When Jesus let fly …

Christian activism, maligned by many, has one prominent stand-out exemplar – the cleansing of the Temple by Jesus described in today’s text in John 2:13-22.  Holding passive sit-ins at parliamentary offices seems mild compared to the passionate action of Jesus turning over moneychanger’s tables and fashioning a scourge to drive animals from the temple precincts. BothContinue reading “When Jesus let fly …”

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”

Mythic realities

When we avoid the popular notion of myth as a fairytale and understand it as a means for accessing deep universal meaning that can only be conveyed in symbol and story, we are getting closer to truth. When confronted with the world’s chaos and violence and ask “What does it all mean?” and we doggedly searchContinue reading “Mythic realities”

Chilling out as agents of change…

How does one address ill-fitting and unjust systems in family, church and community while maintaining a calm disposition? Isn’t there a necessity for the passion of a prophet, the zest of a zealot, the tenacity of a teacher, the resilience of a reformer to effect change? When the Apostle Paul counsels the household slaves in theContinue reading “Chilling out as agents of change…”

Advent Voices – plain speaking

“For I, YHWH, love justice…” So continues the rest of the oracle in Isaiah 61:8-11. Isaiah’s euphoric response to God’s affirmation assumes a community that is equally responsive, having embraced an equal love for justice tempered with loving-kindness and mercy.  It is infused with the life-giving Spirit that binds all together.  This reality goes far beyond personalContinue reading “Advent Voices – plain speaking”

What more could you want in an Aussie Saint?

It seems Australia’s disadvantaged, including indigenous, mentally ill, and those seeking asylum, have a newly sanctioned advocate. Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop has become Australia’s first Saint.   On a day of celebration owned by Catholic and non-Catholic, religious and secular, believer and non-believer, one of our own has been ushered into the select company ofContinue reading “What more could you want in an Aussie Saint?”

Hearing the Lord’s Prayer anew.

Formal recitation of the Lord’s Prayer is under scrutiny as its place is considered in parliaments of this land. Secularists would abandon it, traditionalists want to retain it, and some of us think the boat is being missed altogether – for to really pray the prayer as Jesus intended would be too explosive for governmentsContinue reading “Hearing the Lord’s Prayer anew.”

Compulsory Income Management

This morning’s article in Eureka Street scratches an irritating itch. On behalf of my local church, I receive occasional calls to help out families on hard times. My training has me quickly assessing the level of need, its genuineness and the appropriate response. Often it’s the choice between organising a food parcel or accompanying theContinue reading “Compulsory Income Management”

Blogging against Poverty – Blog Action Day

Ever wondered what more you can do about world poverty? It’s a bit like the kid throwing beached starfish back into the ocean – not a hope of saving the thousands of stranded ones so why bother at all – what difference does it make? “It makes a difference to this one,” he says, chuckingContinue reading “Blogging against Poverty – Blog Action Day”

The Visitor – more movie dipping

   They told me I should see this one.  So I did.  The Visitor certainly evoked memories from not so distant times when folk from my church and I sat through tribunals, negotiaited immigration interviews and confronted officialdom on behalf of “illegal immigrants,” otherwise deemed by the international community to be legitimate refugees entitled to protection underContinue reading “The Visitor – more movie dipping”