THANK YOU FOR CREATING THIS BEAUTIFUL WORLD WE LIVE IN. EACH NATION IS VERY DIFFERENT, YET WE ARE EQUALLY LOVED BY YOU. OUR PRAYER TODAY IS FOR UNITY FOR ALL THE NATIONS, A DEEPER CELEBRATION FOR DIVERSITY AND FOR US TO KNOW YOU BETTER AS OUR GOOD FATHER. WE THANK YOU, WE LOVE YOU, AND WE HOPE WE BLESS YOU THIS AFTERNOON. IN JESUS' NAME WE PRAY. AMEN
The prayer above was written and presented by students as we celebrated 'International Day' at Claremont College. I'm always blown away by the depth of the children's thinking - why can't we as adults be like them?
The word ‘community’ is potentially overused in this present time. We talk a lot about the importance of ‘community’, and of the power of collaboration, consultation, promoting inclusion, respecting and embracing diversity and our many differences… all of these modern day buzz-words. We might say that we value ‘community’, but do we really mean it? How do we live and interact in a way that truly reflects authentic community… we do just that, we live with authenticity, transparency, and vulnerability, demonstrating a commitment to one-another which takes sacrifice, empathy, compassion and love… all with the desire to genuinely want what’s best for our neighbours.
We must walk the talk. Jesus most powerfully put it like this; ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’, (Mark 12:31). Similarly, these other verses pack a powerful punch; ‘Do unto others as you would have them do to you.’ (Matt 7:12) and;
‘Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.’ (Colossians 3:12-15).
This week a medical report (19th Sept) was published with some very interesting results. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Health of the Nation Report shows mental health problems have replaced physical conditions as the most common ailments that our doctors are treating. Depression, anxiety and mood disorders have replaced coughs, colds and earaches as the bread and butter of general practice. The report shows that back pain, colds and flu were once the most common reasons people saw their GPs, but musculoskeletal and respiratory problems are now a distant second and third (40% and 39% respectively). If mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are becoming either more common, or more easily talked about (or perhaps a combination of both these things), I suggest that we have a ‘community’ responsibility to support one-another in the challenges of our day to day lives. More than ever, I believe that it takes “a village to raise a child”, and to extend this notion, I reckon it takes a village to support a mum and a dad, and it takes a village to grow and support strong families. We need each other if we are going to stay well, and be strong in our parenting and to live life well.
May peace rule in your heart.