world. True, Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail against his church, but He has also ordained that the establishing and building of his kingdom is through the faithful passing on of the good news. That’s why He commissioned his followers to go into all the world and disciple the nations. This message must be proclaimed to every people group.
We are so fortunate that God has not only raised up many Global Partners here to take the good news to the nations, but also brought the nations to us. Melbourne is the most ethnically diverse city in Australia, with people from over 200 different nations. Those who walk into our services and Open Chapel reflect this. Many of them come from gospel-starved backgrounds. God has given us huge opportunities, not just here in the CBD, but also in our communities, workplaces, Uni and college campuses.
Let’s Open Up and Reach Out more and more as we step out into the future, trusting our Lord to be with us as he promises, and to grow his kingdom as we proclaim him.
Enjoy the celebrations!