In September 2019 I will have the privilege of turning 60 years old… and so does the old steel framed, corrugated iron Lutheran Mission Church in the remote Northern Territory community of Haasts Bluff. This iconic building has served the people of Ikuntji country well. I remember my first visit, back in the winter of 1995 during a revival that had taken place. My mate and professional photographer Ken Duncan had called me and said “ Get out there mate! They love your songs! Your songs have been part of this revival!”
The church was freshly painted, brilliant white with a glossy British 'racing green' concrete floor. Entry was forbidden except on Sunday’s so all meetings were held from the front porch with people huddled around campfires on the ground outside. Revival ‘Singalong’s’ would happen every night and go until the firewood ran out. The entire community attended with a desire to be free of the addiction to grog and gambling, and the ongoing conflicts between clan’s. The Gospel message and singing together became the common cause for peace and unity.
And so it is with life… without the unconditional grace of God over our lives we seem to live in conflict…. striving to make it on our own and focus only on our selfish desires rather than the needs of others. We were not created to be greedy, we were born to give, to be generous with our lives. That’s where real faith and fulfilment come from.
As we step into a brand new year may our hearts be fixed on matters that make people and make history.
Thank you for your friendship and love.