Showing posts from July, 2008

Reflections on telling our Sacred Story

I've been preparing some Biblical Storytelling workshops, and some of the thinking I've been doing has distilled into this reflection. This – the Bible – is the story of God’s earliest relationship with creation, with humanity.This is the foundation for our tradition, our faith. It was recorded at different points in the history of different communities, when the Israelites, when the followers of Christ needed to define who they were, what they believed, how they wanted to be the people of God in the world.Just as the story of creation has kept unfolding through time in creation and in the lives of human beings, so the story of God’s relationship with God’s people continues after the last Amen in the Book of Revelation.The Sacred Story of the Bible is the foundation for the Sacred Story that continues to unfold in our lives and communities of faith. These foundational stories are the ones we return to; though we return to them less for literal directions for life than for the …

I stand firm

though making this stand may cause me to fall
though standing here, now is the worst timing of all
though by standing up I may lose my seat
though as I stand I haven’t the words to speak
though I’m the first to stand and fear I‘m alone
though I stand for many though I stand for one
Sarah Agnew

this is inspired by some stories i've heard, and it's strange how similar themes pop up in different friend's lives at the same time, but it's not specifically about one situation, more about the general times we all find ourselves standing for something or someone, or against something or someone ...

Poem published in On Wisdom's Wings, Ginninderra Press, 2013.

among the nations

After reading Psalm 106 Save us our God, and gather us from among the nations that we may give thanks to your holy name.
gather us not because we are unlike the nations, who lust for power and reject humility, kindness and love
gather us not because we are unlike the nations, who sacrifice children to perversion and forests to progress
gather us not because we are unlike the nations, who pollute the land with innocent blood
gather us not because we are unlike the nations, who worship themselves and their own creations
Gather us, Sacred Spirit, from among the nations as we return to give thanks to your holy name.  Sarah Agnew

Published in On Wisdom's Wings, Ginninderra Press, 2013. 

the lost apostle

just finished reading the lost apostle by rena pederson. pederson goes on a search for Junia, the female named by Paul alongside her husband as an apostle in Romans 16. She's the only woman to be named an apostle. It's another example of Paul's egalitarianism, he is happy to consider the women important in the Jesus movement as important as the men. He affirms their place in this movement, he commends these women to the communities to whom he writes. he doesn't seem interested in pointing them out as extraordinary, because women don't usually do this stuff - as BB Scott last night was saying, the distinctions humans think important, like male/female are unimportant to God. God simply sees people with whom to make a covenant, people to love and be in relationship with. and this is the radical approach Paul takes. some of the things men have done in the past - and I agree with pederson, it's difficult to comment without sounding like a man-hater, but I'm not …

Bernard Brandon Scott

So I've just heard B.B. Scott talking about Paul, which is a topic I'm particularly interested in. There was lots said that is helpful in the task of redeeming Paul from the female-hater label he's had thrown on him. I'm not sure how much I'm going to write down, but the things that have leapt out at me follow. 
Paul wrote before 70CE - before the destruction of the Temple and the fall of Jerusalem. All other New Testament writings happen in the shadow of these events, and it colours their world view. The implication for me is that, hoping to read Paul's letters to an emerging church in the first century from the perspective of the emerging church in the 21st century for PhD research, the task might become reading letters written to re-emerging communities (emerging renewed, reforming the faith that still was Judaism) from the perspective of re-emerging communities (emerging renewed, reforming the faith of followers of Christ). And then to consider that the comm…

Prayer in a time of drought

After reading Psalm 65
You visit the earth and water it. If we have no water, have you stopped dropping by?
The river of God runs full and far: if our rivers are dry, have you run away?
Meadows are not clothed with flocks, valleys are not decked with grain; there is no song of joy in the land in its abundant lack of rain.
How can we sing the Lord’s song in this strange land? Where will we see our God, if not in rivers, streams and rain? Shall we be satisfied with the goodness of your house?

Ah, but the gateways of morning and of evening still sing in harmony still shout JOY THANKS PRAISE to you.
Let their song be our song in a parched and voiceless land.

Sarah Agnew

Published in On Wisdom's Wings, Ginninderra Press, 2013.

Some sermons to get started

Marion Uniting Church – 6 July 2008Romans 7:15–25, Matt 11:28–30Who I am is in between what I want to be and what I am. I had a struggle preparing this message. I couldn’t find my way into the readings, and it took some time to settle on a new message we could take away. That is the gift of the lectionary, though, to bring before us the passages that take some effort, need us to spend time with them, to hear them speaking into our lives. Rather than speaking on and listening to the same sort of message over and over. I focussed on the passages from Romans and Matthew, reading commentaries, checking out websites, looking at them from all sorts of angles, as they’re both reasonably well known to many people. One of the websites I looked at was Bruce Prewer’s. He puts prayers, poems and sermons on his website, to help people in their reflections. For this week he had a sermon for the Matthew passage and for the one from Song of Songs. In worshipping communities I’ve belonged to, we haven…
I have decided to try blogging. 
I create resources - sermons, prayers, etc. - for use in worship spaces, and thought there might be some out there who would like to make use of them if your own creativity runs dry. 
All I ask is that appropriate acknowledgment is made.