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This story told by an Aboriginal pastor illustrates well the connection between trusting relationships and truth as described in John 14:15-21, today’s gospel reading.

The Parable of the Abattoir Wall

For many years, the custom in one of the abattoirs had been to paint a coat of whitewash over the bloodstains on its walls.  This was found to be a quicker approach to presenting a clean hygienic image than the laborious task of scrubbing down walls.  However, the time came when the blood-caked stains from years of white-washing began to turn yellow and a foul smelling slime began to seep from underneath the whitewashed interior. The abattoir had no option but to scrape down the years of accumulated blood-stained whitewash and go back to the original wall surface. There came a point in time, in history, when the scraping back exposure of the cover-ups was necessary before the abattoir could do its work.  We believe Australia is now “scraping off the whitewash” and finding its soul.

Pastor Bill Hollingsworth, ‘Message Stick’, Journal of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Congress of the Uniting Church in Australia, June 1997.

A resource for the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation from NATSIEC