I asked my team what this ED message should be about and they all said: HOPE!
The LEA values describe hope as:
Hope enables us to look forward with expectation and confidence, placing our trust and faith in God’s provision of the things we need to handle all kinds of situations and events that occur. Hope is open-ended, open to all possibilities and not limited by what we might wish for. Hope allows God to define our lives.
Psalm 31:14-15, John 6:20, Romans 8:38-39, Ephesians 3:11-12, Philippians 4:6-7 …
This highlights that ‘hope’ is different to ‘want’. When we focus our longings on particular things, such as the end of lockdowns or certainty about the future (which is something we’ve never had), we constrain the options that will satisfy us, and we ultimately find ourselves hemmed in with few possibilities. We tie ourselves up in our own hopelessness.
But when we let go and trust in God, we find the outcomes are infinite and wonderful, even when the way forward is not what we might have expected. What has been an unexpected blessing for you in the last year?
God has provided and continues to provide us with the things we need. He does this through scientists as they study the biology of viruses and the immune system and develop vaccines and treatments for the sick. He inspires people to serve their neighbours, whether it be by checking in and helping each other during lockdowns; through teachers who continue to find creative ways to support student learning in challenging circumstances; through healthcare workers who tend to the physical needs of the sick; through health professionals and administrators who implement the huge logistical feat of vaccinating a sprawling nation and people keen to get vaccinated. He provides a way forward. He also gives us laughter (#KenBehrens), he gives us a change of pace, he gives us a reminder that COVID is not the sum of our days.
God provides us with God’s love for us flowing through the people around us; just as we are channels of God’s peace to others, even when we’re not feeling particularly peaceful. It is the peace of God, that transcends all understanding, that keeps our hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.
Associate Professor Lisa Schmidt
Executive Director LEA