Christ the King 22 November 2009
Reign of Christ Proper 29 (34) Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary 22 November 2009
Reign of Christ the King Textweek 22 November 2009
We’re called to belong to the truth - For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." We are called to belong to that which Christ testifies, to belong to that which Christ reveals – not to be listeners; we’re not called to be hearers of the word, we’re not called to be subjects of Christ. There is nothing in the gospel that portrays Christ as someone who wants to be treated as a king and we the loyal subjects, relying on the power of the king to save the day. We are called to belong to the very truth that Christ reveals. Christ is the word made flesh; that is our place of belonging.
The world is a very powerful voice. The word of God is a more powerful voice. Let those who have ears, hear the Word.
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost 20th September 2009
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost 20 September 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Proper 20B/Ordinary 25B/Pentecost 16 Textweek
Proverbs 31:10-31 , James 3:13 - 4:3, 7-8a; Mark 9:30-37
There is some simple wisdom in all of today’s readings. Proverbs teaches us about the value of good wives; James teaches us to hold our tongues and be careful of what we say, and the Gospel teaches that we should all be good servants. We can accept that teaching just as it is, and for many centuries that is how scripture has been used for teachings. Quite often the disciples (us) didn’t understand, but equally we were afraid to ask. Women, therefore, have been relegated to the kitchen, our freedom of speech has been curtailed by what is right and proper and expected, and the general “common people of God” have been molded into a subservient society that is subject to their masters.
And the servant of all is the one who gives up one’s self, one selfish orientation to life, one’s ego-driven self. The servant of all is the one who seeks the pure water from the spring that freely brings life and refreshment to all.
The journey through Galilee to Capernaum is the journey of sophia – the getting of wisdom, the cleansing of the brackish water from life’s spring. “I am the Lord; I make the light, I create the darkness; author alike of well-being and woe”. This is our voice as well, for our voice, our tongue, is the author of well-being and woe, and our capacity as revealed in Christ is a capacity for well-being. Let’s enjoy the trip as we go through Galilee to Capernaum and beyond.
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost 13th September 2009
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost 13 September 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Proper 19B/Ordinary 24B/Pentecost 15 Textweek
Proverbs 1:20-33, Psalm 19, James 3:1-12, Mark 8:27-38
The ‘who do people say that I am’ question that is posed by Jesus in today’s gospel can be seen as an opportunity for us to reflect on our identity, to contemplate who we are, who am I; to contemplate who we are in the sight of God, who we are in the community of faith. And it can be a challenging contemplation as Peter found out in the gospel narrative. It can also be world-changing, and again in the gospel the whole Messianic expectations of the Hebrew people, the very vision of their faith, is turned inside out: a people with an expectation of the Messiah, that whole vision is changed. A new worldview is introduced and so too is the identity of those in the world.
As we look at ourselves, our faith and our works, our very identity, we might consider that to which we attend. Do we set our mind on divine things or on human things? In the modern world we have increased the degree of difficulty in terms of looking and seeing the Divine, because we surround ourselves with a “man-made” environment, an environment that does not allow the voice of Sophia to fall on our ears. “Wisdom cries out in the street”, but how on earth would we hear her above the noise of advertising jingles, mobile phones and traffic?
One of the values of community is the many opportunities we have to identify ourselves in relation to each other. We see our Divine image in relation to every other image of the divine. With our eyes, we can see community and we can be community;
with our souls, that is, with our eyes opened, we can become community.
Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost 6th September 2009
Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost 6th Sept Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Proper 18B/Ordinary 23B/Pentecost 14 6th Sept 2009 Textweek
22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23; Psalm
It’s here also that we can begin to see the undoing that we are called to engage in as we read this narrative. Just when we thought we were doing the right thing, a voice, the voice of the Divine calls us from outside and calls us to change a direction that we thought (from the inside) was looking Ok. The Prodigal Son had to travel to the very edge of life before he could return to the Father and find a relationship that had integrity. The prophets lived on the very edge of the culture, and spoke against the directions of those who were in positions of power and positions of control.....
How do we listen to the Divine word that calls to us from the very margins of life? And we may need to give some time during the week to wondering what that might mean, that question - listening to the Divine word calling to us from the margins of life. What does it mean for us individually, and as community?...
We must look again; we must look again at our theology and look beyond the small circle of thought that shapes our worldview. Open ourselves to the risk of Divine truth. Open ourselves to the possibility that Jesus was shifted, the direction of his ministry was shifted, the movement of his being was shifted by the voice of one from totally outside.
