Latest News and Updates from The Sisters
Christmas 2022 - Soon the King is Coming!
Into the chaos and confusion of our times the Christmas message of hope rings out loud and clear. Jesus came, and Jesus is coming again – this time as King. Soon the King is coming. But are we ready? In the run-up to Christmas some think of business profits, shopping, gifts, decorations, and celebrations. Others think of Bethlehem asleep, the star in the sky, shepherds in the field and singing choirs of angels. The real Christmas message goes far deeper. The world is fast approaching the last greatest event: the return of Jesus. He is coming again as King of kings in glory and majesty. Every eye will see Him, the only-begotten Son of the Father and perfect image of God.
Perfect Perspective for Christmas
"What are you doing for Christmas?" — "Dunno. Not sure if we can even afford it." — "What will you say to your kids?" — "Sorry, kids. Santa won't be coming this year. And forget the turkey and trimmings." — "That's tough. The third year in a row with a not-so-merry Christmas." — "Yeah, Covid, the war, the economy. What next?" "What next?" was the same reaction of friends facing a difficult and financially tight Christmas season. They had borrowed heavily to purchase land to build a number of houses. While they had managed to build the houses, they were unable to sell them at a price that would clear the related debts. Now, every month they were only just managing to make their mortgage payments. As they thought about Christmas for their family and friends, their hearts sank. How would they be able to make it special?
Wishing you every blessing for Hanukkah,
As you and your loved ones come together to celebrate Hanukkah, we pray that the peace of the Most High will surround you in these troubled times. With the passing of years, the essential message of Hanukkah grows in significance: the few against the many. We can only imagine the implications for you personally. With deep concern we have witnessed anti-Jewish sentiment, the oldest hatred in the world, return again and again with a vengeance after any setback. In our prayers of blessing for your people, we find ourselves echoing the words of the psalmist and prophets as we appeal to the Most High to intervene on your behalf. The louder the voices of strife maligning you, the more we want to proclaim the promises of the Almighty to you, His dearly beloved and chosen people.
Canaan Prayer Points December 2022 - February 2023
We live in an age such as the world has never seen. From day to day the news continues to grow worse, with one disaster swiftly following the next. Sometimes we don’t just see tragedy unfold-ing on our screens, it happens around us. It is easy to give in to sadness and despair. But Jesus knows all about our pain, and the challenges we face in our personal journey. This is why He wants to meet with us afresh – where we are. We need only pray: All-merciful Lord Jesus, I know You really care and in Your amazing love You can and will help us in our troubles.
Greetings for Rosh Hashanah
If we had a wish at the beginning of the Jewish New Year and the new reign of Charles III, it would be this. Firstly, for a renewed commitment in praying for our monarch, who has publicly appealed to Almighty G-d for guidance and help in carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon him. Secondly, for Christians everywhere to include in their services a prayer of blessing, honouring our elder brother Israel. Of all the peoples of the world, it is to them that the Ruler of the nations entrusted the Ten Commandments, the basis of our Judeo-Christian society.
God's Holy Remnant - A Prayer of Dedication
God does not leave His people without hope. As part of His kingdom we are to diffuse light in the darkness. Let us pray: Lord, while all around the old order is crumbling, You are giving us a foretaste of a new world You are creating. Before our very eyes we see the holy remnant blossoming. In every nation souls are being drawn to You, who saved us on the cross with Your life-blood. What glorious privilege to belong to Your holy remnant. Nothing more fulfilling, nothing more rewarding. What inexpressible grace. Upon us Your royal gaze has fallen.
Canaan Prayer Points September - November 2022
Every time Israel was threatened with a major judgement, which would wipe out the greater part of the people, a remnant was to be left – a company of holy, sanctified souls. The holy remnant is the special object of God’s love. It is therefore of utmost importance that the Lord can achieve His objective with us so that we might belong to the holy remnant. Therefore, may the Lord place a great burden on our hearts, that the Lord will awaken in each one of us the fervent plea, “Lord, let me belong to the holy remnant. They are the ones who love You. “
As you will have seen or heard through the news, many people in our communities have been hit by floods again! This is the fourth time our area (Camden) has seen large portions of our township submerged in severe flood waters. What, then, should our attitude be when calamity descends upon us as a people and we don’t understand why? In times of distress and pain, even tragedy, there is Someone whose heart breaks with yours, the heart of God your Creator. He is not a distant, far-away God, who doesn’t care. He is loving and compassionate, and He cares about each one of us, yes, you too. Words can never truly express how much God loves us. This is what gives us hope and security when everything seems to be falling apart. Jesus invites us to come to Him, and He will give us rest and support. He will refresh our souls. We can say with the Psalmist, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever”
Canaan Prayer Points June - August 2022
In this past week we have been celebrating the 75th Jubilee of the beginning of our Sisterhood, that started in 1947. We have spent time reflecting not only on the founding years of our Sisterhood, but also looking at God’s unfailing love, and faithfulness that we have also experienced during the founding years of our branch ‘Canaan of God’s Comfort’ here in Australia. So often we lose heart and confidence, because we are looking to the external factors: we are getting older and our strength is not the same. But this does not stop God establishing exciting new directions for the future based on the very foundations He put in place. But for this to happen, He needs us to trust and put our faith in Him day by day, living in trust of His guidance and grace and not become distracted by our external situations and limitations.
