13: Lift up your voice #Lent2021

“Shout out! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins.” (Isaiah 58:1)

The “signs of the times” could cause one to lose hope, to think all is lost, to just give up and stop trying, but I have good news to share: God is still loving us and that love is saving us. Before my father died, I used to preach at his church on a monthly basis. Before the preaching event, the choir would lead the congregation in the same song, “We’ve Come This Far by Faith.” In my first year of hearing this tradition, I was like Really? Again? Don’t you know another song? Then one Sunday it clicked. We have made it to this point. We have done it—but only with God. So when I think about what is happening now, this song comes to mind and reminds me that we have made it through other trials and we can make it through these, if we don’t sit down.

Continue reading “13: Lift up your voice #Lent2021”

Romans | Midwifing God’s life into the world

Sunday’s story about Shiphrah and Puah drew out a wonderful spontaneous prayer from Ollie. In it, he named that true change does not happen from the top down, but emerges from within and below; he gave thanks for the midwives he sees around us: the shareholders of Rio Tinto, holding executives to account for the destruction of the Juukan Gorge caves; the basketballers in the US temporarily standing down over BLM; the Djab Wurrung peoples fighting VicRoads; and he prayed for each of us as we follow our various callings to midwife God’s life into the world in ways big and small. Continue reading “Romans | Midwifing God’s life into the world”

Job | Midwife to the sea

At a time of catastrophic climate change and oceanic collapse, the Book of Job offers a vision of hope. (Listen.)

Today is Ocean Sunday: and if the preaching helps are any guide, then I should be telling you to care for the sea. But I think that would be a waste of breath. Some of us here have protested and spread the word against drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight. Some of us have written to politicians, objecting to the Adani coal mine and the catastrophic effect it will have on the Great Barrier Reef. Some of us have created stunning pieces of art which highlight the prevalence of plastics on our beaches and in our oceans, and which challenge us to change. Some of us have spent hours on hands and knees, picking up nurdles from Shelly Beach; most of us come home from any beach trip with other people’s plastic in our pockets; and many of us are planning to be at the local climate rally on 20 September. So no, you don’t need me to tell you to care for the oceans. Continue reading “Job | Midwife to the sea”

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