The voice of the prophet, the voice of the Divine, and today we learn, the voice that shapes the ministry of Jesus, all come from the same place. And we might give a name to that place, and call it “not where we are”. Today’s gospel calls us away from our inner circle, to the very margins of life, so that we may hear the word of God, the Divine Word of life that calls us to fullness of life
Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost 30 August 2009
Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost 30 August 2009 23 August 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Proper 17B/Ordinary 22B/Pentecost 13 August 30, 2009 Textweek
Song of Solomon 2:8-13; Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9; James 1:17-27, Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
The narrative from Mark is really important for us in our appreciation of what then is revealed in and through Christ, for Christ does not reveal himself as the head of the Church – he is not the dominant power in the bedroom. Rather, what is revealed in Christ is a Divine indwelling joy of mutual love: the Divine energy of joyous love in humanity and in all of humanity.
When it’s equated through poems like the Song of Solomon to the seasons, Christ is revealed as the energy of Spring that brings forth the fruits of summer out of the darkness of winter. But it is not a once a year event, for the wisdom of Solomon is for the spiritual movement in the ecstasy of every moment; it calls us, it invites into a new way, a living way, through the curtain of the primitive institutions of worldly power.
The spirituality of Joy is to be found in, and as, the experience of a common humanity, where we find ourselves at one with the marginalized and the dispossessed. It doesn’t mean we chuck away everything we’ve got, doesn’t mean we’ve got to become poor and ragged and go without the delights of the world. What it means is to find ourselves at one with the marginalized and the dispossessed; they too have the opportunities for joy that we have - we create together.
We are called to become doers of the Word:
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past
Become doers of the Word, no longer doing what we should, but rather looking to doing that which we could. Become doers of the Word, looking to a fulfillment of life that is birthed in a heart, and that is unstained by the world.
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost 23 August 2009
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost 23 August 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Proper 16B/Ordinary 21B/Pentecost 12 August 23, 2009 Textweek
1 Kings 8: 22-30, 41-43; Psalm 84; Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69
And in the prayer Solomon uses to dedicate that place, he points to a deeper reality of God: “Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built.”
This is God’s chosen people gathering together, almost for the pinnacle of what they’ve been struggling for for years – the temple is built, God dwells here – and Solomon says,
41 "Likewise when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a distant land because of your name 42 --for they shall hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm--when a foreigner comes and prays toward this house, 43 then hear in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name."
As we hear these words of Solomon in the present moment, so too they invite us to look beyond our temple, to look beyond those who worship like us and with us. And so also to look beyond some of the understandings in our tradition that confine our understanding and appreciation of God.
The ‘Where to from here?’ question, as we follow the journey of life through the scriptures, is not answered by going TO church, but rather by going somewhere AS church. This is not the destination; this is where we come to receive food for the journey. Going into tomorrow with an appreciation, with a desire to manifest, make manifest, the Divine indwelling.
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost 16 August 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Proper 15B/Ordinary 20B/Pentecost 11 August 16, 2009 Textweek
1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14; Psalm 111; Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58
The revelation of the Divine in the holy scriptures is not a God-centred revelation, nor is it a self-centred revelation. It is world-centred and life-centred; it takes us beyond the everyday pettiness of self-centred debate into a realm of wholeness, unity and eternity, a life that is beyond the primary and primitive concerns of mortality. Our focus on our lifespan is what our economic rationalists call short-term profit motivation, it’s as far as we look, to the end of our life, same as a business, just looking to the next dollar, for this year’s bottom line or the government just looking for the vote that will get it in next time. The true politics is to look beyond that.
What was it he said?
"Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." 15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise [v14]
Tenth Sunday after Pentecost 9th August 2009
Tenth Sunday after Pentecost 1 August 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Proper 14B/Ordinary 19B/Pentecost 10 August 9, 2009 Textweek
2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33, Psalm 130; Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41-51
The tragic cry of David over Absalom echoes in our hearts like the untimely deaths of Romeo and Juliet; it is a cry within ourselves, it is a cry that we hear and know of within, for we know tragedy each and every day that we lose consciousness of the Divine.
The Bread that fed the five thousand is the bread of I AM: "I am the bread that came down from heaven." As we follow John’s teaching associated with the motif, the symbol, of Bread, so we come across the institution of Holy Communion, the very definition of the Church; we see the beginnings of a new way of life.
"I am the bread that came down from heaven." It is a simple call back to what matters. With it there is a revelation that we are to be imitators of God. Kevin Rudd has offered Australia a stimulus package, encouraging us to be consumers and so to be consumed with our own self-serving. The Gospel likewise offers a stimulus. It’s another call to be consumers and to be consumed by the very bread that feeds the divine life in all: ‘Be imitators of God’; be imitators of God.
