Showing posts from October, 2018

getting out of the way, so we can walk The Way of Jesus. A Midweek Musing

Sermon for Wesley Uniting Church – 28 October 2018
Mark 10:46-52 and Job 42. 

I have friends who at present in the church are being made to like Bartimeus: outcasts because of who they are, told by their community to sit down and shut up and stop making us feel so uncomfortable with your difference. (see last week's musing)

Do you?

What neighbours to us, as individuals, a community here, a nation, as humans, can we think of that the self-appointed judges of who is valid and valued tell to sit down, shut up, and get out of Jesus’ way?

Have you been told to sit down, shut up, and get out of Jesus’ way?

Please hear from the actual story of Jesus: Jesus commands the community to see you, to call you, to put the ones the world casts aside in his way. Jesus meets you, my friends, he meets you. He hears you. He sees you.

voice from darkness sees invisible spirit met, touched, remembered 
What do you want me to do for you?

This seeing and hearing and meeting is a profound affirmation of your…

On hearing marriage might be restricted again in our church. Midweek Musing.

I am disappointed.
I am angry.
I feel betrayed.

A musing, midweek, after news that a courageous, generous, and faithful decision on marriage might be cast aside.

In July, the national council of my church, the Uniting Church in Australia, made a decision to include in our understanding of marriage that it is both between a man and a woman, and between two people regardless of gender, and to allow our members to hold either view according to their conscience (for details, see here, and here; for former President Rev Prof Andrew Dutney's reflection on this as a courageous and faithful decision, see here).

This decision did not cast aside one view or another, did not declare or even imply that the old, familiar, cherished-by-many view was wrong. It did allow us to give dignity to faithful people who want to commit to lifelong partnership with the vows and covenant of marriage under law and within the church before God.

There are some who hold that old familiar view of marriage who wa…

Midweek Musing: let's not defend ourselves against the poor

Reflecting on Mark 10:17-31, and Hebrews 4:12-16 : Canberra Central Parish, 14 October 2018

A response of confession feels appropriate, hearing these readings. This poem is by John van de Laar: ‘Biographers of the Least’

Our world overflows with stories, Jesus,
so many lives,
so many ways of being human.
So why are we satisfied with so few?
Why do we keep telling the same stories over and over,
of the wealthy and powerful and beautiful?

Why do we so carelessly pass by the rich and unpredictable stories
of the unseen
who in a million magical ways,
make a life out of nothing?

God, forgive our narrow interests,
and our lazy entertainments;
Make us biographers of the least,
who listen to the untold stories of the shadow people,
and bring them into the light.

Give us the curiosity and the restlessness
to search out the forgotten,
the neglected,
the unwanted,
the discarded,
and the worn out,
to learn their legends,
and to acknowledge their place
in the epic story of humanity.
Saint Martin – the image on the pew she…

Midweek Musing. On law, love, and embrace for the vulnerable.

Sermon for Wesley Uniting Church – 7 October 2018 Mark 10:2–16
So here we are again. A difficult passage, one we might want to quickly skip over because it’s too hard and incomprehensible; one we might want to tear out, throw away all together because it’s been presented to us in the past as a hardline narrowing perspective on human relationships, and marriage in particular. I wonder, though. To hear Jesus speak thus would put his words in contrast to his actions. If Jesus actions are consistently opening up relationship, not closing it down, we might use that to help us discern meaning in his words here.

To hear Jesus speak of the Law without question or challenge to the way it is being applied in Jewish community in his time is to bring an inconsistency into his approach to the Law. Do we think Jesus is inconsistent, untrustworthy? I don’t think so.
As usual in these stories, the people questioning Jesus are testing him. Some scholars have seen Jesus here pointing through a particula…