27th October 2013 – 23rd Sunday After Pentecost C

This week I have had to take time off from my ministry in order to have surgery. This “reflection” is from Words For Worship.

STEWARDSHIP THOUGHT:

John Ames, the fictional preacher in Marilynne Robinson’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel, Gilead, writes tenderly and wisely to his young son:

“And grace is the great gift. So to be forgiven is only half the gift. The other half is that we also can forgive, restore and liberate, and therefore we can feel the will of God enacted through us, which is the great restoration of ourselves to ourselves.”

The “pouring of Spirit out on all flesh” would be mistakenly understood if it were similarly only “half the gift”, concerning itself only with interior blessings. The redeeming force of God’s Spirit would also pour out through us to others, given permission and openness of heart to do so. Can you identify how God’s will is best and clearly enacted through you?

Words For Worship, Media Com 27th October 2013.

Blessings to you

Reverend Shan

20th October 2013 – 22nd Sunday After Pentecost C

The scriptures this week reveal how when God writes truth on our hearts, we are compelled to both speak and be heard. Jesus wanted the disciples to “pray always and not lose heart.” God’s people are called to persevere in seeking to live in God’s way. What space for prayer do you have in your life?

In this parable, Jesus is not using the fearless judge as a metaphor for God – rather, he is making the comparison between the judges and rulers of this world who often fail to act justly but will give in to the pressure of persistent harassment.

As an example, we all know, public waiting list in hospitals have been far too long… On Wednesday morning the Today Show made the public aware of the plight of Sydney mother of 5, Nicole Perko. Six months ago she was told she had a rare case of appendix cancer but that she had a 97 per cent chance of a full recovery with an operation. But long hospital waiting lists and budget red tape means Nicole is still waiting for that surgery that could save her life. High-profile Australians including actor Russell Crowe, celebrity Charlotte Dawson, model Jennifer Hawkins and musician Clare Bowditch supported an online petition highlighting her plight on Twitter.

On Thursday Health Minister Jillian Skinner announced that six extra patients will be operated on at Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick between November 4 and December 11. This brings Nicole’s surgery within the next couple of months. Prayerfully, this means she will have surgery before it is too late.

Our God knows our needs and is always just in responding. The answer may simply not be in the terms we demand.

A young black man asked his minister why their people had to suffer so much poverty, hardship, and oppression. “Why doesn’t God do something?” he wailed.

“He has,” said that wise pastor. “He has created you.”

And so Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Bishop emeritus of South Africa, became the answer to his own question.

That’s a good lesson for you and me. While we are waiting for God to bring in a perfect and just society, you and I are God’s answer to the injustice in our world. That’s what it means to take up a cross and follow Jesus. It’s not a comfortable position to be in. It’s not popular. But it is Christ’s way.

Blessings

Reverend Shan