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost 2th August 2009
2 Samuel 11:26 - 12:13a; Psalm 51:1-12; Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost 2 August 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Proper 13B/Ordinary 18B/Pentecost 9 August 2, 2009 Textweek
This is a brilliant paper; it’s by Phyllis Trible who is a fairly well-known feminist theologian; she speaks well: :The Bible is like a pilgrim it wanders through history, encounters new settings and never refuses to be locked in the box of the past.’ The Bible as a pilgrim! Here’s another one, this is a lovely image. ‘Positioned much like rowers of boats, we readers of the Bible face the past as we engage the present and look toward the future.” It’s a stunning way to say it.
Karma is not applicable at a personal level, it is applicable to the whole. Uriah can vouch for that; he did nothing wrong and yet he cops it. Every word, every thought and every deed contributes to the unfolding of creation. Our actions in thought, word and deed affect the whole. We might get away with greed, but somewhere, someone will go hungry. An act of violence might not directly result in violence returned to us, but each and every act of violence contributes to the energy of all. And as we realise that we’re not in a one-to-one relationship with our own actions, so too we open ourselves to an understanding of God: a theology that is not personally centred, but that is always in relation to the whole.
Rather we come together to realise the revelation of Christ – to find in ourselves and our being together that we, we are the Body of Christ. And in our Eucharist, we break the bread to share that one body, to symbolically mark that, yes we are members of one body, and it is the body of Christ. It is. Nothing else that has that claim. The second coming that has a theology all of its own, is not another visit by another superman, it is us realising who we are: WE are the body of Christ
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost 12th July 2009
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost 12th July 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Proper 10B/Ordinary 15B/Pentecost 6 Textweek
2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19, Psalm 24; Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:14-29
. Paul is acknowledging that all, each and every one, are inheritors of the Kingdom of God; that’s his starting point; that’s what Paul is calling us to; that’s what Paul is seeking to shed light on as we listen both to the ancient stories of the Old Testament and to the Word proclaimed in the gospel.
It is an amazing narrative. And in verse 29, John is laid in a tomb, the place of resurrection. The story comes round to continue again. John and Jesus, like Mary and Martha, like Peter and Paul are not two, but rather they are aspects of the one: our commitment to one way of life precludes our embracing of another.
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost 28th June 2009 Revd Richard Pengelly
Third Sunday after Pentecost Sunday June 28 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Proper 8B/Ordinary 13B/Pentecost 4 Textweek
2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27; Psalm 130; 2 Corinthians 8:7-15; Mark 5:21-43
Full sermon Revd Richard Pengelly
Friends, into all of these situations these wonderful gospel or good news stories, God breathes life and hope. They remind us in fact of the unique genius of Christianity, that we have a God who walked with people, felt their pain, who heard their cries and who loved them back into dignity and wholeness.
De Mello adds, on the street I saw a naked child, hungry and shivering in the cold. I became angry and said to God, ‘Why do you permit this? Why don’t you do something?’ For a while, silence, then in my prayers, a voice spoke: ‘I certainly did something: I made you.’
Third Sunday after Day of Pentecost 21 June 2009
Third Sunday after Pentecost Sunday June 21 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Proper 7B/Ordinary 12B/Pentecost 3 Textweek
1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49; Psalm 9:9-20; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Mark 4:35-41
To what are we empowered in the name of the living God? As we look towards tomorrow, to what are we empowered in the name of the living God?
Our story is a movement of realisation, a movement toward our understanding. As we ask “who then is this” of Christ, so too we ask it of ourselves and we ask it of the communities of which we are a part.
To what are we empowered… in the name of the living God?
In what do we put our trust?
Who then is this?
Second Sunday after Pentecost 14th June 2009
Second Sunday after Pentecost Sunday June 14 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Proper 6B/Ordinary 11B/Pentecost 2 Textweek
I Samuel 15:34-16:13; Psalm 20; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; 14-17; Mark 4:26-34
How are we to understand this parable? It speaks of dying and rising, of seeds entombed and of a freedom to follow the wind and reach for the sky. Its beginning is grounded, earthed, very much in and of the world. But the parable has a movement and it comes to fullness as an image of standing tall, reaching to the heavens, an inviting image that offers hospitality to the birds of the air.
How are we to understand this parable? It echoes another familiar story, the story of John who baptised a man, and when he came up out of the water the heavens opened and the spirit descended on him like a dove. The birds of the air make their nest.
Trinity Sunday 7th June 2009
Trinity Sunday 7th June 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
TrinityB Sunday 7th June 2009 Textweek
Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 29; Romans 8:12-17; John 3:1-17
The Holy Trinity is one of, if not the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith and it’s probably the most oft–repeated formula or mantra in our liturgy. Technically and historically it’s a stunningly complex piece of theology and for some it’s a field of study in its own right.
