Genesis is a story not just of individuals, but of nations. Abraham and Sarah are the ancestors of Israel; Abraham and Hagar, of the nation now recognised as Islam. Other stories in Genesis relate how Moabites, Amalekites and all the rest came into being … and how they are all related! This is a more challenging cartalk / tabletalk, suitable perhaps for older children and teenagers. Continue reading “Cartalk / Tabletalk 2: Birthing nations”
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world. (John 11:17-27) Continue reading “#40: Resurrection life”
Worship is so physical. In ordinary times, we gather at Sanctuary: a gentle, colourful, comfortable space. We greet one another with a hug, a clap on the back, a touch on the arm; we choose our favourite chair or sprawl on our favourite rug. We look at the paintings on the wall and wonder what they mean; we see the story box come out and wait with anticipation as the lid slowly opens. We sing, listening as we find the point of harmony, separate voices melding into a beautiful whole. We move to the prayer stations and light candles, push twigs into sand, or plant teaspoons as we pray. We stand around the communion table, anticipating the touch, taste and smell of fresh warm bread and sweet red wine. And how much more physical things get during Holy Week, when we would usually kneel to wash one another’s feet on Thursday; crowd into a small dark room on Friday; and gather around a eucalyptus-scented campfire on Sunday in the cold light of dawn. Continue reading “Worship at home”
We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:14-16) Continue reading “#19: Speaking the truth in love”
The gospels are packed with stories of healing, but what does healing actually look like in our ordinary lives? Do we expect physical cures? Do we pray for acceptance of our condition? Do we seek healing for the ugliness smuggled in our hearts, or for our family history? Can a peaceful death be a healing experience? How has good teaching healed you? When have you seen a community healed? Continue reading “Lord, say the word, and we shall be healed”
The urgency and adventure in Acts can feel daunting to a small young church – so, where are we up to in our story? (Listen.)
The adventures of Paul and Silas are so very dramatic. Shipwrecks. Exorcisms. Courtrooms. Preaching. Beatings. Jails. Earthquakes. Freedom. And people turning to faith wherever they go. There’s such an urgency and a power in their activity that, when we hear their stories, we might be tempted to look around at our little congregation, so young, so busy, so distracted, so tired, and throw up our hands. Where is the urgency? Where is the power? Where are the conversions and the parties into the night? Continue reading “A Story of Courage and Freedom”
Jesus, as a mother you gather your people to you.
You are gentle with us as a mother with her children.
Often you weep over our sins and our pride;
you tenderly draw us from hatred and judgement;
you comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds;
you nurse us in sickness and feed us with pure milk. Continue reading “Mothering Jesus”
On Sunday, along with many other churches around the nation, we remembered the impacts of white colonialism on First Peoples. Our prayers included a smattering of Keerray Woorroong; we addressed God in pidgin; we listened to Aboriginal Christian leader Brooke Prentis speak; and we reflected together on what small steps we could do to increase our understanding both of the impact of colonialism, and of the country on which we live. Continue reading “Whitefellas barefoot”
A-ha! In six minutes or less, tell us about the time you realised you were an idiot, tripe tastes delicious, or the dog was right. We’re looking for extraordinary insights, sudden revelations, and the moment the scales fell from your eyes. Continue reading “Yarn: Epiphany: Unspooled!”