For the life of the world

An enfleshed God unites us with the community of all creation and points us to urgent climate action. (Listen.)

There are two kinds of eating, says Jesus; two kinds of food. One, we eat of the created goodness, plants and animals which we rip into with our teeth, and chew and swallow; they are absorbed into us so that we might live. This is the food which perishes. The other, we eat of Christ, ripping in with our teeth, chewing and swallowing. Christ is absorbed into us that we might live beyond simply being alive: this is the food which endures. The first food provides vitamins, minerals, calories, fats; the second, transformation, wholeness, wisdom, healing. The first grants fullness of stomach, here and now; the second, fullness of life in time beyond time. These ways of eating are intimately related: and they point to the care of the whole earth. Continue reading “For the life of the world”

Friends beyond any binary

Christ breaks down the walls between all peoples, then unites them together in love. (Listen.)

Male + Female. Gay + Straight. Trans + Cis. Black + White. Neurodiverse + Neurotypical. Progressive + Conservative. Catholic + Protestant. Believer + Unbeliever. And I could go on with the binaries. We live in a world which loves to label people. Sometimes, labels can be incredibly helpful; they can provide a lens to understand ourselves and other people. But all too often, labels are used to make insiders and outsiders; they are used to exclude and condemn. Continue reading “Friends beyond any binary”

22: Face to face #Lent2021

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.

Continue reading “22: Face to face #Lent2021”

20: Wholeness #Lent2021

O Lord my God, I cried to you: and you have made me whole. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life. (Psalm 30:2-3)

Neither the Benedictine community as a whole nor its individual members are expected to be working feverishly… Instead there is contentment with the familiar, the ordinary, the monotonous… It is insisting on the acceptance of each element in the person, each member of the community, each activity of the day as valuable and significant in its own right… A vision of relatedness binds the parts together into the harmonious whole… The monk moves between praying and studying and working with his hands, going in turn from chapel to library to kitchen to farm…

Continue reading “20: Wholeness #Lent2021”

Aunty Sandra Onus, Lidia Thorpe, and a pharaoh with no name

We are all called to be actors in God’s great story of salvation, reconciling people, land, culture, and even trees. (Listen.)

On the other side of Gariwerd, along the Western Highway, you’ll find a camp. It’s the Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy. Elder Aunty Sandra Onus, Zellanach Djab Mara and others are there. They are protecting an 800-year-old birthing tree. They are protecting a 350-year-old directions tree. They are protecting 3,000 other trees: and by protecting these trees, they are protecting their dreaming. Continue reading “Aunty Sandra Onus, Lidia Thorpe, and a pharaoh with no name”

Committing to be together, apart

As we look to our fourth birthday and annual service of recommitment to the faith community, what exactly are we called to do and be? (Listen.)

Next week, it’s Sanctuary’s fourth birthday; and, as we do on our birthday every year, next week we will renew the congregation. Those who are willing will pledge to journey together as the body of Christ for another twelve months, and commit to some simple attitudes and practices which help knit us together. These include gathering to wrestle with life in light of the Scriptures and to pray; to eat, sing, work and play together; to practice hospitality and support the congregation; and to seek justice, reconciliation, wholeness and peace in every sphere of life. Continue reading “Committing to be together, apart”

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”

Resurrection morn: Fire on the beach

When the disciples had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. (John 21:9-14) Continue reading “Resurrection morn: Fire on the beach”

#37: Smoking ceremony

An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham … Read it here. (Matthew 1:1-18). Note that Ahaz was a horror, as were several others in the list. Rahab was a prostitute. Ruth was not Hebrew, but Moabite: an enemy. Bathsheba was Uriah the Hittite’s wife, but King David slept with her, then arranged to have Uriah murdered to cover up Bathsheba’s illegitimate pregnancy. And so on: this is a dodgy bunch of ancestors. Continue reading “#37: Smoking ceremony”

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