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Easter 6 C John 5:1-9 , Acts 16:9-15

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John 5:1-9

5After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. 3In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” 8Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” 9At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath.

Acts 16:9-15

9During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”10When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them. 11We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, 12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. 13On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. 14A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.

The thing that stood out to me with both readings this week was the water.. The man who was ill for 30 years and Lydia beside the river..  The lame man tired and weary, everyone beats him in. I have such compassion on him.. After 30 years of illness even the thought of getting into the water was too much.  It looks like Jesus had compassion too. He doesn’t instruct him to get in now, he just says he is healed..  Too weary for any action Jesus met him where he was at.. Weary and broken and gave healing.

Lydia beside the river, reminded me of those who would have made it in before the lame man, the rebirthing of something new in great joy. The leap out of the water, healed and renewed. Her enthusiasm for what she learnt of the gospel was compelling. The image is of her coming out of the water at her baptism.

I was reminded how there are days in my faith where I am enthusiastic and motivated, a fire that cannot be put out.. Other days I am bone tired weary and can hardly move.. Godmeets me in both spaces, directing my enthusiasm towards hospitality and others when I are excited, letting me rest and being present with me as I are when it is not going so good.. I wonder where you are at? I wonder what happened next? Was there a slow recovery of the lame man, as he was slowly embraced back in his family and community did he grow in strength? Where did Lydia’s enthusiasm take her?

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Anzac Day

Anzac Day

Yesterday we had ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), it is a day where we remember the people who have served our country, honouring those we still have with us and remembering those we lost in war.. I must confess I struggle with Anzac day, not because I do not want to be thankful for what these people have done, but I struggle with war altogether. The incredible loss of life, not just lost on the battlefield but also lost when people return unable to live with what they  have seen.  Normally on Anzac Day we commemorate all those lost with a red poppy.

My son was telling me last night about the other poppies of Anzac Day. The white which is for peace and the purple for the animals that served us so faithfully.  In the march yesterday there were many nations marching together honouring their dead.. It made me reflect on the indigenous people who even though it had not been that long since the arrival of white settlement in Australia, heard the call of need and put aside what has happened to them to help those in need. I have so much respect for that. I wanted to honour thier committment, for me after seeing a beautiful piece of work yesterday from the indigenous community I felt yellow for the sun was appropriate.

So I offer this prayer, the largest and foremost in mind is that we as a world may find peace, so no longer do lives need to be offered and sacrificed. I honour those who have served, all people, thankyou. I give thanks for our Aboriginal service people .  I give thanks for those animals, no way to communicate, no way to have a say, but went anyway, thankyou faithful servants.

May God’s peace spread throughout all the world.

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They will know we are Christians by our love :E5

 

They will know we are Christians by our love

John 13:31 – 35

31When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

To be a disciple of Jesus requires that we love one another. I spent some time this week at the states’ (NSW/ACT) meeting of the Uniting Church and I was looking around the room at a very diverse collection of people, we meet and engage each other due to our commitment to Jesus but sometimes I think we forget to actually love each other for who we are..  and use our gifts to serve God on behalf of those who do not have our gifts. I am no musician, but I need my musician friends to use their gift not just for them but for me and others as well. Music not shared is not as it was ever intended.

I wonder if this is what the church is meant to be like? We can easily love and share our gifts with the people who are the same as us, we love and honour God all the way to heaven with that.. But what if we spent our energy seeking God already visible in those who are different.  What are we looking for? Love.. It will come in many different forms and languages and sometimes it might feel like angry rage, but I wonder what would happen if we were to see the eyes of Christ and love all disciples.. How amazing a gift for the church but imagine the honour to God it would bring. We are all trying to be followers of Jesus we were never called to do it exactly the same.

 

 

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Now to this week! E 4, John 10:22-30

Are you the MessiahJohn 10:22-30

22At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. 24So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”25Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; 26but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. 30The Father and I are one.”

What you can’t see, when this is all you read, is that the response to what Jesus was saying was to pick up stones and stone him . Not an innocent “I want to know so I can follow you” but much more how can we catch him out so we can get rid of him..  It was like thier mind was made up.

So it raised for me the question as to how do we even know what the Messiah looks like? How would we know if we saw him (or her)?

