Sabbath 23 Dec 2017
We awoke this morning to a beautiful, warm day. Br Luke Kneebone led worship with a very encouraging message entitled, “Trust in the Lord.” He reminded us how easy it is for us as humans to place our trust in ourselves or others around us and how important it is to shift our trust completely to God. Anxiety comes when we take responsibility upon ourselves for things we have no answers or solutions for. Worrying cannot change one thing but clouds our thought and judgement. We need to have the same complete trust in our heavenly Father that little children have in their earthly parents and remember that He knows what things we have need of. We need take no thought for tomorrow.
We were privileged to have the Orchestra play for Sabbath school which was led by Br Paul Chapman. Br Nathan Tyler took the Review of last week’s lesson, “Righteousness for Today,” before we were divided into different groups led by Daniela, Csongor, and some of our Youth Mentors to study the lesson for this week, “Complete in Christ.”
There were a few children’s programs running, with the little ones being led by Sisters Vesna Kraus, Kaylene Matyas, and Bianca Ilic where they learnt about Paul’s stand before Nero and how he let his light shine. The next age group was taken by Sr Lidia Voncina and Br Martin Staudinger, and they studied William Miller and how he studied the prophecy of the 2300 days and 70 years and was instrumental in spreading this message to the world. The teenagers aged 13-16 were led by Sr Tanya where they were impressed with the importance of coming to Jesus just as they are.
After a special item by the Children’s Sabbath School class singing “This Little Light of Mine,” Br Liviu Tudoroiu took the Divine Service entitled, “Music is Power.” He shared with us a story that demonstrated this. In 1994 on the same night that Nelson Mandela obtained freedom for the people of South Africa, a rock concert was held in America. After two hours of this heavy rock music, a young South African girl came to the stage and began to sing “Amazing Grace”, a cappella. Initially the crowd resisted the change to such simple music, but as she continued singing they quieted down and sang along as they consciously or unconsciously realised their heart’s longing for this grace. Br Tudoroiu reminded us that we need to meet people where they are, in the mud and misery, and address their thirst as this young woman did. He went on to discuss the story of Paul and Silas in jail and how their midnight concert brought an earthquake and touched the hearts of all the prisoners so that they did not flee. All this resulted in the baptism of the jailer and his family. Through these and other stories we were reminded that we must have Christ in our heart so that His power and love can shine out of us to reach others and touch their souls. Then they will see the difference in us and say, “We want what you have; give us what you have.” We need the self-sacrificing love of Moses–such a great love that it can say, “If you must, remove my name from the books of heaven, but save these people.”
We were served a delicious lunch after which we had free time with the option of a walk or a song service followed by tea, which was enjoyed by all.
The special evening program was held in the amphitheatre which had been decorated beautifully. The backdrop was draped with vines and sprinkled with twinkling lights. The cicadas had prepared their own private concert, so those participating in the human concert had to exert themselves to compete with the sound volume. There were quite a few special items as well as the pieces the orchestra had prepared, and these were greatly appreciated by all. Sabbath was closed midway through the evening with a short talk by Br Ben Thiel, and as darkness fell the cicadas eventually quieted. The time spent in nature enjoying beautiful music together was a very special experience that I am sure will be remembered for a long time.