20th July 2014 – 6th Sunday After Pentecost A

As I write the news headlines are all about a Malaysian Airlines plane carrying 295 people, including 27 Australians being shot down by a surface to air missile.

This is an incredible tragedy and for the families of those killed the grief will seem insurmountable. Malaysian Airlines may not recover, having lost 2 planes since the beginning of the year. However, it was with dismay that I switched from channel to channel looking for more news only to find the same news repeated from various viewpoints – not just on the half hour with regular news bulletins – but moment by moment. Needless to say, I gave up on the news, resolving to pray for all involved in this tragedy but remembering that this one story does not define the world!

Sadly, many people, already teetering on the edge of despair and depression will be pushed over the edge by this constant bombardment, playing on their fears and anxieties. Maurie and I are actually booked on a short Malaysian Airlines flight later this year, but I will not allow this event to mar my travel with fear.

As I have already stated, one tragedy, or several wars do not define the world. I woke to a clear and sunny winter morning and I realise that there is much to celebrate and give thanks for. My faith in God defines my worldview? What about you?

Many Blessings

Reverend Shan

13th July 2014 – 5th Sunday After Pentecost A

I read (in Words for Worship July 13th © MediaCom 2014) the following Discipleship Thought  – which really got me thinking! Living as we do, in these bodies that make their demands on us, it is easy to forget that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but rather spiritual beings having a human experience. What might it mean for the direction of our lives if we were more consistent in remembering that we live in the Spirit?

This idea is potentially life changing 

“We might think the reading from Romans is suggesting that we hate our bodies or deny the reality that we live in the flesh. But what if, by setting our minds on the Spirit, we become at peace with our lives in the flesh. With our minds at peace, perhaps we are better able to allow our bodies to work with us rather than against us. “

 

Through you may God water the earth with love.

In you may Christ sow the seeds of kindness.

By you may the Spirit of God bring a bountiful harvest

to all who are hungry for righteousness and peace.

Blessings

Reverend Shan

6th July 2014 – 4th Sunday After Pentecost A

There are many decisions we need to make in regards to buildings, events, service times etc. Every one has an opinion and, of course we are all entitled to do so. But eventually decisions must be made and with so many differing ideas this can be difficult. I keep being drawn back to Aesop’s Fable: “the Man, The Boy, And The Donkey” as it perfectly conveys how it’s just not possible to please all the people. Some people keep trying and trying but you inevitably wind up miserable yourself.

A Man and his son went to market with their Donkey. As they were walking a countryman passed and said: “You fools, what is a Donkey good for but riding?”

So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey. Soon they passed a group of men and one said: “See that lazy Boy, he lets his father walk while he rides.”

So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. Then they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son march along.”

The Man didn’t know what to do, so he placed his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and passers-by jeered and pointed at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey with you and your large son?”

The Man and Boy got down and didn’t know what to do. They thought and thought, until they cut down a pole, tied the donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole with the donkey to their shoulders. They went on in the middle of the laughter of everyone who met them until they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, wiggling and moving around, caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge into the water and drowned.

“That will teach you,” said an old man who had followed them: “Please all, and you will please none!”

All opinions have been (and will be) taken into account but eventually decisions must be made and some people may be disappointed. But we cannot please everyone.

Blessings

Reverend Shan