Tag Archive: living


Fools for love

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This Lent with Easter Sunday falling on April Fools day Godspace are running a series on For love of the world God did foolish things… it’s bringing out/together all sorts of foolish ideas that are worth checking out. Below are a couple of links to contributions I’ve made to that blog on that theme.

Foolish Love: What words do we ever have to express our love well?

This piece is a story of the time I stuck up bad poetry all of the woods like Orlando from As You Like It…. you can read more here

Come, Be a Holy Fool

This piece is an invitation to follow the example to do foolish things for love too… you can read more here

May you encounter something Holy and foolish this Lent.

Taurikura, Talitha
have peace

 

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On the weekend of 24-25 September Whitley College hosted a conference called Constitutions and Treaties: Law, Justice, Spirituality – these are notes from session 9 of 9. We acknowledge that this gathering, listening and learning occurred of the land of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nations and offer our respects to their elders past and present, and all visiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island visitors present.

 

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Line through Papua New Guinea, literally nations were “dividing the world between them”.

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Roger Williams, Baptist theologian, a dissenting voice to the Doctrine of Discovery model – wanted to respect Native Americans, house church on Rhode Island for 6 years. Had to go to England at one point – needed a patent or would be annexed.

The Treaty of Westphalia was the end of the 30 Year war. No right to divide the world in two.  Move from Empires to a rise of nation states.

If we think of the Treaty of Waitangi as an interfaith covenant, what are the implications of that? The phrasing of the words “you will acknowledge no other gods above me” implies an acknowledgement of other gods existing. There is a danger when uniformity is a presumption.  What kinds of covenants can we imagine between polities (e.g. could a treaty have some reference to God or Creator Spirit with Bundjil and representatives of Bundjil’s land)? Any covenants (treaties) would need to be local. Can Christian churches model this?
Made under sovereignty of God (not state/federal Government)?

 

Entering a treaty under State/Federal terms legitimises them and their system, it’s not being legitimised ourselves.

 

Being hard isn’t the same as being not worth doing.

 

What does “local” mean/look like to people who know who they are/where they’re from.

Lutherans practiced a vernacular theology – learned the language of those they lived with whereas as other denominations refused to learn the language (and used theological grounds for that) you have to learn/imposing my theology…

 

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We are running a fortnightly bible study following our community dinner looking at the exegesis (interpretation) of the bible passages that underpin each of our community values. You can read the list of Values here so you know what’s coming up next.

These values can be relevant whatever context you live and work in just make the Word you own.


 

Value 3: Being amongst the people

We value sharing life with our neighbours, as a real expression of the kingdom amongst the marginalised. Our everyday involvement and identification means our mission is not so much what we do, but who we are.

Biblical basis: John 1:14, Philippians 2:1-11


 

Let’s read the value together… what words/phrases stand out?

  • no so much what we do but who we are – we can put a lot of expectation on what  we do, it is good to be reminded it’s the intention we bring to everything that makes it significant – not the projects themselves
  • everyday things (like cleaning, making a cup of tea, listening…) but also every day (not just on Sundays or during a planned activity slot – we are sharing with neighbours all our life
  • In the mall, everyone goes there for a reason – we didn’t go to get anything done but to be who we are in that space, bringing intentionality to our presence to listen, share hospitality, respond to whoever comes and whatever comes up.

 

Read the bible. What words/ideas stand out?
What can we learn from the bible about living the Value: Being amongst the people?

 


 

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.

We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,

like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.

 

Philippians 2: 1-13

If you have indeed experienced the encouragement of being united to Christ, and the support that genuine love offers, and the deep bonds of a shared life formed in the Spirit; if indeed you have any compassion and concern for me, then make my dreams come true: get your heads tuned to the one wavelength so that you will share a common love, a common dedication to the one cause, and a common mindset. Don’t let yourself be driven by self-centred ambitions or empty egotism, but keep your feet firmly on the ground and promote others ahead of yourself. To each one of you, I would say, don’t focus on doing what is in your own best interests, but on what is in the best interests of others. Model your attitude on the attitude of the Messiah, Jesus.

Although Jesus was the same as God in every way, he did not think of his God-like privileges as something to milked for all they were worth.

Instead, he laid it all aside and, with no more privileges than a slave, was born as a human being.

Having become a human being, he was the model of humility. He didn’t demand his own way but let God set the agenda; even when it included his own death, and a gruesome public death at that.

Because of all this, God has raised him to the status of number one and honoured him more highly than anyone else in the universe.

So now, just the mention of the name ‘Jesus’

should bring everyone to their knees; everyone who has ever lived or ever will. Everyone, everywhere will honour God by openly acknowledging that Jesus the Messiah is Lord of all!

Therefore, my dear friends, there is work to do. You have always stuck to the agenda that was set for you, so keep it up, not only when I am around but even more when I am gone. Continue to work at living the life for which you are being saved, and do so with such an awareness of how high the stakes are, that it fills you with awe and makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. For this is awesome stuff: it is God who is at work within you, making it possible for you to set your mind on what God wants and to work for those things which are ultimately pleasing to God.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


 

Reflection time… followed by sharing time.

Where do you see the kingdom of God at work in everyday and every day ways? …what are some things we do for the best interests of others?

