Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

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Caring and Sharing

From the Elder's Department

by Hilary MacBeth

I grew up in country NSW and moved to Sydney as a young adult (a long time ago), where I have lived ever since.  My parents died several years ago and I've hardly been back home since - too busy combining work with raising a family and caring for my own home.  In spite of invitations from my brother, the only surviving member of my original family, holiday time usually found us headed south instead of north.  As the years went by I had less and less contact with my brother - just the occasional telephone call and a card each Christmas and birthday.  You know how it is.  People change and drift apart, especially when contact is not maintained.  Sad really, we were quite close when we were young.

Now that our children have grown and flown, my husband and I decided it was time to do some catching up with some long-time-no-see family members, including my big brother.  We have just come back from having spent a few memorable days with him and his wife.  I had forgotten what a warm and loving man he is.  He was absolutely delighted that we had finally made it.  There was no reprimand for having left it so long, just a joyful welcome and a tight "bear hug".  I was left in no doubt of the fact that he loves me, not because he thinks I've done anything outstanding with my life, (which is good because I haven't!) but simply because I'm his "kid" sister.  He's a lot like Dad really.

My brother would be amazed to hear me say this, but he reminds me of Jesus.  It's wonderful to know that we have a Heavenly Big Brother.  (1 John 3:1 says "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God!")  Jesus love us, not because we are nice people, or because we have done something to deserve his love.  He loves us simply because we exist and that means everyone of us, whether we love him in return or not.

Jesus always has the "welcome" mat out for us.  He is waiting, longing for us to come to him and when we come he receives is with joy.  He never says "you've hurt my feelings, go away".  Nothing we have done is ever so bad that Jesus is not able and willing to forgive us.  1 John 1:9 says "If we confess ours sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" and 1 John 4:10 "This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

We have a wonderful Saviour in our Heavenly Big Brother.  He loves us and is calling is to come to him today.  What are we waiting for?!

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