Resurrection: Echoes #Lent2021

Jesus said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’ (John 21:17; Simon is also known as Peter (‘Rock’))

I once was in desperate need of making a decision and, almost without control, found myself marching to a small chapel. Inside, possessed with an agency I still marvel at, I asked myself what story of the Gospels most sounded like what I needed to hear. It was a question of pure intuition. One the whim of some kind of autopilot, I turned to the last chapter in John, the chapter where Peter has decided that he is returning to fishing and he goes, together with six others who follow him even if he may have wished they weren’t.

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40: Depths and heights #Lent2021

My God! My God, why have you left me all alone? Why are you so far from saving me – so far from my anguished groans? …. I’m just a worm, less than human … I’m poured out like water. All my bones have fallen apart. My heart is like wax; it melts inside me. My strength is dried up like a piece of broken pottery. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you’ve set me down in the dirt of death. (Psalm 22:1-15, excerpts) + Let my whole being bless the Lord! Let everything inside me bless his holy name! Let my whole being bless the Lord and never forget all his good deeds: how God forgives all your sins, heals all your sickness, saves your life from the pit, crowns you with faithful love and compassion, and satisfies you with plenty of good things so that your youth is made fresh like an eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1-5)

When Anne told Marilla she was in the ‘depths of despair’, Marilla expressed disapproval, declaring that to be in such a state was to ‘turn your back on God’. Continue reading “40: Depths and heights #Lent2021”

39: Margins #Lent2021

Jesus was crucified outside the city gates… So let’s go outside, where Jesus is, where the action is—not trying to be privileged insiders, but taking our share in the abuse of Jesus. This ‘insider world’ is not our home… Let’s take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus’ name. (Hebrews 13:12-14, MSG)

Some of my earliest memories are of family and church. As a pastor’s kid, they have always been entwined. I have fond memories of running down aisles, riding a pony as Mary in the nativity play, making clay Bible characters and of trying to sneak an extra cookie at morning tea after the service. Church often felt like a second home. I knew all the hiding spots and I loved all the people. I used to live a block from my church growing up. My brothers and I would often duck past on the way home from school. I distinctly remember running into the church building after school one time when my brother and I were running from kids who wanted to bash us. It was a place of refuge and an enjoyable place for me…

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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.

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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.

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36: Be still #Lent2021

“Be still and know that I am God; I will rise up among the nations, I will rise up from the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

The thing that I have been learning this year is to ‘Be still and know that I am God’. It has been a year of learning to slow down, listen, muse and write. For example, I got thinking about the story of the healing of the demon possessed man in Mark 5, and wondered if it could say anything to us today. So I reset the story in our culture and our time to see how it looked. Here it is:

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35: Trees, walking #Lent2021

Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had put spit on his eyes and laid hands on them, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” The man said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” (Mark 8:23-24)

I feel I am living in the land of the walking trees. By this I mean experiencing an incomplete healing like the man from Mark chapter 8, with limited capacity. It is a land familiar to me. I lived there prior to 16 years ago, only receiving a complete healing when my first child was a baby.

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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.

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34: Desired haven #Lent2021

“They cried out to God in their trouble, and God brought them out from their distress; God made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they had quiet, and God brought them to their desired haven.” (Psalm 107:28-30)

After my husband left me, I kept getting a really strong sense that God wanted me to ‘Rest’. I didn’t need to do anything, just rest/be/dwell in God’s presence. Rest in God=Restoration.

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33: Helping daddy #Lent2021

A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard.’ He said, ‘I won’t,’ but later changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same, and he answered ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? (Matthew 21:28-31)

This is my favourite story in my God book. I like how the boy helps his Daddy. Ω

Reflect: How do you help your daddy in heaven? What work does he ask you to do? Continue reading “33: Helping daddy #Lent2021”

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