Preaching at the celebration of the 25th Queensland Synod of the Uniting Church, the newly inducted Moderator Rev Dr David Pitman challenge the Synod and the congregation to affirm their calling in Christ and to seek in the power of the Spirit the renewal of their passion for Christ and for his gospel.
Dr Pitman told of a conscious memory at the age of seven when he was visiting his grandmother and singing "Jesus, loves me, this I know" with his aunty at the piano.
"I knew at that moment that Jesus loved ME! More than that, in my seven-year-old heart I knew that I loved him!" said Dr Pitman.
"To use the language of Jeremiah, I was just a boy, but Jesus was calling me into a relationship that has shaped my life and determined its direction ever since."
Dr Pitmans said he is by nature an optimistic person whose confidence in the faithfulness of God is the source of his hope, both for now and the future.
"Everything else that happens in my life is brought into perspective by my knowledge and experience of God’s love and grace, given reality for me primarily through my relationship with Jesus."
Dr Pitman said the call of God is not an arbitrary thing which we can put on hold until we get what we want.
"It’s not an option that can be tied to what’s going on in the church at any given time, or whether we agree or disagree with something that’s been said or done.
"So long as we belong to the Uniting Church we must faithfully, obediently and passionately live out our call in partnership with all our brothers and sisters, because that is what Christ expects, and we do it not to please ourselves or satisfy our needs, but for the sake of the gospel and the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth."
He described himself as a person who lives in awe of the bigness of God.
"Only a God that big could also be the God of the incarnation who draws me irresistibly into the embrace of a love so great I cannot comprehend it, only experience it with a profound sense of joy and gratitude."
The full text of Dr Pitman’s sermon is available for download as a PDF file here.
An pod file can be downloaded here to listen to here. This is an MP3 file 3.6mb.