200 years ago, on 7th March 1817, a group of men, including Governor Lachlan Macquarie, gathered to form an auxiliary branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society in the colony of New South Wales. Their vision was to assist in “distributing the word of God – the Bread of Eternal Life – to the poor perishing souls of our fellow creatures”. One month later these same men met to establish Australia’s first bank, the Bank of New South Wales (now called Westpac). The importance of the Bible trumped the importance of the dollar. So it should be.
Next Sunday morning, 5th March 2017, our church will celebrate the bi-centenary of this event along with many others around our nation.
The Bible Society, in cooperation with Hillsong Church, has coordinated an all-church simulcast which will include messages from the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, and Brian Houston, Senior Pastor at Hillsong.
We have signed up to be one of the Bible Societies linked ‘Lighthouse Churches’, playing significant portions of the simulcast during our regular 10:00am service. Already we are being promoted on the Bible Society website as a ‘Lighthouse Church’ – so we may have some extra guests.
One things is for sure, it will be different to our usual Sunday moning. Instead of a face to face sermon, usually from Jonny or myself, we will be – with thousands of others across our nation – watching two short sermons on the Word of God via simulcast. My prayer is that we will all be encouraged.
It’s good to celebrate the Word of God. Let’s do that today, next Sunday, and always.