Sitting with silence – Psalm 4

For anyone who knows me, I have many things I am passionate about – and when I say passionate about, I mean I arc up about them, I speak up about them, feel strongly about them, speak strongly about, enter into dynamic and sometimes heated conversations about them.

For many of you, you know what these are. If you don’t, not to worry – I’m sure there’s plenty of time.

But we all have these things. We all have these things about which we want to stand up and say “No, I’m done listening to this. This is awful. This is unjust. This is not ok.” We all have things that we wish to speak up about, to yell about, to fight back against. I know this feeling well. I do.

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Seeds for Lent

This Sunday marked the first Sunday in Lent.

Traditionally, a period in time where we give something up… In our lives of busyness and chaos, living in a society that “wants” constantly, we can get so swept up in hearing what is going on ‘out there’ and not have the space or the time to listen to what is going on inside of us. So, lent is seen as a time to give something up to get in touch again with the inner voice, to reclaim your spirituality. Pope Francis says that whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, and I would add – even our better self! The quiet joy of God’s love is no longer felt, and the desire to continue to do good just fades.

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Responding to the word of God

 

Scarlet Robin’s gift is a beautiful book, illustrated and written by Amanda Tuohy. It is a book about a little bird who flits around the forest, listening to the plight of his friends and loved ones, hearing about their pain and fear of the forest being cut down or their homes being destroyed. In all the chaos of winter, the beautiful bird is lost, and constantly wonders what he can do to lift everyone’s spirits. He is summoned by the Forest King – a great honour – and is told that Scarlet Robin himself is the one who can save the forest. The Forest King tells Scarlet Robin that he is to sing. Scarlet is confused, and doubts his ability. But the Forest King insists – and so Scarlet Robin sings.

 

So, today, I want to ask you – when you hear the word of God – how do you respond?

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A hurting, wounded woman.

This Sunday we heard the Scripture reading of the Samaritan Woman – John 4:4 – 30. This woman is alone at the well, a damaged, hurt woman, bearing many invisible scars. Being alone at the well is unusual in itself – the well is place of gathering, of communal gossip and laughter, women complaining about their husbands, chatting about the new babies being born, offering advice to one another, women gathering in the cool relief of the dawn or dusk. I can imagine that this samaritan woman has trecked to the well in the heat of the day to avoid the scorn of the other women. She would prefer to stand in the heat and wear her damaging labels in silence, than face these women. She would prefer to bear the scorching sun rather than the scorching tongues of the women.

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Australia Day- what exactly are we celebrating?

I had the pleasure of catching up with an old friend this week, and during the time I spent with her I realised it must have been the first time I had caught up with her since entering ministry. During the course of the conversation, my friend kept saying things she thought were offending me, and kept apologising. After about the 3rd time, I said, “You Know me! I dont offend easily. Say what you want!!” I was thinking about this in the car on the way home, and was reflecting on the way my friends have responded to becoming a minister. Some of my friends seem to now be suddenly of the mindset that they have to watch what they say around me, that they have to filter “normal” conversation to fit the image of my new role in the church. If this were true, I would have to give up a lot of my friends. But it’s not true. I dont offend easily, I have strong morals and values.

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They’ll know us by our … love?

I wonder.

I’m thinking of all Christians here, not just our little bunch at Hartwell (and even we have our less than loving moments, from time to time).

What do your non-Christian,  non-church going friends say about the church? About Christians?  How are Christians portrayed in the news media? ‘Love’ is seldom the first word that springs to mind – often undeservedly, but sadly, not always.

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