Have you ever looked at the night sky with wonder and been moved by the vastness of it all? Have you simply enjoyed the beauty of the night sky as you walked by the ocean and seen the stars stretching from the far horizon and rising above you like a canopy? It is hard to see stars in Auckland with all the light pollution and only the brightest stars visible. But get away from the city streetlights and you will marvel at the difference you see.
A number of years ago Melanie and I became citizens of New Zealand. We got dressed up, went to the ceremony, walked across the stage, were greeted by the dignitaries, and given our certificates of citizenship. It was a significant and happy day for us. But more important to us than our New Zealand citizenship, is that we are citizens of the Kingdom of God.
Greyfriars Church was founded as a Gospel Community in the midst of the first world war. Rev James Shaw, who had served as a chaplain on a hospital ship, became the first minister of Greyfriars in 1917. He outlined the gospel path for the church stating, Our work here is to bring the hearts of men to the knowledge of the riches that are in Christ, and to bring them to a personal acceptance of Christ. I believe this expression of the gospel is the foundational mission statement of Greyfriars church. This set the tone and direction of church life.
Recently, when my wife returned from holiday, I had a loaf of bread baking so she would arrive to the aroma of freshly baked bread. Do you like the aroma of fresh bread, or maybe of freshly brewed coffee? When you were younger was there a meal you really enjoyed and if you came home and smelt that aroma, it warmed your heart and comforted you. Such is the aroma of hope in a broken world. “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” (2 Corinthians 2:15)