Isaiah | The city of joy

Good health, good work, and good relationships come together to form a city of joy, and a people of delight. (Listen.)

A city of joy, its people a delight: this is what God promises through the prophet Isaiah. Sounds wonderful! So, what are the elements of this joyful city? First, says Isaiah, health and wellbeing. No child will die young; no senior die prematurely (Isa. 65:20). And we can imagine it. There are no coal-fired power stations; no rampaging wildfires; no unprecedented floods. There are no smouldering rainforests; no record-breaking heatwaves. No children or elders are struggling for breath through air thick with particulate matter; no one is sick from herbicides or forever chemicals because these are strictly banned; nobody is collapsing from extreme heat. Continue reading “Isaiah | The city of joy”

Ministry | Questions for the end of life

November 1 is All Saints, a day to remember those who have died and gone before us. But before each person dies, of course, they must face the end of life. It is a common misperception that people in life’s final stages are constantly cared for by professionals. In reality, whether at home or in a facility, the vast majority of care and companionship will come from family and friends; and indeed many of us at Sanctuary have already found ourselves in the caring role. Continue reading “Ministry | Questions for the end of life”

Luke | Disabled and poor people are primary at God’s table

Disabled and poor people aren’t optional extras to God’s table, but primary participants. (Listen.)

It’s been more than twenty years since my mother died. As most of you know, she had multiple sclerosis. First it disrupted her balance, so she had to walk with a cane. Then it caused paraplegia, so she rolled around in a wheelchair. Gradually, the paralysis crept up her spine; she became quadriplegic. So she graduated into an electric wheelchair which someone else steered for her. Then she began losing hearing and vision; then finally the strength and mobility to inflate her lungs and breathe. She died quite literally crippled, lame and blind. Continue reading “Luke | Disabled and poor people are primary at God’s table”

Slow reading | A promise to sick and tired people (and everyone else!)

On Sunday, more than twice as many people sent in apologies as showed up. If it wasn’t so serious, it would be comic. But we are surrounded by sickness, exhaustion and anxiety. Many of those who aren’t currently sick are worried about becoming sick, or sick again; while many of those who are sick are worried about the long term effects, as yet unknown. Continue reading “Slow reading | A promise to sick and tired people (and everyone else!)”

Luke | The Good Doctor

The parable known as The Good Samaritan is so familiar to most of us that it has lost any shock value, particularly for those who have known it only as a simple morality tale. But to the first audience, a bleeding, potentially dead, body was ritually unclean, thus untouchable, and Samaritans were the despised ‘other’. The following riff on the story tries to capture its original force by naming an experience common to many women and girls. If you have a strong response to it, that’s okay. It means the story is being restored to its power.

CONTENT WARNING: Contains a description of sexual assault and the ungodly vicious words some preachers say. So if you’re not up for it, please skip this one! Continue reading “Luke | The Good Doctor”

Galatians | Roe vs Wade vs Loving

You were called to freedom, my siblings; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. (Galatians 5:13)

I was speaking with a woman a few months ago who had been at a large conference. She observed to me that, as a certain bishop spoke against gay marriage, she was struck by the vindictive hatred which distorted his face. Continue reading “Galatians | Roe vs Wade vs Loving”

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”

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