This year I have been leading a Bible study at our church on
Luke’s gospel. We’ve been slowly reading through the twenty-four chapters of
this gospel and seeking to listen to God’s voice throughout this process. It’s
been really beneficial to take our time and not rush the process through. As a long
distance runner I know the benefit of the “long slow run” in my training. There’s
also great benefit in a “long slow read” of Scripture as well.
It was particularly exciting and challenging to come to the
climax of the narrative – the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Throughout the gospel we observed Luke’s particular emphasis on those who are
on the fringe of society, Jesus’ fixated “journey to Jerusalem” (from 9:51
onwards), and the tension that builds between Jesus and the religious leaders
of his time. None of that was particularly new to me, but the benefit of
reading and absorbing this once again has not been futile. What has stood out,
though, as we read through …
On Monday 7 August, 2017, I had the privilege of leading the Thanksgiving Service for my wife's Nana's funeral; Joyce Estelle Smyth. This was an immense privelege for me. I thought I would share here the sermon that I had prepared for that occasion. I hope you find it helpful. _______________________
I was 17 and Megan was 15 when
we started going out at Music Camp in September of 1994. A week into our
relationship Megan rang me to say she was going shopping for her Year 10 formal
dress with her mother, Pam and Nana; would I like to come? Being young and in
love I immediately said yes. Now, there are some here today who knew me at the
time and you may recall that these were the days, being 17, when I had long
hair, was tough and knew everything. Oh, the things that time robs us of.
I’m a married to a loving wife. I’m a white male living in middle class Australia, with two kids, two fish and a cat. I live in an inner city suburb of the largest city in Australia, Sydney. I was born in Australia (Adelaide, no less, but that still counts) and have lived here all of my life. All of those factors combined put me in a position of power. Power I didn’t choose, or fight for, but power I’ve been given nonetheless. Add to that the fact that I am an Officer in The Salvation Army, which as an institution has earned a powerful voice in this country and my position of power is enhanced dramatically. I don’t have to fight for my voice to be heard. I don’t live on the margins of society, and by and large I’m not prejudiced against, except perhaps that I’m not allowed to become a member at a one of those "women-only" gyms… not that I really want to.