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”

Proverbs | Better a dinner of greens

In lockdown some of us are appreciating the simple things and discovering, with the wisdom writer, that some choices are better than others. (Listen.)

If anything good came out of last year’s extended lockdown, it was this: My husband no longer lived in Melbourne part time; he was home every day of the week. I no longer had to operate as a single parent, ever. My daughters were always home, no shuttling to school or activities; and, being self-directed learners, they needed little supervision. No one came over; we didn’t go out. Free from the scramble of sole parenting, free from the drop-offs and pickups and workdays curtailed, free from commuting to Melbourne for work myself, free from activities and dinners and going away on holiday, with meetings cancelled and housework shared: I had time. Continue reading “Proverbs | Better a dinner of greens”

John | For the life of the world

An enfleshed God unites us with the community of all creation and points us to urgent climate action. (Listen.)

There are two kinds of eating, says Jesus; two kinds of food. One, we eat of the created goodness, plants and animals which we rip into with our teeth, and chew and swallow; they are absorbed into us so that we might live. This is the food which perishes. The other, we eat of Christ, ripping in with our teeth, chewing and swallowing. Christ is absorbed into us that we might live beyond simply being alive: this is the food which endures. The first food provides vitamins, minerals, calories, fats; the second, transformation, wholeness, wisdom, healing. The first grants fullness of stomach, here and now; the second, fullness of life in time beyond time. These ways of eating are intimately related: and they point to the care of the whole earth. Continue reading “John | For the life of the world”

John | With Christ as our centre and source, we too become bread

The church is the body of Christ, and so it is our joy to be broken and shared to feed a hungry world. (Listen.)

Do you feed on success, or achievement, or excellence? How about winning, or seeing your team or country win? Do you feed on other people’s approval or praise or pity or love? Do you feed on wealth and power, or being followed on social media? What about the dopamine hit of other people’s ‘likes’? Do you feed on beauty? Do you feed on titbits of gossip, or righteous anger or outrage? Do you need to win every argument? Do you feed on being needed? Do you feed on your wounds? What do you feed on? Continue reading “John | With Christ as our centre and source, we too become bread”

John | Five loaves, two fishes and a pocketful of prayers make a church

God provides abundance where people see scarcity, delights in gathering people to feed them, and comes up with endlessly surprising ways to do so—even during lockdown. (Listen.)

Here we are in lockdown again, and life is feeling small. We don’t see enough people; we don’t share enough meals; we don’t get enough exercise; the walls are beginning to close in. Even when lockdown eases, we know from previous experience that it will take time and energy to reengage with the world. We’ll have new restrictions to navigate and new fears to manage. And after all these months of infrequent socialising, some of us will decide that it’s all too hard; we’ll choose to stay home. Continue reading “John | Five loaves, two fishes and a pocketful of prayers make a church”

Exodus | Nothing like a good flesh pot!

God’s provision requires living within creation’s limits. As Western consumers, how can we build a relationship with such a God?

In the passage from Exodus there is a playoff between the idea of what people think is comfortable and what God is trying to show them is comfortable. Nothing like a good flesh pot. Yum yum. Nothing like Maccas, Coles, or a tin of baked beans.

Continue reading “Exodus | Nothing like a good flesh pot!”

Exodus | God provides in the wilderness

The ancient story of a wilderness-wandering people invites us to ponder how God sustains us during shutdown. (Listen.)

Day after day, week after week, month after month, we have been walking in the wilderness of shutdown. School has changed. Work has changed. Church has changed; and so has everything else. Most of us are still spending time with too many family members and not enough friends; many of us are lonely, anxious, exhausted, overwhelmed. Babies are being born; children are growing; grandparents are ageing, all without loved ones attending every step. Significant milestones are passing by without our usual rituals: Birthdays. Graduations. Anniversaries. Even deaths.

Continue reading “Exodus | God provides in the wilderness”

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