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”

Luke | Seven brothers, a hapless widow, a falling satellite, and what it means to truly live

Resurrection life is all about justice and love; and it begins now. (Listen.)

Some of you might remember the quirky tv show, Northern Exposure. A young urban Jewish doctor is sent to small town Alaska to pay off his tuition debt; and there he encounters all sorts of eccentric inhabitants, including Maggie. Maggie’s a bush pilot whose boyfriends all happen to die in bizarre ways. For example, there’s Dave, who freezes to death on a glacier, then Rick, who is killed by a falling satellite. Continue reading “Luke | Seven brothers, a hapless widow, a falling satellite, and what it means to truly live”

Isaiah | Peace and plenty for everyone

This week I (Alison) am on leave. So heres a little something from the archives relating to the local landscape. Perhaps it will inspire you to reflect and write something for our 2023 Lent Book, which will be a collection of prayers and readings rooted in the land.

Twenty years ago, Cudgee was a depleted paddock. Now, it’s an oasis. Families have built sustainable homes and are raising their children there. People have planted countless Indigenous trees, grasses, and shrubs. The creek is overhung by eucalypts; blocks are lined with wildlife corridors; koalas grunt and roam. There are organic gardens and orchards; happy chooks; contented ducks; an Indigenous plant nursery; and the best garlic in Victoria. Continue reading “Isaiah | Peace and plenty for everyone”

Luke | In the face of climate catastrophe, seek signs of the kingdom

Jesus says, ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom-culture of God is near.’ (Luke 21:29-31)

What are ‘these things’ of which Jesus speaks? Well, he has just detailed them in the previous verses: earthquakes, famines, plagues, invading armies, the roaring of the ocean, terrible suffering, and people ‘fainting from fear and foreboding’. Once, these words referred to the brutal repression by the Romans of the Jewish Revolts, using cosmic imagery to allude to forces of violence and empire; now, as the living Word continues to speak into our lives, we might hear them as also referring to climate catastrophe and all that comes with it. Continue reading “Luke | In the face of climate catastrophe, seek signs of the kingdom”

Deuteronomy | In the face of climate catastrophe, choose life

The news is devastating, but we still have choices: so choose life. (Listen.)

This week, as cataclysmic floods pour across Pakistan, destroying farms, roads, towns and infrastructure and displacing over 30 million people; as unprecedented heatwaves and wildfires continue to threaten much of Europe; as long-term drought impacts water security for millions of people in the southwest United States; as we brace ourselves for the likelihood of another La Niña cycle and further devastating floods; as we learn that the catastrophic bushfires along the Great Dividing Range burned six metres deep in places, rendering regrowth impossible, the most famous words of Moses’ most famous sermon should ring loud and clear. Continue reading “Deuteronomy | In the face of climate catastrophe, choose life”

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”

NAIDOC | Acknowledgement of Country

NAIDOC Week is an excellent time to introduce our acknowledgement of country and statement of inclusion. You will also find it under the tab ‘About Us’.

God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)

Ngatanwarr! Sanctuary acknowledges the Peek Wurrung people of the Eastern Maar Nation, the traditional owners of the land where our building stands. It’s a land threaded with rivers and bounded by the sea. Kooyang (eels) migrate here every year and koontapool (southern right whales) calve in the bay in a relationship with cultural knowledge holders which has continued for millennia. Continue reading “NAIDOC | Acknowledgement of Country”

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”

Group reflection: Good fruit needs a good gardener

Today marked our final summer service here in the garden on Peek Wurrung country. Together we reflected on Isaiah 55 and good and bad fruit. While we sang, prayed and pondered, common swallowtails fluttered around the buddleia, billy buttons and sunflowers nodded their heads, dianella berries glowed a rich purple, and a large flock of corellas flew overhead. Then the wind turned. As the air was filled with a fresh salt breeze and the rumble of distant thunder, the poas shivered; and we people all unfurled. Continue reading “Group reflection: Good fruit needs a good gardener”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