Minister’s Blog

Rev Dr Colin S. Marshall

The Challenging Season

29th November 2022

In John 16:33 we have the words of Jesus as He spoke to His disciples. He said to the, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Given He had just told them that persecution was going to come upon them and that they would be scattered and alone His words seem strangely innocuous. Yet oddly, so many years later, Christians testify to that fact that even in the most troubled of times they are able, in Christ, to find a place of peace.

The apostle Paul, chased and harried throughout his ministry by opponents who saw that he was beaten, stoned, whipped, placed on trial that even led to suffering a shipwreck, also found that place of peace. In Philippians 4:11-13 Paul writes, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” As Paul relied on the Lord for his strength, peace and comfort through difficult times so too can we. In this challenging season of world history the same Lord loves and cares for us as much as He did for Paul. He is only ever just a prayer away.

The Testimony of Service

The passing of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is seen differently by many people, however one thing is widely admired: her life of service. In Luke 22:27 we are reminded of the words of Jesus, “I am among you as one who serves.” To serve is to demonstrate love for others. As Christians our response to the love God pours out on us is to love others in real terms – acts of service, not just nice feelings. This is not always easy and requires conscious and deliberate action. Loving action, particularly where is has not been deserved, speaks a powerful message. I am sure that Queen Elizabeth, always firm in her faith and steadfast in her duty, will be remembered for her loving, dutiful service and not for the flaws, for we each have our flaws don’t we. As Jesus put it, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13-14)

Church in challenging times …

Hi, I’m Colin, the parish minister at St. John’s. It is a great privilege and joy to be part of a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, multi-aged church in the bustling Mt. Roskill area in the middle of Auckland. With the rapid pace of change and the increasing pressures on individuals and families it is awesome to see how, in faith, we bring life back to the basics Jesus taught and find peace and fulfilment, friendship and purpose in life. You are welcome to join us in this journey of discovery.

Exciting news …

We have now arrived at the point in our building project where, at the AGM, we will be able to show you the new concepts for our building project. This will incorporate both church and community focused aspects and will something completely new for Auckland and the church scene. We are excited about it and we hope that you will be too. After the AGM we will publish pictures and material for you to be able to see, online, what is proposed.

9th Sept 2022

Reflection on Persistence

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

NIV Luke 11:9-10

I recently watched one of our Hibiscus plants in one of the larger storms we have had lately. The storm lasted three days and I was sure all of the flowers would be blown away. Some of the winds were extreme. But after each buffeting the flowers raised their head to the sun and persevered. When the storm was over all the dried and dead material from the plant had blown away but the flowers looked better than ever and sat with their happy faces to the sun. A great metaphor I thought as to how we need to be throughout the storms of life – constantly lifting our heads to the Son as we wait for the next season of brightness and life and allowing the struggle to strengthen us and get rid of the dead and unhelpful bits in our lives. When we seek the Lord and His purposes we will eventually see them. God works all things for His good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

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