The Hour of Gethsemane has arrived for the World
Today God is waiting for those who allow themselves to be judged. Having received His judgement and grace, they are now able to keep watch and pray in this late hour before the world disaster strikes. Those who have humbled themselves under God’s judgement in everyday life are granted authority when they pray. Let us not say that we are too insignificant, incapable of assuming such responsibility, or argue that “we ourselves are not much better.” God’s promises are especially meant for the humble, for the prayer of the humble pierces the clouds and reaches the heart of God.
Trace the footsteps of Jesus from Gethsemane to His Resurrection
Nothing will bring us closer to Jesus than reflecting on the Passion, for His suffering reveals His heart. Only love could have made Him endure such pain. If we want to know our Saviour more deeply, let us take time during Lent or, better still, all year round, to meditate on His amazing love. For a life-changing experience, we have video meditation readings taken from “Behold His Love” by Mother Basilea Schlink that depicts Jesus’ Passion Way on our Yutube channel 'ESMdownunder'.
When these things begin to take place... look up!
We all know the panic of a crisis – round the world people are facing economic collapse, violent war, political insecurity, and the global pandemic or endemic as we have now moved to. In these moments of crisis, many have had their eyes turned to their country’s leaders and world leaders in the hope that they will be able to give answers and implement solutions. Yet however good their efforts are, however hard they try, we know that their ability to control a crisis is limited. There is only so much they can do. Faced with impossible situations, human leaders are limited in power and insight. So, if Presidents, Prime Ministers, and other key leaders are not in control, then who is?
Canaan Prayer Points February - April 2022
As long as we were holding onto things in our hearts, the Lord could not answer our prayers. Only in the moment when we began to let God truly work on our hearts and to count on a God who truly performs miracles, did we experience the fulfilment He gave for the renewal of our pathways here at Canaan. Only when we continued to believe in true faith over all the impossibilities, did God intervene. Only when we spoke aloud the promises God had given us, claiming them in the difficult situations each one of us was facing, and praising God for His intervention and help, did our situation change. The finances arrived as hearts were moved and relationships were transformed.
Terrorism and War - Where is God?
Dear Friends, There is no doubt it is getting harder for Christians to live out their faith in today's world. Various situations come to mind: the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the surge in antisemitism, the appalling laws regarding the unborn and euthanasia, and the lack of religious freedom many countries are facing. Current anti-discrimination legislation offers no protection for Christians not prepared to go against their conscience by opting for society's newer, ‘trendier’ social standards. Recently we came across Mother Basilea's booklet ‘Terrorism and War - Where is God?’, which we would like to share with you, as it deals with issues we are facing right now.
Mother Basilea Schlink’s Journey of Repentance: ‘Where is your brother Israel?’
Before Holocaust literature had properly developed, Mother Basilea sent a sister to the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich for transcripts of the Nuremberg Trials and would read the harrowing reports to her community, interspersed with passages from the Book of Isaiah. “This is what our people did to the Jews. And this is what God says about His beloved, chosen people.”
The Sacrificial Lamb - A Sign For Us
Who is it lying there in the manger? The loveliest, dearest Child of all, as we sing in our Christmas carols year after year. For this is the divine Child, the Son of the Father in heaven, who entered this world as a babe. Yet for the Son of the eternal God no shelter had been prepared. Only in a feeding trough for animals did He find a place in which to lie. Thus from His birth the Christ Child was acquainted with sacrifice; as our sacrificial Lamb, He was destined to lay down His life as an offering for us. This Child is Eternal Love, who came down to us
Christmas Mystery 2021 - The Word Became Flesh
Mother Basilea once wrote that it is almost as if you can hear the little Lord Jesus saying: "You didn't have access to the true love of God. The way was closed because of your sin. But your Heavenly Father longs for your love. This is why I came to you as a little Child. And though the distance between heaven and earth, humankind and God, were infinitely greater, My love would still bridge the gap. Love Divine was so great and powerful that it found a way to reach you human beings. Love Divine took on your flesh and blood, because I wanted to come to you in the closest way possible." (from Weihnachstbüchlein) This little Child is the Incarnate Word of God. The Word made flesh.
