Make a home in God, and God will make a home in you

People have wondered for millennia where God lives. So what’s the answer? An overview of the gospel according to John. (Listen.)

Where does God live? What does God’s house look like? Does God live at church? These are big questions often asked by small people, but I wish more big people would ask them. Because I reckon many big people haven’t really worked out the answers, even though the questions have been floating around for thousands of years. Continue reading “Make a home in God, and God will make a home in you”

Our lives, broken and shared

The Risen Christ is recognised when he takes bread, gives thanks, and shares it; just as when we take our own lives, give thanks, and feed others. (Listen.)

They recognise him when he takes bread, gives thanks, breaks it, and gives it away. He has always done this. When he was born, he was laid in a feeding trough. When he grew up, he catalysed picnics and ate at sinners’ tables and barbecued fish on the beach for his friends. He took bread and wine and made them special: and those who ate with him knew an abundance and a welcome they had never known before. Continue reading “Our lives, broken and shared”

Even scars become gift in God’s hands

The children of the COVID-19 lockdown will bear scars of this time for the rest of their lives; yet even scars become gift in God’s hands. (Listen.)

This week I read an article which said that the children of the COVID-19 lockdown will bear scars of this time for the rest of their lives. I watch my own children’s social lives shrinking or moving entirely online; I watch them trying to study without the support of being in a classroom with teacher and peers; I watch my youngest dash off her learning tasks, then fall down the rabbit hole of the internet while her older sisters and parents all work. Continue reading “Even scars become gift in God’s hands”

Born again into self-giving love

Jesus is not asking us to intellectually agree with a set of propositions, but to entrust our hearts to him in love. (Listen.)

Many years ago, I left home and went away to university. I came from a background where people talk about faith and science and politics and everything else, and perpetually wonder and ask questions. At university, I expected the same. I hooked up with the first Christian group which presented itself, but soon felt totally bewildered. I found myself in conversations I never wanted to have, in which the acceptability of women in leadership, the theory of evolution, questions of sexuality and gender, and many other issues were put under the microscope, and my position was always shown to be wrong. Continue reading “Born again into self-giving love”

Group Reflection: Maybe it’s a good thing to be left behind

There is a popular idea that, in the end times, God will whisk the ‘righteous’ people away and those left behind will suffer. As young teens, many of us were shown terrifying movies which showed in great detail what being left behind might look like. The movies gave some of us terrible nightmares; and some of us have friends who were turned away from Jesus forever as a result. These days, there is an extemely popular series of novels which has pretty much the same effect. Continue reading “Group Reflection: Maybe it’s a good thing to be left behind”

Walking the neighbourhood

So, walking the neighbourhood. It’s something many of us do every day: but we can add a layer and turn our walks into an opportunities for reflective prayer. This way of praying is not about praying for the neighbourhood, although you can certainly do that. Instead, it is about ‘reading’ the neighbourhood, and seeking the presence of Christ there. For “the Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14, MSG); and so, just as the Word is present in the Scriptures and speaks through them, so too is the Word present in the neighbourhood and, to those with open hearts, speaks through the neighbourhood also. Continue reading “Walking the neighbourhood”

Almost everything we do at church you can do at home, with one important exception

On Sunday we worshipped by walking. Several of us blessed the earth beneath our feet; others walked the prayer labyrinth; still others went on a reflective neighbourhood stroll (which I will describe here at a later date). Afterwards, someone said, “You don’t need to be at church to do this: you could do these walks anywhere,” to which I replied, “Yes! Absolutely yes! And that’s true of most of what we do here.” Continue reading “Almost everything we do at church you can do at home, with one important exception”

Radiating resurrection

Peter raises Tabitha: for Christ lives on in his disciples. (Listen.)

How long, O Lord, must we wait? How long until a saviour comes and sweeps through this nation, and puts everything right? How long until the corrupt are thrown out of power, the violent are contained, the poor are cared for, and the earth is restored? How long until political leaders show compassion? How long until religious leaders repent for the damage they have done? How long until asylum seekers are freed from detention? How long until children in foster care find stable healthy homes? How long until Australia’s First Peoples receive recognition and justice? How long, O Lord, must we wait? Continue reading “Radiating resurrection”

Jesus of the scars

This week at Sanctuary we heard the story of Jesus appearing to some disciples in the locked room after his resurrection – meeting their astonishment and fear, and using his scars to assure them that he was real and well. Scars are often taken in our culture as a sign of strength, bravery, grit. My son proudly wears the scar on his head from a gash that had to be glued together, and the scar on his toe ‘when I didn’t even cry even though there was so much blood.’ Continue reading “Jesus of the scars”

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