This Christmas we celebrate two hundred years since Samuel Marsden's inaugural preaching of the Good News in Aotearoa. Over two hundred years the Good News has moved from the Bay of Islands to every corner of our country, expressed in thousands of churches, organisations and ministries, in messages, actions and the arts.
It's important to make sure that we understand events like this and what they where the catalyst for. There's plenty of things you could look at if you are interested, but two things worth a mention would be this article from our national movement and even more recently the NZ Herald had this article breaking down the events of the day.
I don't want to post more information, or retell the story, but just want to share an excitement in my heart for the heritage we have, in which we are grafted. We are standing on the shoulders of two hundred years of the Good News being preached and outworked in our country in all kinds of ways. That's a long time, and within that are a lot of stories, and within this large narrative is, for us, a new story.
This new story is one of us hearing God's voice to plant a church and beginning to see that 'word' become a reality. Over the last couple of months we have seen something that was just invisible – something that was just in our hearts – start to become visible. People have started to gather around and join in as we begin this journey within this giant movement of the Good News impacting Aotearoa.
So, because of such an occasion, I have some reflections I hope we can be.
I hope we can plant something that joyfully declares Te Rongopai o Ihu Karaiti – the Good News of Jesus Christ – in word, sign and deed.
I hope we can plant something that plays it's part in this narrative well, making a difference for the good of our nation, standing for the injustices to be found and finding the needs to be met.
I hope we can plant something that looks back to look forward, knowing the shoulders we stand on – both the good and the bad – and doing all that we can to be the peacemakers in our time for the Church and the world.
I hope that we can plant something that can be a part of the next two hundred years and beyond.