Friday, 30 July 2010

Thinking about the Lord's Prayer: "Our" Father

When we begin the Lord’s Prayer with the word ‘our’ it says automatically that it is about us, not me or you separately as disassociated beings but us together. In this our faith is not a private matter between you as an individual and God but is an engagement in communal life.

The prayer confronts us with our own relationships and the gift that we have from God that together we have been joined into one family. Just as Paul wrote to the Romans so long ago when we say ‘our’ we affirm that:

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” (Romans 8:16-17)

Of course this why in early Christian communities and even now today Christians speak of each other as brothers and sisters. We have an intimate relationship – a relationship as siblings which has been given to us as a gift.

For just as we do not chose our biological brothers and sisters our brothers and sisters in Christ are given to us as a gift.

Take a moment to think how brothers and sisters behave towards one another. To pretend it is always good would be naïve but often the conflict arises out of that intimacy. Of course, I do not believe that God’s intention in binding us as brothers and sisters is to have us squabbling, but through acknowledging our intimacy to acknowledge our shared responsibility for one another in the context of our relationship with God – “Our Father”.

In this when we say ‘our’ we should hear a common bond with each other and responsibility to each other as people who share in God’s grace.

Friday, 23 July 2010

The din of the hustings!

With an election looming the bombardment of our senses with political spin has begun. For many people trying to work through the campaign spin and listen for reasonable and sound policies which may in fact bear some element of the good news of Jesus Christ is more than just a little difficult. For others the ability to think beyond traditionally held political loyalties is almost unimaginable, especially for those of us who are card-carrying members of a particular party.

The myth that politics and religion don’t mix is contrived and ignores Jesus’ own life, but how they mix and what that means as we approach our Federal Election is a more difficult issue. If we are to take seriously our call as Jesus’ disciples this call transcends our national and party political loyalties.

At the 12th Assembly of the Uniting Church the Assembly produced a document entitled An Economy of Life: Re-imaging Human Progress for a Flourishing World. This challenging document raises serious issues about the assumptions prevalent in our current economic systems in relationship to the gift of God in Christ, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

The Assembly has now produced a document entitled An Economy of Life: The 2010 Election which draws on the issues outlined in the above paper to help us think about how we exercise our vote in the light of the gospel. It asserts:

“Christians have a responsibility to actively engage in the political processes of their country. As Christians, however, we have a particular responsibility to think about how we do this in a way that answers the call to be good news in the world: to bring justice, peace and hope to those processes and to seek justice, peace and hope as outcomes.”

These documents do not tell people who to vote for but raise the issue of how our faith may guide our considerations. These documents may be accessed through the Assembly website or by contacting the Kairos Office.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Listening to Jesus!

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.

The amazing gift of God is that Jesus has come into the world and this means that like Mary we can sit at his feet and learn about who God is from God himself, in God’s own words artiuclated in human language.

To sit at Jesus feet now involves a willingness to be present to Jesus presence in gathered worship, in daily refelction on the scriptures and in prayer where the Holy Spirit draws us into Jesus very life.

Consider again how much time you put aside to sit at Jesus feet each day in the midst of your own busy life...