The real #FirstWorldProblems

Most of us assume that wealth is a blessing and a privilege, but Jesus says otherwise. A reflection on one of his most ignored teachings (which, if taken seriously, would pretty much resolve the climate crisis and heal the world). (Listen.)

So I ordered a latte, and I don’t know whether the barista was having a bad day or whether the coffee shop is going downhill, but I was given a flat white — and the milk was too hot. And if I’m going to spend four bucks on a coffee, the least they can do is get it right. But, you know, #FirstWorldProblem. Continue reading “The real #FirstWorldProblems”

Who are my mother and my brothers?

Jesus says: Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother (Mark 3:35). Rachel P has been thinking about this since the service a couple weeks ago. She writes:

It brought up so many conflicting thoughts and feelings about family, loyalties, and understanding who Jesus speaks to. I remember setting off to live “by faith” many years ago with my newly wedded partner, and trusting that we would be looked after. We deliberately tried to separate ourselves from the strings of family – strings that urged us to be a bit more sensible and secure in our economic planning, strings that invited us to numerous family gatherings and to partake in “capitalist” traditions which we rejected in the light of Jesus’ call to the poor. The work of Christ was important and we needed to get out there and give love and a message of hope to people who were on the margins.  “Who are my mother and my brothers?” rang loudly in our thoughts. Continue reading “Who are my mother and my brothers?”

35: Trees, walking #Lent2021

Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had put spit on his eyes and laid hands on them, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” The man said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” (Mark 8:23-24)

I feel I am living in the land of the walking trees. By this I mean experiencing an incomplete healing like the man from Mark chapter 8, with limited capacity. It is a land familiar to me. I lived there prior to 16 years ago, only receiving a complete healing when my first child was a baby.

Continue reading “35: Trees, walking #Lent2021”

6: My heritage #Lent2021

Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. (Psalm 119:111)

While I grew up enjoying diversity, I did not grow up knowing much about my heritage—and therefore I didn’t celebrate it. On one side of my family, the older generations encouraged us to get ‘Americanized,’ in hopes of better opportunities. To them, americanization equalled opportunity. For them, dreams were things that often went unrealized, for opportunities were not afforded to those from a country where poverty was as common as brown eyes and brown skin…

Continue reading “6: My heritage #Lent2021”

Slow reading: Many members, one body

This is the third in a four week series inviting you to dwell in the Word, ponder what it is to be the church, and discern if the spirit is calling us to anything new. Reflect alone, with your household, or with a friend. Send any insights to Alison, or bring them to the congregational conversation on 28 February (details here). 

Last week, we heard how the earliest believers were organized into a radically interdependent body; this week goes deeper into this arrangement. As you listen to the text and dwell in the Word, notice any resistance within yourself to the text; notice also what intrigues you, excites you, or makes you want to know more. Continue reading “Slow reading: Many members, one body”

The gift of belonging

Sanctuary’s taking a summer break, but here’s a little something reflecting on the gift of belonging: a very significant gift we give children in our atomized society.

As a modern Westerner, I find it hard not to imagine Mary, Joseph and Jesus in a little bubble of aloneness. I see Mary and Joseph wending their way to Bethlehem, and forget they would have been travelling in a group. I see Mary giving birth alone in a stable, when she was almost certainly in a crowded family home giving birth in the warmest, safest, most normal place: near the radiant heat of the animals. I see the couple raising Jesus in a one-child nuclear family unit, when they would have lived in a family compound with aunties, uncles and cousins, and Jesus’ brothers and sisters. As I have learned from my theological studies, and from Middle Eastern friends and neighbours, ‘alone’ is a rather Western concept. It certainly wasn’t a way of life in first century Palestine.

Continue reading “The gift of belonging”

#27: Healing walk

Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the lake, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
‘Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.’ From that time Jesus began to proclaim, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:12-20) Continue reading “#27: Healing walk”

Congregational Commitment 2019

It’s easy to become complacent about both our faith and our relationships in the church. That’s why, here at Sanctuary, we renew our commitment to each other and the congregation every year. During the service, each of us is invited to join with the church. Then together, those who are willing affirm the faith in which we stand, promise to love and serve one another and the wider world, and pledge themselves to a common congregational commitment. Continue reading “Congregational Commitment 2019”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