I ended up in Isaiah 11 in the scrolls of the Old.

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

I have to confess in doing this work this week, I found it very challenging being a white middle class woman, I heard it first time as a challenge of how I help the poor of our world. In reading it again I see God will give decisions for the poor.. (See the scales in the bottom left). I live in the hope and grace of trying to live as one of those sheep, allowing the protective staff to guide me that my actions and life will to be to the benefit of all. I’m glad it is not left up all to my own strength!

What are the stones we are quick to pick up? How do we enter conversations or situations with our decision already made? What do I hear but have trouble believing?  Is how Isaiah talks of the Messiah how we hold onto it?

 

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Easter Series Really Good Sunday

Easter Sunday I love this drawing so full of joy and hope.. Matthew 28 +  The Mary’s come to the tomb to anoint the body as was customary. No thought as to how to move the stone in the overwhelming stupor of grief, going through the motions.

How much would it have felt like someone messing with your head?

What would I take to convince you that the impossible was true? But something did. Jesus met them first..  and that meeting gave them the courage to seem like fools, so that others will know that no matter what happens, with God it is never the end of the story..

 

 

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Easter Series Good? Friday

Good FridayThe journey begins. Matthew 26:57 +.. It starts with the condemnation from his community, denial by his friends, Herod washing his hands, the same bowl present. The crowd agrees. Jesus begins the journey on his own two feet, by the end he is dragged unable to carry the cross. The curtain is torn from heaven to earth no longer will humanity and God remain separate.

So many people in this story play a part, sometimes it feels like they are directing what is happening and other times it feels like they are merely boats on the river. One day for all this to happen is not alot of time, no space to think only to react.. How would I react, would I allow my fears to rule how I would act in this circumstance or would I be one of the brave women?

 

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Easter Series The Garden

Easter garden 2015The turn of events.. Jesus took his disciples to the Garden to pray. Matthew 26:36 + After a great night of festivities and maybe just a smidge too much wine everyone struggles to keep their eyes open in the cool of the evening. Jesus spirit cries out to God, the land and trees, shed tears of sorrow for what is to come, but it too late even before they get there, the path is laid out and the plan is in place for Jesus to be arrested.

How disappointing to have a great night ruined, one of those stark moments when you thought it was all good and then you are in the middle of a very scary situation, adrenalin kicks in, you’re not thinking clearly but you know you have to do something but what?

 

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Easter Series Maundy Thursday

Easter last supper 2015This is the first of the series I created in 2015.. I was reflecting on Matthew 26. Here at the table were Jesus closest disciples. There was such a mixed experience, some angry that he wasn’t being the Messiah they were hoping for , some just overwhelming love. Here at this table was friendship and comradery a great festivity, no one knew really what was to come.. Notice the bowl of water preset from the washing of the feet, if you want to be great you must serve. Judas has already made up his mind and is leaving the room.

I wonder where I would have sat and what would have been going on for me? Would I be close to Jesus or far away only just making it to the table, would I be mad at the waste, or generous doing all I could for Jesus or would I just be getting on with enjoying a meal with my closest companions totally unaware of all  the dynamics around the table, or have I already made up my mind of what I think should happen and are in the process of leaving the room..

 

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Welcome

palm Sunday 2016Welcome to Lectionary doodles. Here you will find a weekly adult colouring in item that reflects on the lectionary for the week. My hope that you might stumble on something new about the Christian faith story you didn’t notice before, grow a little in your own faith, gain a deeper connection with God and have fun while you are doing it or at least relax a little or concentrate a bit better when someone else is talking!

This is hugely new to me.. I don’t consider myself an artist but started the drawings as a Lenten practice for myself and shared them with my congregation, people seem to find them helpful and I have been encouraged to share them on a wider more accessible format. Some weeks I am amazed at what I can do other weeks I feel like my 8 year old could do much better! But I will share them with you as gifts, may they help you connect deeply with the Ultimate creative One, God.

So here goes.

I thought what I might do is put up the drawing, add the reading I was reflecting on, write a bit about what I noticed in the text and chuck a couple of questions in that seem to spring to mind when I ponder them.

By the way if you want to use my stuff that is great, just let me know and don’t use it to make millions (not that I really think you can!), not unless you are going to give it all to the poor!