A unit at Murdoch called ‘Triune God’ gives just a glimpse of just how difficult it was bringing the church together around the theology of the Trinity. In a one-off sermon it’s absolutely impossible to teach, to explore, to analyse the Trinity, which it means that here it’s impossible to teach, to explore, to analyse the foundation of our faith. That’s because of the complexity of the theology; we would have to look at concepts such as ‘generate’ and ‘ungenerate’, ‘procession’, ‘substance’, ‘the accident of being’, and all that would only take us to the path that’s already been walked in relation to the Trinity. In the world of understanding that now embraces theoretical physics, fractal geometry, string and brain theory, quantum mechanics, there are even more opportunity to look at and to consider the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the three in one. So rather than revisit the established theology, let’s today take it as an invitation just to look, to think about to consider the Trinity. Like Nicodemus, let’s ask questions, and as we explore this foundation of our faith, so too we begin to explore the foundation of our faith. As we look questioningly at the Trinity, we look questioningly at who we are.
Nicodemus was a leader of the Jews, a person of faith who participated in the religious practice of his day. He had some understanding, but as we hear in today’s gospel in his dialogue with Jesus, his questions opened up a doorway to a newness of life, and so to a fullness of life. In his questioning, he discovered that there was and is more to fullness of life and more to who we are.
As we contemplate and question the Trinity there is a risk that our faith will be found to be a house of cards. Do we really believe that God was Jesus’ daddy? A ‘yes’ answer will follow much historical and contemporary orthodoxy. It also gives God a male gender and, reinforces the patriarchal culture; and perhaps that evidences that ‘God the Father’ is a manmade fabrication – God in our image, rather than ourselves in the image of God.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit: if we look at both the liturgy of the church and the scriptures of the church, we find that Father and Son get much more air-play than the Holy Spirit. And that has arguably reinforced what we know – a family first culture and a culture that is out of tune with the two great commandments: love God and love your neighbour as yourself – which suggests at best, that a ‘family fourth culture’ is more in tune with divine orientation. Father, Son and Holy Spirit – that mantra is shaped by and gives shape to our very culture.
The Holy Spirit spent much of its Christian life as the Holy Ghost and was subconsciously omitted from the popular theological equations. The Holy Ghost –there was something eerie about it and it was left on the shelf.
The doctrine of the Trinity in its common and orthodox understanding could well be getting in the way and so blocking our spiritual quest, our questioning of spiritual things. Until we contemplate its mystical qualities, it’s nothing more than a pre-medieval painting, but if we look at it, if we quest for its truth and its wisdom, it becomes an icon that can enliven and open up our faith.
Riding a motorbike in Bali gives an opportunity of seeing and experiencing the world differently. At first to the western eye it looks like chaotic madness. It’s almost incomprehensible – dangerous, out of control and seemingly without rules or regulations. But to join the mayhem is an absolute delight, because the traffic flows. It’s not stop-start: it seems as if we travel as one, organically moving and without the road rage that simmers in our own traffic systems. One explanation is that in the west, we see and we focus on the car, the object on the road; in the east they see the gaps, the spaces in between. What we see when we’re driving is what blocks the flow, and so we see ourselves as one of the blockers of flow. What they see is what opens up to enable flow; they see the spaces where movement can occur. It’s a different orientation, and it leads therefore to a different way of being.
Likewise with the Trinity: if we focus on the objects - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - we fail to see the relationship, the movement, the dynamic. Trinity Sunday is an invitation to look again, not God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, but to look again at the divine dance that embraces the universe, a dance that constantly opens itself to invite our participation into its way of being. That’s the invitation of Trinity Sunday: don’t look back to the theology of the past; don’t look to the definitions of the objects that might block your way, but rather contemplate the whole and its movement, and seek the reflection of ourselves in that contemplation.
Feast of Pentcost 31 April 2009
Day of Pentecost Sunday May 31 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Pentecost Sunday Textweek
Acts 2:1-21; Psalm 104:24-34, 35b; Romans 8:22-27; John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
‘In the last days’, however, is equally open to be seen as the time of wholeness and fullness. The last days of the fruit are when it ripens on the tree, the last days of wine are when it has matured into its vintage; the last days is pointing toward wholeness and fullness, toward harvest. So in the time of fullness, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh - a divine emptying of self and a giving of self to all flesh - it’s not given to everybody, but to all flesh.
