Daily Archives: Sunday, 22 June, 2008

Celebrating 31 years

It was the 31st anniversary of the formation of the Uniting Church in Australia today. We celebrated after the service in a way befitting our new, sad official status as the fattest nation on earth. But the cake looked great!

 

 31 today!

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Whose sword is it?

Sermon for 22 June ’08

 

Matthew 10.24-39

 

We regularly hear about the deep hatreds between Jew and Arab in the news these days, with tit for tat bombings and shootings being commonplace. So the bleak story of Hagar’s banishment from Abraham and Sarah’s family that we heard today seems very contemporary. 

 

You recall of course that Jews claim their ancestry from Abraham through Isaac, the son of Sarah; while Arabs claim their ancestry from Abraham through Ishmael, the son of Hagar. And the animosity that was shown by Sarah to Hagar finds its echoes in the Holy Land today, in that continuing deep hostility between the line of Isaac, the Jews, and the line of Ishmael, the Arabs. And by extension, the animosity felt by many Christians towards followers of the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

 

Hagar’s story reminded me of a time when I was in my last placement at the Wesley Hospital. There were a couple of staff members from the same department who used to come and pray in the chapel at lunchtime. Often, they’d be there at the same time. Continue reading

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