Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!



Once upon a time, my fiancé and I were living in North Fitzroy; and we were married by Paul Turton at the North Carlton Baptist Church. We stood before the congregation, and made our promises, and were declared a wedded couple. Straightaway, I met a surprising number of interesting, intelligent, and attractive men. I began wondering if my own interesting, intelligent, and attractive man was really the best option, or whether I had made a colossal mistake; and I found myself wrestling with demons of pride, and doubt, and desire...

Read more here, or listen here.

A reflection on Mark 1:9-15 (B18) for the first week of Lent, for Sanctuary.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Women's Work: Ministry or Service?



The healing of Simon’s mother-in-law led her to ministry. But what sort of ministry was it? And what might this mean for our kids - and us? Read here, or listen here.

A reflection on Mark 1:29-39 by Alison Sampson for Sanctuary, 4 February 2018 (B15)

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Good Sandwich, Great Teaching



What gives Jesus' teaching such authority? and what does this imply for us? Read here, or listen here.

A reflection on Mark 1:21-28 for Sanctuary, 28 January 2018 (B14)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The God Made Known in Every Child

You were born, and you were not perfect, and gradually you realised that no one else is, either. We have lumps and bumps, weaknesses and foibles, rashes and allergies, disabilities and mucked up biochemistry and over-reactive guts, crippling anxiety and fear and depression and doubt—is this what divine handiwork looks like? Read here, or listen here.

A reflection on Psalm 139 and 1 Samuel 1:1-10 given to Sanctuary, 14 January 2018

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Prepare the Way: But how?



Advent is a prophetic call to go to the margins, and serve. Tonight's reflection from Sanctuary is available online here.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Billionaire, the Stockbroker, and the Story Teller



Parables are like puzzle boxes. There are no easy answers, no straight readings. You can take a parable in several directions: how you interpret it depends on your faith community, your social location, your Biblical knowledge, your image of God, a good dose of the Holy Spirit, and—let’s be honest!—your mood. Now, most of you will have heard spiritual interpretations of the parable of the talents. In such a reading, those Christians who don’t use their money, time, gifts, and abilities to advance the kingdom of heaven will face God’s anger and judgement. But it’s interesting that nothing in the story says that the angry boss is God. So let’s swap the lens from spiritual to economic, and assume that Jesus meant the talents literally. A talent was a colossal unit of money, over a million dollars today: how might knowing this affect the reading? Listen as I riff on the story, and re-tell it in a modern context. Perhaps it will lead to a different place. And if it does, then, like all good parables, where you go from that place is up to you. So make yourself comfortable: it’s time for a story ... Read more here, or listen here.

A riff on Matthew 25:14-30 by Alison Sampson, Sanctuary, 19 November 2017 (AP28). Picture courtesy Winkelman, Roy. European Banknote Montage. 2 December 2011. ClipPix ETC. Retrieved November 19, 2017, from http://etc.usf.edu/clippix/picture/european-banknote-montage.html (detail).

Monday, November 13, 2017

It's You!



Listen here.

A person knocks on a door. A voice calls from within, “Who is it?” The person says, “It’s your servant.” The voice says, “There’s no one here.”

The person goes away, wandering and wondering, working and thinking and talking and praying and sleeping and playing and dreaming, as you do. A year goes by, and they return. They knock at the door. A voice calls from within, “Who is it?” The person says, “It’s your sibling.” The voice says, “There’s no one here.”

The person goes away, wandering and wondering, working and thinking and talking and praying and sleeping and playing and dreaming, as you do. A year goes by, and they return. They knock at the door. A voice calls from within, “Who is it?” The person says, “It’s You.” The door swings open.

What if we have already been given every spiritual resource we need? What if we can be so transformed by Christ that, when he looks into our eyes, he sees himself? What if it is up to each of us to open the door?

***

This was a lectio divina Sunday, when there is no formal sermon; instead, we ponder the text together. The text was Matthew 25:1-13: The wise and foolish bridesmaids. I finished by sharing this Zen-like story, adapted from John Shea The Spiritual Wisdom of the Gospels for Christian Preachers and Teachers. Year A. On Earth as it is in Heaven. (Collegeville, MN: Order of Saint Benedict, 2004). The image is by Phoebe Anna Traquair – Own work Stephencdickson, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37847772.
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