Pentecost | Filled with new wine

Are we open to the intoxicating power of the Holy Spirit, or are we dispiritingly sober? (Listen.)

One of my happy places is Little Creatures brewery in Geelong – or any big barnlike place which serves hot chips, a decent pint, and a place to hang out with family and friends. I also love being around a dinner table with simple food and backyard flowers, hosting people in the process of getting to know each other. I love chatting in a coffee shop, latte in hand and the hiss of an espresso machine in the background. I love sitting at my desk having Zoom drinks with friends; I love making coffees at Anglicare and swapping tall stories with clients and volunteers; I love lazing around the garden with a glass of wine or mineral water, and a cheese board, and guests. Basically, it doesn’t take much to make me happy: good food, good drink, and good conversation.

Continue reading “Pentecost | Filled with new wine”

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”

23: Ways of knowing #Lent2021

The sky tells the glory of God; the firmament proclaims God’s work … God’s teaching is whole, restoring to life; God’s pact is steadfast, making the fool wise. (Psalm 19:1, 7)

The Creeks (or Muscogees) already had a spiritual path laid down in the very beginning, given by the same Creator who inspired the Bible. We have our stories, our songs, rituals and ceremonies that celebrate and praise God as well as instill within us an awe of the mystery of life.

Continue reading “23: Ways of knowing #Lent2021”

Genesis | ‘Male and female they created them’: Pronouns and the community of God

This coming Sunday, we will focus on the first creation story (here). During the service, I plan to reflect on how God acts in the face of chaos; here, I want to comment on translation. What’s interesting is the name of God and the related issue of pronouns, that is, he/him; she/her; they/them. Most English translations just write ‘God’ and assign a male pronoun; not coincidentally, most English translations have been authored by men. (If in doubt, read through the list of contributors in the front of your Bible. It’s an entirely depressing exercise.) Continue reading “Genesis | ‘Male and female they created them’: Pronouns and the community of God”

Pentecost | Reaching beyond the gathered church

During shutdown, many of us long to gather like the first disciples “all together in one place”; but the Spirit of Pentecost pushed them, and pushes us, to reach far beyond the bounds of the gathering. (Listen.)

Did you feel the poignancy of that first line? ‘When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.’ How I long for us to be all together in one place, gathered into one body, singing, praying, and sharing bread and wine, food and drink, hugs and handshakes. But we cannot. Instead, we remain separate, compelled by the pandemic to huddle in our houses and maintain physical distance. The reality of being gathered all together in one place feels a long way away. Continue reading “Pentecost | Reaching beyond the gathered church”

Pentecost | An invitation to linguistic humility this #NRW2020

Ngata (hello). Last week I met some women who were speaking language. Their conversation sounded like sunlight on a gently rippling stream, like good earth made soft with ash. As they turned to include me, I asked the elder how many languages she speaks. ‘Nine,’ she said, ‘plus English. Usually five around the kitchen table at my house.’ Then she apologised for speaking language in front of me. ‘Should be speakin English,’ she said. Continue reading “Pentecost | An invitation to linguistic humility this #NRW2020”

Jesus Christ, the apple tree, and me

Indigenous and Christian ways of the seeing reveal a world fully alive, animated by the spirit, and wanting to communicate. (Listen.)

While we were away with our sister church recently, Phil went for a walk. When he came back, Uncle Den wandered up for a chat: “I saw you come back from a bit of a walkabout just now.” “Yep,” said Phil, and he told Uncle Den how much he loves being outside by himself, and how he finds peace and rejuvenation there. Uncle Den asked him, “So do you talk to the birds that you see? Do you stop to listen to what they might wanna say to you? How ‘bout the trees? They’re always talking; do you listen to them, too?” Continue reading “Jesus Christ, the apple tree, and me”

Proverbs | Lady Wisdom and the gender diverse community of God

Pronouns can limit or expand how we think about people; they can limit or expand how we think about God. (Listen.)

Once upon a time, long, long ago, Lady Wisdom called out at the public places—the city gates, the crossroads, the mountaintops—and she said: “The Lord began the work of creation with me. In time before dreaming I was in on the action; right from the word ‘go’ as the earth began.  Continue reading “Proverbs | Lady Wisdom and the gender diverse community of God”

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