The newspaper advertisement designed to catch the eye read "Are you getting the most out of life?" This ad was inserted by the organizers of this year's mind, body & spirit festival in Melbourne last weekend. Of course they continued with, "if not, come to the Melbourne Exhibition Center festival and you'll find all the answers under the one roof". The answers were offered in the form of a wide range of spiritual/healing therapies, including demonstrations, workshops, vibrant performances and psychic readings involving over 150 exhibitors. Every year these festivals offer answers to the deep search in Oz society by providing ways to physical, spiritual and social harmony. Thousands gather to find the answer to their particular needs. Many of the answers offered are expensive, but people are willing to pay the price in an attempt to experience meaningful spirituality in their lives. This smorgasbord of spiritual therapies feeds part of the spiritual search. As a provider of 'spiritual' aspects of life, does the church have anything to offer in this search? Many would say NO and point to the many negative images of the church in the media and in people's experience. There is an urgent need to acknowledge the failures of the church and the hurt and pain caused to many people. But in this process it is also important that the good news of Jesus be offered to seeking people. He desires to journey with us through life showing the way to meaning and purpose. Jesus doesn't offer a 'religious' experience, or a set of rules, or the latest spiritual/ healing therapy, but the free gift of grace, forgiveness, and personal empowering. If you are on that search for spiritual reality, Jesus offers Himself as the way, the truth and the life and invites you to walk His path and share your life journey with Him. Those who do this are able to answer the Question, 'Are you getting the most out of life' with a resounding YES. Jesus is not a 'cosmic superman' God who necessarily zaps us out of the 'wheelchairs' of life, but the one who promises to walk with us in these times. He brings comfort assurance and purpose in what otherwise may look like a long and black pathway. Many people who come for counselling appear to have lost their way on this path and are looking for a light to guide while some searchers have many lights beckoning but are confused as to which way to take. You are welcome to give me a ring on my number below, or at Valley Care Counselling Service, same number, to have a chat with one of our counsellors or myself.
On behalf of the following participants:
Benwerren Respite Care
Christian & Missionary Alliance
Churches of Christ
River Valley Church
Valley Christian Fellowship