A tender shoot of love and justice

Jesus embodies ancient hopes for justice, nonviolence, and peace between all peoples. As people grafted into this righteous branch, we must embody these qualities, too. (Listen.)

So it’s Advent: a paradoxical time-slip in which we look forward to the coming of the one who was born, and lived, and died, and was raised, and lives among us now. It’s a time of anticipating more than ever God’s kingdom come. It’s a time of hopeful expectation of a world turned rightside up, a world where love and justice reign, and vulnerable people are raised up, and the arrogant are cast down. Continue reading “A tender shoot of love and justice”

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”

37: Seek justice #Lent2021

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; justice and peace will kiss. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and justice will look down from the sky. God will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Justice will go before him, and make a path for his steps. (Psalm 85:10-13)

Like most Aboriginal people, I find myself in between two worlds. Belonging to the world’s oldest living culture, and a western culture termed “Australian” … The two worlds can make you sick, but most often it makes you tired.

Continue reading “37: Seek justice #Lent2021”

Palm Sunday: The jester’s joke

Palm Sunday is not so much a triumphal entry as a profound anticlimax, a raspberry, a fart. (Listen.)

Some days, I’m flooded with awe. I look around and I see miracles. I see people affirmed in equal marriage, and victim-survivors acknowledged and believed. I see households working towards equitable arrangements, women in leadership, women in Parliament. I see small acts of justice raining down, and diversity appreciated in myriad ways: and I am filled with hope.

Continue reading “Palm Sunday: The jester’s joke”

24: Hope made flesh #Lent2021

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being … And the Word became flesh and lived among us. (John 1:1-3a, 14a)

What does it mean to both me and my reader not only that I was born into a Christian missionary family, but also that I’ve consciously and deliberately chosen to live out my life as a person of faith? How does that shape what I write?

Continue reading “24: Hope made flesh #Lent2021”

Becoming prisoners of hope

In this current moment, despair feels natural: but we are only partway through a story, and the ending has not yet been written. (Listen.)

Young Joseph had it all. He was his father’s favourite, a spoiled brat. He was given a beautiful coat with long sleeves: because no one expected him to do any real work, anything which required him to roll his sleeves up. He had vivid dreams which showed he would one day be top of the heap, and he had God-given interpretive gifts. He was on the wide road to success, power, affirmation, acclaim. Continue reading “Becoming prisoners of hope”

Trusting God’s life will prevail

The Apostle Paul said that if Christ had not been raised, then our faith is in vain. So what is resurrection faith? (Listen.)

Time after time after time it comes to this: Violence. Destruction. Despair. Death. This summer, Australia burned; yet the Victorian Government is logging state forests again. COVID-19 rampages the earth; countries are digging mass graves. Men murder their own wives and children, and are sympathetically described in the media. Powerful religious types support oppressive governments and corporations. Pell has his conviction quashed on a technicality. Millions die from tuberculosis and air pollution every year; vulnerable people are trafficked into slavery; and the world turns a blind eye. Violence, destruction, despair and death: they are never very far away. Continue reading “Trusting God’s life will prevail”

A word of life to a nation in lockdown

Through the prophet Ezekiel, God promises life to a people cut off from everything they once knew. (Listen.)

The people were devastated. Family, friend and neighbour had been killed by an invading army. Bodies were abandoned, with no proper burial. Shops were shuttered; streets were emptied of life. Those who survived were in exile, and everything had changed. They could not worship in the usual places; they could not go to familiar shops or town squares; they no longer saw their friends. Continue reading “A word of life to a nation in lockdown”

The gift of nothing(ness)

When I went to write this week, I just couldn’t think of anything to say. I simply had no thoughts or ponderings to share. It wasn’t an overwhelmed mind-blank, it was a pleasing peaceful break. Breathing space. This paradoxically got me thinking actual thoughts about nothing and I ended up writing the below prayer of thanks for nothingness. I share this with you now in the hope that you too, can feel some breathing space throughout this busy run to the end of the year. Continue reading “The gift of nothing(ness)”

Midwife to the Sea

At a time of catastrophic climate change and oceanic collapse, the Book of Job offers a vision of hope. (Listen.)

Today is Ocean Sunday: and if the preaching helps are any guide, then I should be telling you to care for the sea. But I think that would be a waste of breath. Some of us here have protested and spread the word against drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight. Some of us have written to politicians, objecting to the Adani coal mine and the catastrophic effect it will have on the Great Barrier Reef. Some of us have created stunning pieces of art which highlight the prevalence of plastics on our beaches and in our oceans, and which challenge us to change. Some of us have spent hours on hands and knees, picking up nurdles from Shelly Beach; most of us come home from any beach trip with other people’s plastic in our pockets; and many of us are planning to be at the local climate rally on 20 September. So no, you don’t need me to tell you to care for the oceans. Continue reading “Midwife to the Sea”

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