Showing posts from February, 2018

Midweek Musing: stories and sunshine

This week, an episode from the adventures in getting to know my new city.

Annette was visiting for the day, in order to experience the Songlines: Seven Sisters exhibition at the National Museum. We spent a wonderful two hours immersed in a story that is held by a number of Indigenous Australian communities, and traverses much of the country from the West towards the centre. To have the story told in Indigenous voices, via the app we could download and listen to on our phones with our headphones, connected us to the story in a very rich way. Various artistic media were employed so as to evoke the stories and our senses. I am deliberately not telling you the story itself, for that is not my story to tell.

Lunch by the water reminded me of one of the things I missed most during my Scottish Sojourn: the outdoor lifestyle of Australia. It's just not possible in a country that is so much colder and wetter than ours. Actually it was an interesting paradox or juxtaposition or something, f…

Midweek Musing: Enter the dark

Lent began this week, and we went into the wilderness with Jesus. 

Consider a seed. Part of a flower or tree or blade of wheat. It has lived with the plant, breathed with the plant, then felt the time draw near for it to leave the plant.
Separation. Loss. Grief. Or life as a seed independent and free.
But if the seed remains a seed, stays as and where it is, it will dry up, its life will fade, and all the potential within will go unrealized.
The time draws near for the seed to fall from the flower, the tree, the blade of wheat. Scary and liberating: and only just the beginning.

Jesus’ baptism seemed full of life and joy and freedom, too. Perhaps it was also, at least a little awe-inspiring, if not downright frightening, with the heavens torn apart like that.
And it was only the beginning.
Parting company – from pray the story blog
tear the clouds apart,
rip open the sky,
let me through, let
me through - and Spirit
nose-dives like a dove for
a worm, 'tward Wisdom
Incarnate to embrac…

Preacher, heal thyself. A musing.

Visitors staying with me for five days, induction service on the weekend: and then, all finished, I crash.

I've written here of my experiences of extreme exhaustion during my time in Scotland doing the PhD. Prolonged stress, mainly due to financial limitations, took its toll on my health. I ached through my muscles and my bones. I slept a lot and always needed more. My mind was foggy, my energy lacking, my mood low, and I felt constantly like there was a cold brewing in my sinuses.

This week, it felt like that again. It hurt to move. I woke up feeling like I had run a marathon. Clarity of thought eluded me. I was slow and nauseated and when I lay down to sleep last night, I was incredibly unhappy.

Absent from the office, withdrawing from commitments, doing the bare minimum. So early in my new position, did I want to be so unreliable?

Was I being hard on myself? Probably.

As I lay down to sleep last night, I was struggling to understand why this was happening again.

Lots of new th…

Musing on the story we live

On Sunday 4 February, I preached for the first time at the two worship gatherings at Wesley Uniting Church. Here's what I said. 

We might see in today’s story about Jesus a snapshot ‘day in the life of’ …

Gather in the synagogue with the community, go home for supper, meet with people and meet what needs he can, sleep, get up early and pray, gather with disciples and move on to the next town …

If Jesus is our model for our way of life, such exemplars of what Jesus actually did come in handy, wouldn’t we say?

Followers of Jesus, or followers of the Way as they were known very early on, continue to struggle, however, to know and practice how to live this Way, even with such a blueprint.

I hear myself say I follow Jesus, then go and buy more plastic that will haunt the earth forever, walk past the homeless begging on the streets, drive when I could walk, harbour a grudge when I could forgive …

Did Jesus walk with kinder steps upon the earth?

We may speak words that claim we follow Jesus, c…