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?”

Not your usual Mother’s Day sermon

Some of us feel conflicted about our mothers, confused about love, and coerced by Mother’s Day. Thankfully, Jesus shows us what love is, and draws us into his family. (Listen.)

Today is Mother’s Day. Some of us have enjoyed breakfast in bed, and hugs, and chocolate, and flowers. Some of us have celebrated with big family luncheons. Some of us have spent time with a mother who has become a good friend: and these are all things to be thankful for and to celebrate. And yet for many of us, this is a day flecked with pain.

Continue reading “Not your usual Mother’s Day sermon”

39: Margins #Lent2021

Jesus was crucified outside the city gates… So let’s go outside, where Jesus is, where the action is—not trying to be privileged insiders, but taking our share in the abuse of Jesus. This ‘insider world’ is not our home… Let’s take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus’ name. (Hebrews 13:12-14, MSG)

Some of my earliest memories are of family and church. As a pastor’s kid, they have always been entwined. I have fond memories of running down aisles, riding a pony as Mary in the nativity play, making clay Bible characters and of trying to sneak an extra cookie at morning tea after the service. Church often felt like a second home. I knew all the hiding spots and I loved all the people. I used to live a block from my church growing up. My brothers and I would often duck past on the way home from school. I distinctly remember running into the church building after school one time when my brother and I were running from kids who wanted to bash us. It was a place of refuge and an enjoyable place for me…

Continue reading “39: Margins #Lent2021”

38: Hard times #Lent2021

Friends love through thick and thin, and kinfolk are born to share in hard times. (Proverbs 17:17)

The last couple of months have been a flurry of unknown, disagreement and trying to hope for the best. Those months felt sad and lonely though we all tried to make the best of it. I felt as if we’d been deserted, nothing left but each other and hope. One of the hardest things was being a big sister. It’s hard to comfort someone while you’re upset.

Continue reading “38: Hard times #Lent2021”

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”

34: Desired haven #Lent2021

“They cried out to God in their trouble, and God brought them out from their distress; God made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they had quiet, and God brought them to their desired haven.” (Psalm 107:28-30)

After my husband left me, I kept getting a really strong sense that God wanted me to ‘Rest’. I didn’t need to do anything, just rest/be/dwell in God’s presence. Rest in God=Restoration.

Continue reading “34: Desired haven #Lent2021”

33: Helping daddy #Lent2021

A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard.’ He said, ‘I won’t,’ but later changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same, and he answered ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? (Matthew 21:28-31)

This is my favourite story in my God book. I like how the boy helps his Daddy. Ω

Reflect: How do you help your daddy in heaven? What work does he ask you to do? Continue reading “33: Helping daddy #Lent2021”

8: Refuge and strength #Lent2021

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change. (Psalm 46:1-2a)

I’m sick of COVID. Sick of the talk, sick of the updates, the notifications on my phone that remind me there is a ‘pandemic across the state of Victoria’. I’m sick of hearing about the numbers, the national comparisons and just the general interruption of it all.

Continue reading “8: Refuge and strength #Lent2021”

Cartalk / Tabletalk 10: Redeeming the rubbish

We often assume God works only through good things, but here we see God working through bad. Remember, Joseph’s brothers nearly killed him, then they sent him into slavery and exile. Yet when they meet up again years later, Joseph attributes even their destructive choices to God’s design. Where have you seen ‘God in the compost’, redeeming the rubbish of life? Continue reading “Cartalk / Tabletalk 10: Redeeming the rubbish”

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