And the outcome of that divine pouring out: ‘and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy’. There's a future orientation; it reminds us, it tells us that our children hold the voice of tomorrow. That quote that we’ve often used: “Life is no ‘brief candle’, rather a splendid torch which we hold and then hand on, one to another’: your sons and daughters shall prophesy. You’ve got a part to play in it and the part you play in the prophesy of your sons and daughters is the part of Pentecost, the pouring out of your spirit, for all of our sons and your daughters, even your slaves.
‘And your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams’: an inclusive valuation of the contribution that all have to play. The young envision and imagine tomorrow with an unbridled creative energy that draws and almost feeds on everything around to envision tomorrow, to move toward tomorrow. The old, with wisdom, dream, a view of tomorrow born from within, from the creative inner landscape of life, a dream of tomorrow that emerges from the experience of life. We all have a part in the process of Pentecost.
Verse 19 and 20 then paint a graphic picture of prophet symbolism. ‘I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below.’ This is where medieval theology continues to live, but actually what that line does is it reiterates the whole essence of biblical wisdom. ‘I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below.’ God, seen in the divine realm, is also to be seen in the activity of humanity. The portents of heaven reflect or are reflected in the signs on earth: blood, and fire, and smoky mist, a trinity of symbols representing, reflecting birth and death and life. The seen and the unseen.
Verse 20: ‘The sun shall be turned to darkness’ – let go of the doomsday: no more shall our worldly concerns be in the spotlight. In the process of Pentecost we move away from the distractions of the material toward the integration of the spiritual. ‘The sun shall be turned to darkness’ – we do not need to see that which is around us’ for that which is around us is created within; the world around is born and birthed in our hearts, the gift of the divine.
‘The moon shall be turned to blood; the lunar cycle that navigates birth is the timekeeper of mortality. Pentecost is outside of time. Pentecost is eternally now and all this, verse 20 concludes, ‘before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day’. Now that’s confusing. Does that mean that all of this will occur before Christmas, before the Lord’s great and glorious nativity? Or before Easter - before the Lord’s great and glorious resurrection? Or before Ascension – before the great and glorious Day of Glory? Or does it mean that we read the whole lot again, read again the narrative of Pentecost as if it speaks of the day of now. The birth of tomorrow’s glory is in the Pentecost of the moment
Third Sunday of Easter 26th April 2009 Rev Brian May
Third Sunday of Easter May 26Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Easter B 26 May 10 2009 Textweek
Acts 3:12-19; Psalm 4; I John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36b-48
Reverend Barry May
Full sermon Rev Brian May
Second Sunday of Easter 19th April 2009
Second Sunday of Easter April 19 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Easter B 2 April 19 2009 Textweek
Acts 4:32-35; Psalm 133; I John 1:1-2:2; John 20:19-31
Thomas makes an entrance into the narrative of Easter. We have an affinity with Thomas; we can understand where he is coming from because Thomas opens up the dilemma of faith and doubt. Or is that projection? Should that actually read, ‘I have an affinity with Thomas, for I know the place of doubt’? I know it well, and it wouldn’t take much psychoanalysis to reveal that my priesthood is primarily constructed from and on doubt: the doubt of Thomas and the denial of Peter are easily and readily evidenced. And alongside doubt there is faith: as I read through the readings, I was delighted at the place of faith that they illuminated within and I’d encourage you to take time to read them as if you’d just come across them as you were walking through a forest or woods, in a place you’d never been.
The first reading from Acts: ‘Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.’
Once again I’ve got two quotes that I’ve taken from the news. The first one is from ABC Rural News:
Traditional owners in the Kimberley region of Western Australia have given the green light to a proposed multi-billion dollar gas plant north of Broome. The deal struck between the Kimberley Land Council, the WA Government and gas company, Woodside, will see traditional owners receive a compensation package worth a billion dollars over 30 years if the project goes ahead.
The second one, which is related to the first, is from a media release by the Kimberley Land Council:
Kimberley Traditional Owners have today given in-principle approval for the site of the proposed Kimberley LNG hub at James Price Point in North Western Australia.
The in-principle decision has come after 16 months of consultations facilitated by the Kimberley Land Council to ensure development in the Kimberley comes with the informed consent of Aboriginal People.
There’s a romantic view of the Aboriginal people as a spiritual people who do not own the land, but rather are at one with the land. Well, that’s certainly not where they’re coming from now. Projection again?
Projection can provide us with a positive reference point when it is reflected back, because it can illuminate the source. We know, or can call the untruth in regard to Aboriginal spirituality because we know the same untruth in our own. The same is true when we project our terrorism onto Muslims, or our protective oppression onto the state of Israel, or our greedy self-interest onto the U.S. empire; we can do that so easily because we know that place. We know the untruth in ourselves because we live in the questions of Thomas.
