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The Millennium

A New Prime Minister

Rudd_2Congratulations to Kevin Rudd for his recent election as the new Prime Minister of Australia.

Regardless of who you voted for, we need to pray for Mr Rudd, for his party, and for all the candidates who were elected - in both the House of Representative and the Senate.

"I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God's mercy upon them, and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, for he wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message that God gave to the world at the proper time." [The Apostle Paul - 1 Timothy 2:1-7.
NLT]

The public mood seems to be that many people are pleased that the election is over... and everyone can get on with life. After all, political campaigns and campaign promises can tend to get tedious after a while.

It is important that we don't buy into the illusion that every problem has a political solution. Politics are important but we must keep everything in it's proper perspective. As Charles Colson says, "Politics is, after all, only an expression of culture. It cannot be the ultimate source of meaning and influence if people wish to remain free." Other things, such as family, church, faith, and community are the ingredients of a truly meaningful life.

Together, let's believe and pray for Australia to continue to be a great place to live, to work, to raise a family, and to share our faith.

Comments

Thank you, Mark. Indeed let us not lose our perspective. Our allegiance is to the Creator God and to Jesus the Lord through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

The New Testament was written in the Roman Empire. When Paul declared that "Jesus is Lord", he was in effect saying that "Caesar is not Lord". It's something obvious to the first-century Christians, not so much to us in Australia today.

The gospel was a challenge to Rome, although it claimed to have justice on its side. Ironically Pax Romana (Roman peace) was founded on oppression and misuse of power, and on a political leader who claimed to be the “saviour” of the world.

But the gospel is all about a “powerless” second-class citizen (a Jew in the Roman empire) who has turned out to be the Saviour of the world through his death on the cross and his resurrection.

So, after the election, let us live out life of the Crucified so as to reflect the life of the Risen One. And in doing so the world – including our politicians – will see the true Lord of the universe.

Siu-Fung

I was impressed with a Canberra Times article recently. It told of Rudd quietly helping at a food kitchen without any publicity or media. Apparantly he does it on a monthly or regular basis. And still doing it as PM. Here is the text of the article if you are interested:
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Rudd serves Canberra's needy
Megan Doherty

The Canberra Times 27th Dec 07.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spent Boxing Day morning in Canberra dishing up bacon and eggs to homeless people and others in need, at a centre in Civic.

He did so without announcing the visit and without any media present, preferring to help out at the Early Morning Centre in a low-key way, accompanied only by a few security officers.

The centre is part of the Canberra City Uniting Church on Northbourne Avenue.
Open each weekday, the centre provides a free breakfast and referral service to those in need, with support from the ACT Government. It received a call last week saying that the Prime Minister wanted to visit and successfully kept it under wraps while most of Canberra was sleeping off the excesses of Christmas Day or attending the Boxing Day sales.

Client referral officer Ashley Arthur was so impressed by Mr Rudd's visit he wrote a letter to The Canberra Times in appreciation, emphasising the Prime Minister had not wanted any fuss made of his gesture. Mr Arthur said Mr Rudd seemed to want to attend the centre "as himself" rather than as the Prime Minister.

"He was very much at ease and everything was kept very casual," he said. "I think he mentioned to another person here that he tried to do this kind of thing about once a month, to stay grounded and understand the issues on the ground."

Mr Rudd dished up breakfast between 7.30am and 8.30am and then spent time speaking to the people who wandered through the doors.

The centre usually caters for 30 to 90 people at breakfast, but only a handful attended yesterday, to find the casually-dressed Prime Minister, wearing an apron, working in the kitchen and delivering plates of food to the tables.

"They were quite surprised," Mr Arthur said.

"It was all positive. There was no anger or anything directed to him."
Mr Arthur said many of the people at the centre were keen to speak to Mr Rudd about his plans to improve dental care in Australia.

The centre has to serve soft food as part of its menu to account for the fact so many people have such poor dental health. "He handed out the Boxing Day fare, eggs and bacon, a rare treat, and listened intently and with respect, while guests and fellow volunteers told him their life story and their commentary on how he was doing so far," Mr Arthur wrote in his letter.

"What struck me is that while we make sport of our political leaders in Australia, and such criticism is healthy in a democracy, we perhaps need to show a little respect where respect is due.

"Our elected officials are not always self-serving egomaniacs. They have given a large part of their lives to public service just ask their families."

It is not Mr Rudd's first unheralded visit to a homeless centre.

He visited a shelter in his home town of Brisbane in June and spent time in at least two during the election campaign without any media present.

Part of the "homework" he set his MPs soon after Labor's election win last month was for them to visit a homeless shelter in their area and report on how many people were turned away each night, saying the current turnaway rate was "horrific".

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