Let’s write one story/word on one footprint – (turn some over to make pairs) – let’s lay them out and read each other’s… know these are the bonds our shared life are grounded in.

 

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Camping for Easter in the Brisbane Ranges and I have brought along Cheryl Lawrie’s beautiful Pocket Liturgies for reflection…

i.

We have decided not to die.

We have decided not to believe the voices of cynicism
the prophets of doom
the harbingers of despair
the proclaimers of fear
who speak loudly and only of death that’s inevitable.

we have decided not to die.

we have chosen to believe in life.

and now we must learn to live.

 

ii.

We have decided not to die.
and now we must learn to live.

to really live
to stretch and wonder and test and dare
to imagine the unthinkable
to defy the gravity of fear and despair
to find the faith that believes there is another story
of life, grace and redemption
and to live as though it is the only story.

we will listen for where God’s heartbeat is giving life to the world
and we will search,
wildly, unceasingly
until we find where our own heartbeat echoes in it.

and though it may mean letting go of all we know,
we will.

for we have decided not to die.

we have decided now to live.

 

[p.80, Hold This Space Pocket Liturgies by Cheryl Lawrie]

 


 

God, let me life a life called into living.
To see, to hear, to be awake
Let me believe in life and believe in You.
“to stretch and wonder and test and dare
to imagine the unthinkable
to defy the gravity of fear and despair
to find the faith that believes there is another story
of life, grace and redemption
and to live as though it is the only story.”

Show me how to live God
how to live the life You
call me into
live a life by another story
as though it is the only story
when I lean and learn
into the story and the story
is still unfolding
that story is Yours
I am Yours
let me live

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Take off that cloak of fear,
the divine strength you seek is here,
and you know you are dying to live.
You know you are dying to live.

We seek to live a more contemplative life so that we will not have to wait until we are dying to learn to live.

Teach us the grace of listening.
Reveal to us the art of dying.
Show us the face of God.

 

p.25, Seven Sacred Pauses – Macrina Wiederkehr

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The following are some of the values which outline the purpose and core ideology of the community and are used to guide and inform our decision-making. It is always good to start off a new year checking in – are these still relevant? how are we doing? what might these look like in the year ahead?

Partnering with God

We value the opportunity of participating in the Missio Dei (mission of God). Through persistence in prayer, we seek to recognise where God is at work in Footscray, and become co-workers with Christ.
Biblical basis: Psalm 127:1, Luke 18:7, 1 Cor 3:9

In it for the long haul

We value being a constant in an inconsistent world, expecting and persevering through hard times.  Our long-term commitment allows us to build trust and respect with those in our community, as we try to reflect God’s unconditional love and grace.
Biblical basis: Hebrews 10:36

Being amongst the people

We value sharing life with our neighbours, as a real expression of the kingdom amongst the marginalised. Our everyday involvement and identification means our mission is not so much what we do, but who we are.
Biblical basis: John 1:14, Philippians 2:1-11

Seeking justice for the poor

We value God’s priority for the poor and seek to prioritise the marginalised of Footscray.  We do not want to just show mercy, but instead offer in our lives, in voice and activity, with those who we seek to serve.
Biblical basis: Jeremiah 22:16, James 2: 1-5

Becoming family

We value the intimacy of relationship we can have with Christ, and the belonging found in growing closer to God and therefore to each other.  Our goal is to be family for those facing loneliness and social isolation.
Biblical basis: 1 John 3:16-18, John 13: 34-35

Being honest about who we are

We value the humility and forgiveness required to live transparent lives in community.  We want to submit to each other in accountability and honesty, allowing Christ to use our weaknesses and failings.
Biblical basis: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 2 Corinthians 3:18

Doing the hard yards

We value servanthood in the big and the small – choosing to do the “crappy” stuff.  We want to be people of personal and spiritual maturity (enduring personal cost) in order that the vision is accomplished.
Biblical basis: James 5:7-11

Travelling light

We value the difference that can be made when we sacrifice personal gain, pouring out our rich resources in an act of worship.  Through simplicity, good stewardship and a common commitment to sharing our lives with others, we seek to lessen the power imbalance in Footscray.
Biblical basis: Luke 9:23-24

 

 

On living

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listen to me

trying to explain myself

to You who knows me

through and through

I speak aloud,

can You hear me?

Yes, and I need to

hear myself

in the echoing silence

gun-gunh, a beat

gun-gunh, a hearts beat

gun-gunh, gun-gunh

you have to live into the answers

 

 

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there are my ideas

then my reality

there are my intentions

then my reality

there are my ideals

then my reality

I live my life falling short

falling

I live my life

my short life

falling

I live.

 

Talitha Fraser

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A Poetry Handbook – Mary Oliver

p.120

“Among the things I learned in those years were two of special interest to poets.  First, that one can rise early in the morning and have time to write (or, even, to take a walk and then write) before the world’s work schedule begins.  Also, that one can live simply and honorably on just about enough to keep a chicken alive. And do so cheerfully.

This I have always known – that if I did not live my life immersed in the one activity which suits me, and which also, to tell the truth, keeps me utterly happy and intrigued, I would come someday to bitter and mortal regret.”

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