The reading from Acts is not a rule of life; it’s not there to stir up guilt; it’s not there to suggest that you all go home and sell your homes and bring the cash in and lay it at the altar. It’s not about that: it illustrates an orientation or a way of being. It speaks of a community in truth and a community that has an integrity of life. And that reading from Acts captures the narrative of Thomas – a realisation of life lived in faith. Thomas was holding on to his world, and then there was a movement, a realisation, and Thomas answers: ‘My Lord and my God’. He comes from a completely different place; he comes from the place of his resurrection.
The second reading from 1 John is in a similar vein. Here the revelation of Christ is declared an orientation towards eternal life and to a joy that is complete. It speaks of fellowship - living in and living with God, with Christ, with the world: a living that is born out of the process of Easter. The leaven in the lump, the yeast in the flour enables the whole to rise. The seed dying to itself, dying to its being a seed, rises as a new being, a growing entity that bears fruit for others to harvest.
The two readings beautifully lead us into the dialogue with Thomas [which] is set in a place of fear behind locked doors – that’s us in front of our television sets. The breath of Christ, the process of creation is given movement; Thomas was not there. A week later Jesus came and stood among them and spoke – the word became flesh.
Once again this is the very process of creation and Thomas moves, he moves from doubt to faith, from tomb to womb. Beautifully, the gospel and that movement in Thomas, leads to the Acts of the Apostles. There’s a delightful sense of that process then unfolding.
Resurrection of our Lord Easter Day 12 April 2009
Easter Sunday April 12 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Easter Sunday Textweek
Acts 10:34-43, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; I Corinthians 15:1-11; John 20:1-18
The Mystery of Easter....The mystery, or in other words, the secrecy of Easter, the obscurity of Easter, the ambiguity of Easter, the inscrutability of Easter, the vagueness of Easter, the anonymity of Easter. Whatever words we use to phrase our questions and our arguments about Easter we come back again and again to: What is it all about....?
Our quest and question, What is it all about....? is not answered here today. However, a door is opened, a stone is rolled away. Doubt and Faith stand in the garden, the Adam and Eve of tomorrow’s creation, looking into the empty tomb...... Where will you look for the promise of tomorrow?
Liturgy of the Passion Sixth Sunday in Lent 5 April 2009
Liturgy of the Palms Sixth Sunday in Lent April 5, 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Liturgy of the Palms B April 5, 2009 Textweek
Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 14:1-15:47
Fifth Sunday in Lent 29 March 2009
Fifth Sunday in Lent Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Lent 4 B March 22, 2009 Textweek
Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 119:9-16; Hebrews 5:5-10; John 12:20-33
The Archbishop's sermon The Most Reverend Roger Herft
Fourth Sunday in Lent 22 March 2009
Fourth Sunday in Lent Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Lent 5 B March 29, 2009 Textweek
Numbers 21: 4-9; Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:14-21
We’re not looking at the readings, we’re not listening to them with our TV eyes and our TV ears. It’s not an advertising sound-grab, there's no jingle attached. We’re going into the realm of the Divine and we enter through the narratives of holy scriptures into a timeless worldview that uses narrative and symbolism to explore the very nature of life...
In Christ, the Divine is made manifest – comes together - in Humanity. Heaven and earth are one; the veil is lifted, the Light overcomes the darkness. We are invited to look to Christ, lifted on the cross and lifted from the tomb.
‘And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and the people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.’
Second Sunday in Lent 8 March 2009
Second Sunday in Lent Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Lent 2 B March 8, 2009 Textweek
Second Sunday in Lent 8th March 2009
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22:23-31; Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-38
The readings give us another opportunity to find other reference points to determine where we are and perhaps also to determine where we’re going. The Sunday readings call us into question and they call us to question.
There is a new relationship offered by God that we can respond to: if we do, it will change who we are. The thing that gets in the way is us holding onto how we want tomorrow to be, and that also will change our name.
Take up your cross and follow me does not ask us to crucify ourselves and become victims, the doormats of the world, but rather to give ourselves fully, to give all of ourselves in response to the divine covenant, to walk the walk with Christ, to move from Abram to Abraham, to move from Sarai to Sarah, to move from Satan to the Rock, to move from where we are to newness of life. It’s the journey of Lent, it’s the invitation of Love, it’s the revelation of Christ. It’s there, asking for our response.
First Sunday in Lent 1st March 2009
First Sunday in Lent Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Lent 1 B March 8, 2009 Textweek
Genesis 9:8-17; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-15
The Old Testament readings each Sunday through Lent will be focusing on covenant, the covenant between God and humanity, and as we hear these ancient texts on covenant, we see that they move towards fuller appreciation of that relationship, the relationship between humanity and divinity, and they also have a movement towards a fuller life, which is the promise of the covenant.
