Tonight we gathered around a fire pit in the church carpark (current COVID restrictions put the kybosh on a bonfire in a local paddock); clutched mugs of hot spiced apple cider; and marked the winter solstice using the following liturgy. Words in lower case are spoken by one person; words in capitals are spoken by everyone. Enjoy! Continue reading “Liturgy for the longest night”
In Christ we discover no judgement, only paradise: so why is condemnation such a feature of Christianity? A potted history. (Listen.)
It is a mystery to me why so many Christians spend their lives condemning people. It is a mystery to me why so many Christians spend their lives feeling guilty and condemned. And it is a mystery to me why I spend so much time condemning myself.
Love never ends … Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part, then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope and love remain, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:8a, 12-13)
When I knew myself nothing but a prize fool in love, I took my pain and foolishness in both hands and quite simply offered them to God, whom I recognized through this last anguish to be the backcloth of my life and my eternal love.
Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
“Ohhh, this is my favorite light!”
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7)
It was an ordinary cloudy March day. I am glad to think that it was. I am glad to remember that there was nothing extraordinary about the weather, nor any unusualness of setting – no flush of spring or beauty of scenery – to induce what I saw. It was, on the contrary, almost a dingy day. The branches were bare and colorless, and the occasional half-melted piles of snow were a forlorn grey rather than white. Colorless little city sparrows flew and chirped in the trees, while human beings, in no way remarkable, passed along the porch.
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. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:1- 5)
The other morning, I said to Viv, ‘I feel like my mind is exploding.’
Sanctuary has just turned 4! And so this week’s cartalk / tabletalk is going off lectionary as we reflect on how Sanctuary is a gift to the world: ‘salt’ and ‘light’ in Jesus’s terms. When we wondered about this during the service, people observed that Sanctuary is a place to be authentic, to be accepted, to be yourself. It’s a place to share the journey and nourish each other; it’s a place of protection and refuge; a place to be loved. And it’s a place with challenging Bible teaching! Continue reading “Cartalk / Tabletalk 11: Being a gift”
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. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it … Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 1:1-5 & John 8:12)
At some stage after the Doctor told me I only had four weeks to live if I didn’t respond to treatment, I remember thinking, “I always thought my job as a Mother was to teach my daughters how to live well, but maybe instead I’ll have to show them how to die well.” Continue reading “#5: The light of life”
Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, land of the Eastern Maar nation: Jesus comes to bring light and healing to occupied territories and colonised people. (Listen.)
Once upon a time, the land was fertile and good. Sparkling rivers threaded through it; lakes teeming with birds dotted it; and on its edge the sea thundered, shimmering with fish. The people of the land tended it for millennia, creating intricate patchworks of forest and field. They enriched the soil and made it friable; they selected plants for abundance and ease. The people caught fish; they hunted and traded; they tended their crops. They built houses and raised children; they passed on law through story and song. Continue reading “This 26 January, pray for an invasion of light”
Many of us have had the experience of feeling driven to do something, barging off and doing it, then experiencing that sick realisation that it was not the right thing at all. Many of us have also had someone tell us that ‘God has laid it on my heart and …’; yet their words have left us feeling confused, anxious, coerced or manipulated. Many of us seem to lack confidence in discerning the spirits or testing whether a prayerful experience or prompt is from God; and as a result, many of us seem to mistrust or deny any spiritual experiences at all. And yet, we have faith that God works through the Holy Spirit and prayer: and so, rather than denying all such experiences, we must find ways to discern the work of the spirits, good and bad. Continue reading “Discerning the spirits: Six approaches”