dawn | it’s your turn #Lent2022

The Psalmist sings, “You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.” (Psalm 30:11)

My mother says there is a lot of bitterness about the Christian church. “They came here and totally disregarded our beliefs of the Creator who created all things. We didn’t have Jesus but we had a lot of other beliefs. We have to acknowledge, though, that in reality, we would have been wiped out if it wasn’t for the churches. But now the church is changing. It is more accepting of Aboriginal traditions. Some churches invite our elders to do smoking ceremonies—our traditional way of cleansing—in the church. And many of the clergy talk about one God for all people now. Deacon Boniface Pridot, he’s a tribal man from Daly River, he’s in the Catholic church. He brings together the two beliefs so beautifully.” Continue reading “dawn | it’s your turn #Lent2022”

39 | enough #Lent2022

Paul writes, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

A television news report. A case of American domestic terrorism. A government building bombed. Many people killed. The trial had been held. The accused found guilty. The reporter was doing a vox pop with those waiting outside the courthouse to hear the sentence handed down. Continue reading “39 | enough #Lent2022”

37 | sometimes your body #Lent2022

Taste and see the goodness of the Lord! … Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all. (Psalm 34:8, 19)

 While she had Covid, L sent this through, writing: The brain fog [of Covid] is real. But this is fruit related. I wrote it when recovering from back surgery [late last year]. If I was going to pick a fruit of the spirit to go with it, it would be patience. Continue reading “37 | sometimes your body #Lent2022”

36 | all I have #Lent2022

Paul writes, “The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:10-12)

Her son was fourteen when he died. On the day of the funeral her husband returned, took to his bed, and did not leave it until he too died six months later … In the long years of her son’s illness, Sarah had spent much time with him in the children’s wards of hospitals. There she met many others like her son and met the mothers who, like herself, spent every hour they were allowed to with their children. But she also met children no one cared enough to visit, children who had been abandoned, orphaned, or who came from homes where the need was so desperate that no one even had the time for visits. Continue reading “36 | all I have #Lent2022”

35 | gentle protection #Lent2022

Jesus says, “Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted.” (Matthew 10:29)

I marvel at the gentleness of Otto, a 10-year-old boy, with a kitten a few days old. I wonder at just how gentle God is with us and how God holds us. The look of love and joy. God’s patience and kindness. God’s unfailing generosity and faithfulness. May God hold you in his hands and may we trust in God’s holy powerful and gentle protection. Ω Continue reading “35 | gentle protection #Lent2022”

34 | small kindnesses #Lent2022

Jesus says, “Those who dwell in me and I in them bear much fruit.” (John 15:5a)

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead — you first,” “I like your hat.” Ω Continue reading “34 | small kindnesses #Lent2022”

33 | groceries #Lent2022

The Psalmist sings, “The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish … I walk before the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 116:3, 9)

It may seem odd to talk about what you eat at a funeral as a way of celebrating life, but at every level, that is exactly what it is. Nor do I mean a celebration in that cheery if faintly maudlin sense of giving someone a good send-off, though that is a part of it. Any food is a vital reminder that life goes on, that living is important. That isn’t brutal: it’s the greatest respect you can show to the dead … Continue reading “33 | groceries #Lent2022”

32 | a small shopping bag #Lent2022

Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11b)

I was 19 years old and studying theology at Whitley College. A few years earlier I’d experienced a shift into a way of thinking and feeling rooted in scripture and in the experience of God as understood in Christian faith. Through that experience I discovered deeper meaning and joy in life. I felt driven to learn more, so when I finished year 12 I went straight for theology as my undergraduate degree. Continue reading “32 | a small shopping bag #Lent2022”

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