In the Genesis story of the Flood, the heavens, the dwelling place of the Divine, is ripped open and the floodwaters, the waters of uncreation, pour in. In Jesus’ baptism, he rises from the water, heavens are again torn open, but this time the Spirit descends and we hear the voice of God.
Lent gives us a call; it draws us and drives us into the same contemplation that we read of in the gospel. As we journey through Lent may we also move towards fulfilment, may we move closer to the Kingdom of God and into a new repented way of being
Transfiguration 22 February 2009
Transfiguration Sunday 22 February, 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Transfiguration/Last Epiphany February 22, 2008 Textweek
2 Kings 2:1-12; Psalm 50:1-6; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Mark 9:2-9
The Old Testament reading and the gospel today both contain graphic accounts that are beyond the scope of our everyday experience - Elijah being carried off to heaven on a chariot of fire and Jesus being transformed into glowing white, alongside Moses and Elijah. To some these events are unbelievable; to others - it’s interesting to read some of the bible commentaries – others seek to provide some pseudo-scientific rational explanation for these events
We’re invited to see the Divine made manifest - where do we see the flames of the Divine? We’re invited to hear the divine voice, ‘You are my Beloved with whom I am well pleased’. We’re invited to pick up the mantle, the spirit that will enable us also to separate the waters of chaos and walk on dry land. We are, in these readings, invited to encounter the Divine.
Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany 15th February 2009
Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany 15 February, 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Epiphany 6B February 15, 2008 Textweek
II Kings 5:1-14; Psalm 30; I Corinthians 9:24-27; Mark 1:40-45
Two stories of healing lepers: one from the Old Testament, one from the gospels. They’re two quite separate stories obviously, so we could explore them because each one offers so much. I think however, they also offer us an opportunity to ask, What is going on when we read the Bible?......
Now is the time for us to participate in a new movement to recognise the leprosy of the culture, and to hear in these words that it is from the bottom up, it is from the ordinary and the every day, it is from the ones who think they do not have power that the voice of wisdom will be found and that wholeness will be restored and that begins with those simple words, ‘Wash and be clean’. It begins by truly experiencing our baptism......
Now is the time for us to participate in a new movement to recognise the leprosy of the culture, and to hear in these words that it is from the bottom up, it is from the ordinary and the every day, it is from the ones who think they do not have power that the voice of wisdom will be found and that wholeness will be restored and that begins with those simple words, ‘Wash and be clean’. It begins by truly experiencing our baptism.
Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany 2nd February 2009
Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany 1 February, 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Epiphany 4B February 1, 2008 Textweek
if you switched off for the readings, have a look again at ‘Breathe on me breath of God’ and take that home and ponder that. It’s a lovely, simple… it’s one of the very simple hymns; it’s got a meditative movement to it that I think is very affirming. So we’re going to look at the readings, but I actually think that’s a worthwhile grab to take anyway....
Deuteronomy gives us an opportunity to see ourselves in the context of community: what is raised up from us? What is the accountability and responsibility that we hold or ask of others to hold in relation to the Divine? Know that we are part of the movement, the movement that leads, the movement that seeks, the movement that wants and desires the fullness of life that Christ reveals. The voice of the prophet is the reality within ourselves and the reality within our community or communities.
There is a new way of being and becoming the church and there is no blueprint provided for it. Each of us, each of us is part of realizing it; we each hold a part of the puzzle.
Second Sunday after the Epiphany 18th January 2009
Second Sunday after the Epiphany January 18, 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Epiphany 2B January 18 , 2008 Textweek
I Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20); Ps. 139:1-6, 13-18; I Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51
Week by week we hear the word of God; arguably we hear the word of God day by day and moment by moment. Are we therefore, like Samuel, unaware and unexpectant of the word of God, responding rather to the obvious? ........
To fully engage the contemplative process, to encounter the Divine, we must find ourselves as we are found and formed by God, to know ourselves that fully. To encounter the fullness of God is to encounter the fullness of ourselves, initially as an individual and then as part of the whole, as members of one body. .
In 2009, if each of us can find a place in our lives to utter that -'Speak, for your servant is listening’ – it will bring about change.
Samuel was guided by Eli, Nathaneal was guided by Philip. It’s pretty clear that movement cannot and is not something that we can do alone.
The movement from baptism into the body of Christ is the movement from fornication into fullness, into the fullness of life. Samuel was guided by Eli, Nathaneal was guided by Philip. It’s pretty clear that movement cannot and is not something that we can do alone.
Baptism of the Lord (First Sunday after Epiphany) 11th January 2009
Baptism of the Lord (First Sunday after Epiphany) January 11, 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Baptism of Christ B January 11, 2009January 11 , 2008 Textweek
Genesis 1:1-5; Psalm 29; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11
‘In the beginning’ gives us a starting point, it gives us a reference point, but in reference to what? Is this a story of God’s creation or is it a story of creation’s God. ...