The Gift of Christmas
What a glorious night it was when heaven came down and Jesus entered this world. On that holy night we were blessed with heaven’s choicest gift: a child of divine power, destined to fulfil God’s saving purposes. A conquering hero endowed with princely authority. And the day is coming when He will rule the whole world, bringing peace and salvation to all nations. Holy Night! This was the right night when the only begotten Son of God appeared in human form.
Without Hanukkah, there’s no Christmas to Celebrate
When Palestinians and their supporters claim Jesus as their own and deny his Jewishness, they help recreate the conditions for atrocities against Jews. Reprinted from The Times of Israel—30 November 2021
Desert Encounters - Part 3
What did the desert of Sinai see up till then? A broken man, a failure, powerless to help his people. Look again. Now what does the desert see? A man commissioned by God for an amazing task. Now what does the desert hear? Awesome words from the one true God, who declares, “I will...” The God who can do all things declares to a broken man trained by divine discipline, “I am sending you.” He equips Moses with His strength, which enables even the helpless
Desert Encounters - Part 2
Forty years of luxury, fame and potential are followed by 40 years of a barren, lonely and meaningless existence. Alone with God, Moses learned. God needs people who are willing to go through the same training Moses did so they can be shepherds and examples, leading people to freedom. The bigger God’s task for us and the greater its significance, the longer will be the time of preparation, and the more humbling our experiences.
Why do Christians fall for BDS?
It is deeply concerning to see how inclined many Christians are to support BDS, which is, in effect, a modern reincarnation of medieval antisemitism. For those of us who are not Jewish, I don’t think we will ever understand what it is like for our Jewish neighbors to watch on the screen crowds chanting the BDS slogan: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Reprinted from The Times of Israel—14 September 2021
Canaan Prayer Points September - November 2021
When we look in faith to God, our present need can never overwhelm us. He is our loving and strong helper. Our Heavenly Father rejoices when we sing of the fact that He is our almighty and good helper. When we really count on Him, everything works out for the best. Oh, let us give Him more glory today by praying in faith.
Greetings for Rosh Hashanah
At the beginning of this New Year, our loving thoughts and prayers are with you. For many of you, we know, the past year has been particularly hard. It seems that whatever happens on the world scene, you will come under attack. We appeal to His heart, which ever watches over you in love and mercy. And we look forward to the day when all nations will acknowledge that you are indeed His chosen people. May His word be a comfort to you in these troubled times.
Desert Encounters With God - Part 1
We would like to share with you a series on life-changing encounters Moses had with God. Moses, who went from prince to fugitive, from nomad to deliverer. ‘Now Moses was a very humble man, more than anyone else on the face of the earth’ (Numbers 12:3 NIV). His secret? He allowed God to be God. There in the desert God prepares His chosen instruments. The principles apply to all who would make themselves available to God and His service.
Response to news from Afghanistan and News from Canaan
At a time like this, God who loves us, does not want us to sink in fear and suffering... we must remember that prayer is the most powerful weapon we have against injustice. Now is the time for us as intercessors to stand in the breach for our brothers and sisters in the Lord as well as the many who don't yet know Him.
My Way - No Thanks! Yes God's Way
It is hard to know what the future holds. Things we took for granted no longer seem so certain. Do you feel that life is standing still? Perhaps you feel you lack purpose and meaning. Or you are losing hope and desperate for something real to hold on to. Does it seem that day after day nothing changes and that God has forgotten you?
Canaan Prayer Points June -September 2021
God seeks those who will pray: For in our time God, as a true Father, will show us His help and His wonders as never before—if we call out to Him in deepest need, trust Him, and in prayer actually reckon upon His help. For He stands ready to help those who believe in His love, who truly reckon upon His Almighty power, who truly reckon that He still works miracles today.
Which Ship are You on?
In a talk Mother Basilea once shared about the work of the Holy Trinity in our lives. She used the illustration of two ships to demonstrate the wisdom of God’s leadings as opposed to following our own will.
Father of Comfort – Daily reflections of a God who Cares
God restores our souls in unexpected ways. Paradoxically, He is nearest when He seems farthest away. Here we are invited to trace the hand of God the Father in the often puzzling events of life.
Happy Hanukkah 2020
What is G-d asking of us as Jews and Christians? We believe that G-d is asking us to embrace our joint calling and bring light to the world.
Christmas: Who can save the World?
With terrible events unfolding around the world, who can possibly help?