Hope when all is hopeless

Haggai is not a well-known prophet but his words are like fresh spring water bubbling up in a parched paddock. His work is summarised well by Rev’d Peter Walker in today’s commentary on the text in With Love To The World, “he inspired Israel to recognise that a shattered people can rebuild their community.” IContinue reading “Hope when all is hopeless”

Jeremiah’s critique

The complaints in Jeremiah’s critique could well come from the press gallery in the Canberra, or Washington, or London of today. Unjust bias for the wealthy, subterfuge, graft, double-dealing – all happening amongst the ruling class of Israel in the years leading up to the first destruction of Jerusalem’s temple and forced exile of the populationContinue reading “Jeremiah’s critique”

Dissing the Decalogue?

Hear the phrase “Ten Commandments” and you’re likely to get a reaction! They form today’s text from Exodus 20:1-17 The scared and anxious in our society want to reclaim them as a kind of fortress to which to retreat.  Chiselled into our court buildings and taught every day in our schools, this set of edicts willContinue reading “Dissing the Decalogue?”

Identity crisis?

Sometimes over-familiar bible passages throw out a surprise. Today’s text  from Mark’s Gospel follows the meme we grew up calling the “Good Confession.” Jesus asks his disciples “Who do you say I am?” and Peter makes the “good confession” – “You are the Messiah [Christ].” The surprise is being asked to consider whether we areContinue reading “Identity crisis?”

We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder…

Jacob’s story is not exemplary. He was a smooth operator who finally met himself in a confronting way – a way that involved disturbing encounters with the Source of his being. One of these encounters (Genesis 28:101-17) became a song sung by oppressed slaves of the southern states of the USA. Its plaintive cry perhapsContinue reading “We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder…”

At the age of 99…

… if one is a denizen of the British Commonwealth, one might begin to expect that one may be soon on the way to receiving a message of congratulations from Buckingham Palace. You’ve hit the ton! Life is complete as you turn the century. Abraham got covenant. And his wife, Sarah, was caught up withContinue reading “At the age of 99…”

Can good arise from a mess?

I have spent a lot of time with people trying to find their way through chaos. Some situations are just so daunting you wonder if anyone can see a way through to the next step, let alone an exit to clearer space where the air is fresh and the whisper of freedom can be heard. Continue reading “Can good arise from a mess?”

Keeping it together through remembering…

When we engage the Lent season introspectively, we can quickly find ourselves confronted with our own inner chaos. The wind howls, the foundations shift and wild things bay at our feet. We wonder how we are going to keep it together for forty days. Psalm 105:1-11 is given to us as today’s text as aContinue reading “Keeping it together through remembering…”

Having nothing; possessing all…

This morning I read an article discussing organisational risk management. It queried whether the focus is on maintaining security and safety for the organisation (or oneself) or responsibly providing channels by which its service might maximise the spirit of risk and adventure for human life to flourish. The Apostle Paul wants life in the Corinthian churchContinue reading “Having nothing; possessing all…”

Caught Out!

Exposure and shame, particularly in high places, draw us like a magnet. The media come out for a prolonged playtime and the population stands on the sidelines, tut-tutting and shaking their heads. The more we find out the more we want to know, so that we may feel justified in pouring more burning coals onContinue reading “Caught Out!”