On the seventh day of Christmas… hope that envisions a new heaven and a new earth.

This morning another eight Christian leaders face court in Perth on charges of trespass, a result of advocacy for asylum seeker children in the face of political intransigence and obfuscation. A particularly disturbing feature of the incidents of these arrests was the decision by the police, for the first time, to introduce strip-search procedures, evidently designedContinue reading “On the seventh day of Christmas… hope that envisions a new heaven and a new earth.”

On the sixth day of Christmas – cosmic outlook!

Imagine being freed of all spatial and temporal limitation! The high fence surrounding our time frame of an allotted threescore and ten (or thereabout) is torn down. Star Trek type transportation effortlessly disassembles and reunites our cells so that, at a word,  we can be present to any place in the universe. We are perenniallyContinue reading “On the sixth day of Christmas – cosmic outlook!”

On the fifth day of Christmas … unconstrained love

Love … the kind that puts others’ interests as first priority … is often constrained, especially under stress. Disrupted routines, whether well-off families on holidays, refugees seeking asylum, or those managing unforeseen crises, render it difficult to focus on our own needs, let alone the needs of others. Jeremiah 31:7-14 is the fifth day ofContinue reading “On the fifth day of Christmas … unconstrained love”

On the fourth day of Christmas… an orientation to praise and thanksgiving.

When visiting one of the rural districts surrounding Zvishavane in the south of Zimbabwe 3 months ago, we were struck by the resilience of those who lived on the parched plots with little easy access to water, healthcare and education for their children. We were exploring a program run by the Zimbabwe churches with whom weContinue reading “On the fourth day of Christmas… an orientation to praise and thanksgiving.”

On the third day of Christmas….clothes!

No, not those bargains from the Boxing Day sales. The prophet rhapsodies over gifts of garments representing security, belonging, freedom and hope for the realisation of a vision where all is right with the world. To wear this apparel is to celebrate, as if at a wedding. Something new is beginning and we dress accordingly.Continue reading “On the third day of Christmas….clothes!”

On the first day of Christmas… Pax in Terra

That familiar Christmas song!  We are all aware of its parodies. Here are eight that claim being best. Like many medieval carols, its origins are obscure. We might like to think of the verses as subversive protests camouflaged as exuberant romantic sentiments about extravagant gifts, but there is no evidence to suggest that this isContinue reading “On the first day of Christmas… Pax in Terra”

Advent Voices – Christmas Eve

Festivity and celebration occur for very good reasons. In our pampered state, it marks a break in routine, a legitimate season to hang loose and indulge the hedonistic sides of our nature. In our reflective state, we realise that a momentous event in the history of our world caused a seismic shift in our perceptionContinue reading “Advent Voices – Christmas Eve”

Advent Voices: Titus tantalises

Two days before Christmas, a minor voice from the New Testament speaks out. Squeezed obscurely between Timothy and Philemon, not large players themselves, Titus has a voice worth listening to: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation [health, integrity, wholeness] to all…  Two days out from Christmas, Titus reminds us that, ultimately, a giftContinue reading “Advent Voices: Titus tantalises”

Advent Voices: Expectant prophet

Incarnation looms near. An expectant mother is amongst others as they make their way along the crowded track to their ancestral town, by order of the census officials. The words of an old oracle from an expectant prophet ring in her ears as the throng plods its weary way. Expectant mother; expectant prophet – theirContinue reading “Advent Voices: Expectant prophet”