We are watching, compelled by the apocalyptic images of these fires which fill our screens, fires we had once believed were impossible. After the horrors of the last few weeks, we had hoped that Christmas brought a change, but the reality is otherwise.
The fires we had seen in the north and west of our state and in South Australia, are now rampaging south into the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, and throughout the Mallee in Victoria.
I have been talking with Rev. Dr Stephen Robinson, who coordinates Disaster Response for the whole Uniting Church. We have Chaplains at each Evacuation Centre, the numbers of which are growing, as people flee their holidays and their homes to comparative safety.
At this moment, I am calling all of us, particularly those who are safe, to pray for everyone in the path of these fires, and whose lives and property are at risk of harm:
I know that many people and congregations are already praying. Many have acted to support those for whom we pray in a range of ways. Please keep praying – for hope, for shelter, for safety, for rain.
These are difficult days, and there are more difficult days to come.
Christmas asserts that we shall know Jesus’ name as Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus is our hope that God is with us in every circumstance, and never more than when all else appears at risk.
I commend you all to prayer, in the promise of Jesus Christ,