A message from Jeremy Rensford

A MESSAGE FROM JEREMY RENSFORD... Chair of the Shepparton Ministers' Association. Photo: Steve Hutcheson

No doubt you’ve heard or made these kinds of comments of late, “Not another lockdown?”, “I can’t do this anymore”, “I’ve had enough, I’m spent”.

How are we going to respond as a city to the big challenges that we are facing? I’m sure you are acutely aware of what I’m talking about. Every day the following is thrust in our face by eager media reporting on the biggest news to hit the planet in a long time – case numbers, vaccination rates, deaths, most locked up city in the world, quarantines and lockdowns, six reasons to leave home, schools shut, businesses shut, can’t visit our families, can’t holiday, can’t go to work… – I better stop there before we all get even more sad. I don’t know about you, but I’m COVID fatigued.

So the challenge is how will we respond to all this? There’s an old saying “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger”. I wonder whether this adage can come to life here in Greater Shepparton. As I mentioned in my article last month, I was most impressed by how our city responded to our recent crisis, and I’m confident that this was only the beginning of a much greater, unified, courageous and thorough response to the unprecedented difficulties and sadness we face.

I know I, and countless others around Shepp, have been praying for our community to be protected and healed. For those with COVID (thankfully a minority of us) that symptoms would be minor and disappear quickly, for those affected by COVID (all of us) that we would be healed and rescued from depression, loneliness, fear, anxiety, financial struggles, separation from family and friends etc.

As Jesus’s mate Peter observed and told others who were most interested in the story “God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power…He went around doing good and healing all who were beaten down by the devil”
Thankfully, if Christian’s beliefs are to be true, this same Holy Spirit is here to do the same thing right here in our town today – and it’s most needed.

Here’s a final thought – perhaps YOU are the practical answer to someone’s prayers. A phone call, a visit, a walk at the lake, dropping off a thoughtful gift, checking in on someone you are concerned about. Rather than turning on one another (it’s tempting), caring for one another (even people that we disagree with, or to be scandalous, especially people we disagree with).

Food for thought.

A MESSAGE FROM JEREMY RENSFORD… Chair of the Shepparton Ministers’ Association. Photo: Steve Hutcheson