Ezekiel | Dem dry colonial bones

A reflection for white settlers living on stolen land. (Listen.)

It’s tempting to reflect on the bones. The massacre site that is now a fast food restaurant just a couple of blocks from Sanctuary. The bones which still wash up from time to time on the beach near Peterborough. The babies’ bones buried six feet under at the missions. The bones which were scattered throughout the landscape, left to rot in every lake, valley and hollow, left lying in the paddocks to dry out in the sun. It’s tempting to focus on the bones: because our history and geography are studded with other people’s bones. Continue reading “Ezekiel | Dem dry colonial bones”

John | Trans/forming

To encounter Jesus is to invite change. (Listen.)

The crowd was in uproar. ‘It’s him,’ some said. ‘Don’t be stupid!’ said others, ‘It’s just someone like him.’ ‘I’m still me,’ she said, ‘and this is what happened.’ But nobody was listening. Instead, the religious leaders weighed in. ‘He changed at church, but it’s totally against the Bible,’ said some. But others wondered; and so they were divided. Continue reading “John | Trans/forming”

Prayer | Let us pray for one another

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. (James 5:16, MSG)

I’m sure I’m not the only person who finds these words, or at least the way they can be used, difficult at times. In the public sphere we too often see Christians praying for domination over others, for the eradication of queerness, for violent military successes, for personal wealth, even for the overturning of election results. Even in our own circles, the conviction with which some people insist that they know God’s will and that their prayers must and will be answered is unsettling. Continue reading “Prayer | Let us pray for one another”

Wisdom of Solomon | Biblical wisdom, cultural knowledge, and the language of healing

Sanctuary’s taking a summer break. This month, many of us are on leave and outside every day, so here’s something from the archives on language and country – a longer summer read.

Acorn. Dandelion. Fern. Heron. Ivy. Kingfisher. Nectar. Willow. These are but some of the words which were cut from a revised edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary a few years ago. A dictionary has only so much space, and the editors decided these words were irrelevant to the modern child. In their place, they added other words: attachment, blog, broadband, bullet-point, celebrity, chatroom, committee. Continue reading “Wisdom of Solomon | Biblical wisdom, cultural knowledge, and the language of healing”

Isaiah | On a guinea pig restored and the slow work of healing

Sanctuary’s taking a summer break. This month, many of us are on leave and outside every day, so here’s something from the archives – a summer read from Greg. If this reflection evokes your own prayer, image, artwork, perhaps it could be your contribution to the Lent book (2023 described here).

10am on Jan 1, 2020. The year started abruptly at our house: we awoke to the shock that one of our family’s treasured guinea pigs had escaped. Fortunately, years of wrangling chooks together as a family had stood us in good stead and with the able services of Jindi the ‘Sniffer Dog’ extraordinaire, we swung into action as one.  We started working coordinated patterns in the native plant bed, bravely fossicking amongst the bushes and rocks whilst Jindi went to work picking up the scent. Half an hour and a few failed attempts later and we had our ‘treasure’. ‘Blossom’ was found and returned to her friend and wholeness was restored. Continue reading “Isaiah | On a guinea pig restored and the slow work of healing”

Isaiah | Slow reading | The oil of gladness

Last night we marked All Saints with a quiet gathering in the hall. We remembered some special folk, lit a few candles, said a few prayers, and savoured a sweet supper together. Why? Because many of us are grieving the loss of loved ones this year, and God promises comfort to those who grieve. This does not mean that the grief is negated or vanishes, simply that we have companions in our sadness, that there are moments of gladness, and that we can be assured that death does not have the last word. Continue reading “Isaiah | Slow reading | The oil of gladness”

Luke | Martha Made Whole

Inviting Christ into your dwelling means being renovated from the inside out. (Listen, or watch on YouTube.)

A newcomer was sitting with a circle of women as they reflected on the sermon after the service. Suddenly she said, ‘Wow! I’ve never seen THAT before!’ I asked her what she noticed. She gestured to the men heating food and setting the table for our common meal. ‘Everywhere else, men talk and women serve,’ she said. ‘Not here,’ I replied. ‘Here, people take turns. And if you stay for the meal, you might see men doing the dishes afterwards!’ Continue reading “Luke | Martha Made Whole”

Luke | The Good Samaritan: A guided meditation

Using sacred imagination to inhabit multiple viewpoints, and to experience healing at the hands of an enemy. (Listen.)

Today, we are going to use our sacred imaginations in a guided meditation. To make the most of this, set aside some time, and allow plenty of space between the questions to wonder and to notice what emerges in you. When you are ready, relax your body; uncross your legs; uncomplicate your heart. Ask God to help you surrender to whatever it is that God wants to do in you or say to you today. Breathe slowly and deeply in, then out. When you are ready, with sacred breath, push open the door. Continue reading “Luke | The Good Samaritan: A guided meditation”

The chronically ill will always be with you

News about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray. (Luke 5:15-16)

LUCY WRITES: I often think about how, as often as Jesus healed the sick, he also didn’t. It seems that a bit of His message was that the sick, like the poor, would always be with us. In not curing everyone, Jesus was teaching the rest of us that we have to learn how to co-exist with the sickness and disability of others. That we all make up part of the Body of Christ together, not despite or ignoring people’s sickness or disability, but including it. Continue reading “The chronically ill will always be with you”

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