The Power of Forgiveness at the Cross

 Pictured: Our good friend Lenny Nelson with his father Johnny Nelson, survivor of the Coniston massacre in 1928. Photo: Paul McLaughlin

Pictured: Our good friend Lenny Nelson with his father Johnny Nelson, survivor of the Coniston massacre in 1928. Photo: Paul McLaughlin

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

On August 7th, 1928 a Dingo hunter named Fredrick Brooks was killed by Aboriginal men after he had taken one of their wives. It was a time of drought and water holes were drying up. Cattle spearing by tribal groups in the region had caused tensions between Aboriginals and owners of Coniston station north west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. In the following weeks it is believed up to 170 Walpiri, Anmantyerre and Kaytetye men, women and children were massacred by a lawless group of men lead by the constable from Barrow Creek. (Some stories say many more were killed) 

Old Johnny Nelson, who was about 2 years old, is the only known living survivor from one of the attacks. A quiet man of grace and forgiveness. His son Lenny is involved with the Baptist Church in Ali Curung community and plays some of the best country gospel music you will ever hear on his Fender Telecaster guitar. Stories of the Coniston massacre are never far from their thoughts and memory.

The Nelson family know what it means to forgive. They know what it means to place all the pain and poison of the past at the foot of the Cross. It is only when we fully understand why Jesus Christ went to the Cross to forgive us all of our sin that we can live with real hope. The curse of unforgiveness and payback is like a cancer that kills.. But the symbol of the Cross reminds us not only of Christ’s sacrifice but the miracle of His resurrection and promise of eternity. 

In mid July the traditional landowners of the region near where the Coniston massacre took place are erecting a 30 metre high Cross to tell the world they have been reconciled to God through Christ and Christ alone. Other tribal communities in the desert such as Haast’s Bluff are also planning similar events. Our Indigenous brothers and sisters are leading the way to proclaim Jesus Christ as the only real hope for our nation. If you’d like to join us on July 15-17 head for Ali Curung. Or click on the Button below for more info: 

Thank God we have forgiveness from our failures and the shame of the past. Thank God we have a future because of Jesus!

Thanks for your prayers and support.

Godspeed.

Steve Grace