(NB – Unfortunately there is no audio of this sermon)
There’s an old story of a young man who grew up on the wrong side of town. He was bright and full of good intentions, but down on his luck. Until one day, through a series of events he came into possession of a magic lamp that could grant his wishes. If you believe the Disney version, he was only allowed three wishes. And he couldn’t wish for more wishes, couldn’t wish for someone to die, and couldn’t wish for someone to fall in love with him. I wonder if you had Aladdin’s lamp, what would you wish for?
When we look at the world today there seems to be very little to hope for. The real tragedy of the events of last week in Paris are that they aren’t the only tragedy. In the past week there’s been attacks in Beirut, in Mali, as well as in Paris. Only a fraction of these make our news headlines, perhaps because if we were too confronted with the real state of the world we’d give up hope. There seems no hope for peace in our world in our lifetimes, or in the lifetime of our children or their children.
The hopelessness of the global state of affairs is mirrored by the hopelessness of our local community. This week I was able to meet with Peter Walsh, our local state member. During our meeting I asked him, given all the conversations he has with people, what he thought the most pressing needs in our community are. Without needing to think about it, he gave three answers. We’ve heard them all before, they were drug abuse, including ice and alcohol, domestic violence and homelessness. The only surprise is that given successive policies and programs over the years, despite all the efforts of governments and churches and individuals, these problems still remain. We might ask, what hope is there for our world if these obvious problems persist? Continue reading “Psalm 46 – A Psalm of Hope”→
As I drove home from Melbourne yesterday I was listening to ABC Radio National, as I do. During the 9am news broadcast they cut in with a breaking story about Paris. At that stage of the day nothing was known for certain. Their European correspondent couldn’t confirm any details. They thought there were between two and four people who had been killed. By the time I got home that number was over a hundred with another two hundred injured.
What do you say in the face of a terrible tragedy like that? National leaders were struggling to find suitable words. In fact mere words do not seem sufficient. During the week we commemorated Remembrance Day. At 11am, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, people around the world stand in silence for a minute, because words cannot express the grief we feel in the face of immense loss. Continue reading “Psalm 38 – A Psalm of Lament”→
This is one of the songs we’ve been singing at Mainly Music. It’s a great song and lots of fun. Normally we’re sitting in a circle with a piece of lycra and the kids take turns crawling around underneath. But this song is also evil! Over the last week, at all sorts of times I’ve found myself humming or singing it! I just can’t get it out of my head. And it’s not just me. Sarah’s been doing it too and so we keep reinfecting each other with it!
Songs have a way of getting stuck in our heads like this don’t they? There’s even a term for it, which is pretty apt for this Mainly Music song. A song that gets stuck in your head is called an ‘earworm’. Sometimes songs just get stuck in our heads for a week, but they can also burrow deep down and take root in our brains. Those who’ve helped at any of the nursing home services will be able to tell you of people who rarely speak, who don’t engage much with the world. But when we start singing, they come alive again. We connect with songs in a deep way. Continue reading “Psalm 148 – A Psalm of Joy”→