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Showing posts from October, 2012

of halloween and hollow celebrations

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of God's justice and our response

Reading Psalm 146 and its trust in God who contrasts the oppressive, unjust ways of earthly rulers with justice for the poor and liberation for the oppressed, it occurs to me to consider our response. 'Our' being my white, middle class, western, educated point of view.
We could hear these words and respond, phew!, I'm glad God's got that covered, and carry on our merry way.
Or, we could hear these words and respond, well, if God is with the poor and oppressed, and I am with God, then my efforts must also be to bring about justice and liberation from oppression. 
And in such a response, we find that God is acting for justice and liberation through us. Which is a theme we see again and again through the Sacred Story - God acting for the wholeness and healing of all creation through humans. That is our particular place in this creation, partnering with the Divine for the good of all living things.
Wow!

of faith and wellness

'Go, your faith has made you well,' Jesus says to Bartimaeus as this blind man's sight is restored.
But I wonder, is it that Bartimaeus' faith made him well, or is this short hand for something more complex?

I have been experiencing an ebb and flow of wellness and not quite wellness recently, of my holistic health. There are habits of mind and spirit I have needed and wanted to change, exchanging habits of compromised health for habits of wholeness and healing. As I begin to experience again improving health and find myself at last sticking to rhythms I have long known I wanted to embrace, it has been my 'faith' that has been making me well.
What do I mean by that?
I guess what I am beginning to see this week as I reflect on this story from the Gospel of Mark, and on my great joy at making some long-anticipated changes, is that my faith, which is my orientation towards God / the Sacred / the Holy, is inspiring and challenging me to deepen that orientation, to a…

telling stories of being found

this weekend is a bit of a themed weekend with the stories I am telling. on Sunday at Belair, we'll explore the story of Bartimaeus calling out to Jesus from his darkness, and finding healing for his blindness. this evening I had been invited to share with the Unity & friends folk, and having been encouraged to tell stories I already know, I suggested the parable of a father and two sons ... themes of feeling lost and feeling found resonate with this group, so I chose to tell that parable and a story I have written and told in WA.

this is how the night went, part one of the weekend of stories of being found.

dinner first, well actually chatting in the kitchen while dinner was being prepared first, then dinner, then I created a story space into which I invited the group. we chose a photo that spoke to us of home – koalas reminding us of a visit from a koala and baby near the childhood treehouse, masks and mirrors and planes reminding us that home is not always simple, fixed or …

are we cultivating greatness of self or greatness of heart?

reading the Sacred Story for today, I read about Jesus and his disciples, two of whom asked Jesus to secure for them the seats in heaven either side of him.
as Jesus takes this moment for teaching, we learn an essential quality of a follower of Jesus: the servant heart.
I am going to worship with folk at Kalyra - a retirement village and nursing home in Belair - this sunday. I think my reflection may go something like this:

who have been the great ones held up by the world in our lifetimes? we might name sports stars, movie stars, political leaders ...

what have those people done with that greatness?

let's take, for example, the movie star. there are some movie stars who are lauded as great - and they have talent and help make movies that touch us and move us. but on set, and in their living, they believe the hype and see themselves as the greatest, greater than others. and so they behave badly, making unreasonable demands on assistants, cast members and crew on set, creating an o…

of taking small steps towards becoming

sometimes it feels as though I am moving backwards on various elements of life. i have written here before of the joys of discovering a way of begin that embraces wholeness, that has wellness as its norm, as opposed to the constant pain and discomfort of the back injuries i lived with from the age of 12.
the next steps in the journey into wellness seem to be to kick the depression habit. perhaps it isn't entirely a habit, but it is certainly a part of my identity, after 17 years. can i move from being a person that lives with depression to a person who lived with depression?
concurrently, i feel as though i am ready to move off the plateau i had reached on a journey towards a way of being that is contemplative, almost the way of a mystic.
there is a lot to let go of as i move towards goals that i do want to embrace, but the sacrifices for which i am still occasionally unsure i am prepared to make.
but, as i reflect on these changes, i wonder, will the two journeys complement each …

of the little ones at the table

I'm taking issue with a reflection offered in Disciplines again. This time, the writer has commented on the story in Mark's gospel account of Jesus welcoming the children.
Overall, the idea of the reflection that we must do as Jesus does in this story and others and look for the little ones - the marginalised, unseen, vulnerable in society - and welcome them to the table (as another way of saying welcome them to take their place as members of our communities).
The writer says this, however, that these little ones to whom we offer welcome, 'bring nothing to the table.'
Here is where I take exception. I acknowledge that the writer in the same paragraph does appear to be talking about the 'nothing' being resources.
However - I wonder if this actually devalues the contribution a marginalised person might offer by presuming that what we have to offer is physical resources.
Strip away the physical resources, and the most precious, vulnerable thing we can bring is all…