Today we have participated in another ‘in the beginning’. Let’s acknowledge that we, we are changed by Kavisha’s baptism and let’s reread the gospels. The old ones that belonged to the church before it changed this morning, maybe no longer make sense. Let’s reread them with ourselves as a reference point. Let’s reread them in a way that allows us to align ourselves with the divine activity of creation, knowing that our baptism provides us with an ‘in the beginning’ in each and every moment.
Second Sunday after Christmas Day 4th January 2009
Second Sunday after Christmas Day January 4, 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Christmas 2 January 4 , 2008 Textweek
Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 147:12-20; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1:(1-9), 10-18
We continue in the season of Christmas. Jeremiah talks of singing with gladness, of bringing all people together; he speaks of being kept as a shepherd a flock, of being ransomed and redeemed....
God is revealed in and through us. Christ reveals the coming of light in humanity, the coming of light into all, including us – ‘all who receive and believe in God are given power to become children of God’...
Christmas is not a celebration of Christ, it is a celebration of the fullness of humanity; an invitation, an invitation that continues to wait to be realised. It’s a process, a process that calls us and leads us into our fullness into our Christ-likeness
First Sunday of Christmas 28th December 2008
Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Psalm 148; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:22-40
First Sunday after Christmas Day December 28, 2009 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Christmas 1 December 28, 2008 Textweek
So we continue to explore the mystery of Christmas, and as we continue to read from the prophet Isaiah, as we heard this morning’s reading with our own experience of Christmas so recent, I think it’s easy to see that Isaiah really did get Christmas. ....
The feasts, like the gospel, seek to provide us with some reference points for the unfolding of Christmas. The feast of Saint Stephen – the giving of ourselves, the giving fully and the dying of our worldly self –the first martyr. The Holy Innocents, the cost, the cost of the journey before us and the extent to which the authorities will go to prevent our realisation. The naming and circumcision of our Lord - the new name by which you and I and we will be known. What is that name? What will we be called; what we grow into?.....
For Isaiah, [Christmas] was a cause of great rejoicing; it involves the whole being. It is a springing into life: ‘I will not keep silent, I will not rest’. Isaiah speaks of unfolding into a new being and of becoming a new person: ‘You shall be called by a new name that the mouth
of the Lord will give’.
Let’s use the twelve days of Christmas to more fully hear the story, and to look at the unfolding of Christmas within ourselves, to the journey that it might lead us to as we move toward the new year.
Christmas Day 25 December 2008
Christmas December 25, 2008 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)
‘And Mary pondered them in her heart’: she pondered all these things in her heart - the same Mary that later is to be found at the foot of the cross, watching this same child in crucifixion.....
It suggests, therefore, that we keep Christmas whole and allow it to unfold through the year. Be very wary of packing it up. When you put all the decorations away, lose the surface but find a way of keeping the content. Hold onto one of the gifts and allow that to continue to christmas within you throughout the year.
Third Sunday of Advent 14 December 2008
Third Sunday of Advent December 14, 2008 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
Third Sunday of Advent Textweek
So we’re at the third Sunday of Advent, and one of the questions is, where are we? Where are we at; where am I?......
The creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God. The creation waits – all that God has given waits for a response. We’re called to be John the Baptiser, to bring into birth the word of God. And as we take those steps, then and maybe only then, will we make sense of Christmas.
Second Sunday of Advent 7 December 2008
Second Sunday of Advent December 7, 2008 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
SecondSunday of Advent Textweek
Christmas is an amazingly simple revelation; Christmas is a time where we celebrate that simple revelation. However, we and many are likely to miss the point because it’s been oversimplified into the birth of Christ.......
We’re invited, like John the Baptist and with John the Baptist, to prepare the way, to repent, to change our worldview, to change our life direction. We’re invited today to bring about a new heaven and a new earth. And as we contemplate that through Advent, the possibility is that when we get to Christmas we will realize the gift. It’s not the birthday of a baby: it is revealed that the word became flesh. All that the Divine has and is, is given to us
First Sunday of Advent 30th November 2008
First Sunday of Advent November 30, 2008 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary
First Sunday of Advent Textweek
Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37
Before we explore the vivid image that Mark gives us of the end of time, let’s just go back to the Old Testament reading. ....
God is given; that we will celebrate at Christmas. And we know we’re going to celebrate it; God is gifted into the world, the Divine is no longer separate, the Divine is not one of the stars in heaven, rather the divine has taken on our flesh. We are the hope.