The Real Australian Winter 2020 Editorial

Greg Harris - National Director   

Thirty times! In all of the books of the Bible the word ‘island’ appears just 30 times and only in four books. The references in the book of Acts refer to Paul’s travel diary and the majority of other occurrences of the word ‘island’ in Isaiah, Ezekiel and Revelation refer to judgement or the last day. Most striking for me is that there are no island references in the Psalms. No poetic references to God ‘adorning the oceans with tropical jewels and all creation praising the Maker for their beauty’.

Why so few references to islands and even fewer favourable ones? Is it possible that for God’s people and all the nations surrounding them, it was easy to forget those small islands off the coast? And especially if they were not seafaring by nature and had a healthy fear of the seas; just ask Jonah.

Could we as Australians, where most of us are inhabitants of an enormous island, also forget the smaller ones off the coast? Except of course when we are looking for a holiday escape.

BCA has always had a heart for reaching people with the good news in rural, regional and remote parts of Australia. It has meant that we go the distance across red dirt, dusty plains, rugged mountains and the seas! Consider the remoteness of Norfolk Island over 1400 kms off the east coast and King Island in the middle of Bass Strait.

With a focus on ‘Island Ministry’ in our current appeal, I hope that we might not forget the need in the remote parts of Australia across the seas. Would you please prayerfully consider giving generously so that we can continue to go the distance over seas to tell of God’s grace and mercy?

Notwithstanding the few Biblical references to islands there is one in Isaiah 11 that I believe captures the heart of God for island ministry. It speaks of God "reach(ing) out His hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of His people" from what is a long list of land-based nations "and from the islands of the Mediterranean".

My prayer is that the same Lord will reach out and continue to reclaim a people from across this land including the islands off our coast.   

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