I’m trying something different after decades of writing homilies guided by the Revised Common Lectionary. Two years after release from the weekly necessity to deliver, I still find myself wedded to the rhythm of the three year cycle, particularly where the Gospels are concerned. Although I am occasionally granted the opportunity to deliver a harangue I find myself looking for a different medium to keep exploring the rich depth of the Gospel pathways to Christ-likeness.

Then it hit me – Bush Poetry – Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson knew how to get to the nub of things with this oddly Ocker laconic gifting to the literary world. Their works have sat on my shelves since forever.

So let’s give it a go with this Sunday’s text from Matthew 10:40-42:

“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

I rode the rails the other day; the car was in the shop.
A bit of strife, however – my Smartrider was a flop.
Expired it was, a quandary dire, no cash to buy a pass.
Up stepped a bloke to pay my way, I said “You’ve got some class!”

“No worries, mate! One day ’twill be your turn.
Just pay it on – it’s something we can learn.
Last week I found myself a little in a pickle
No water coming from my taps, not even a bitty trickle.

Bills were paid, the meter made – I searched the reason why
I scratched my head ’til I was red, then Joe came breezing by.
‘It’s roots!’ he said. ‘They’ve choked off your supply.’
A plumber he, he set to work. The hours they flew by.

The water flowed and Joe packed up, his work was done at last.
‘What do I owe?’ and Joe just grinned; he thought it was a blast.
‘On the house! What are good neighbours for?’
With that he winked while I just blinked as he went out the door.

‘Holy Joe’ the street had called him, as he drove round in his van.
Somehow the word had got around, “There’s Joe – a Jesus fan!”
I found it wasn’t in his Bible, it wasn’t in his speech.
It was in his welcome and his deeds, that’s how he spread his reach.”

So all you holy rollers, take heed of Holy Joe
If you would welcome Jesus, ’tis the stranger where he’ll show
“Preach gospel, and if need, use words,” St Francis said it best.
And when you dare to try it out, make sure it meets pub test.

DJR

Well it may improve with practice!