Reading Luke 24.13–35
… the Church is a pilgrim people, always on the way towards a promised goal; here the Church does not have a continuing city but seeks one to come. On the way Christ feeds the Church with Word and Sacraments, and it has the gift of the Spirit in order that it may not lose the way.
Paragraph 3 Uniting Church Basis of Union (1992)
The story of the Road to Emmaus is one of my favourite stories in all the scriptures. Before we talk about it, I want you to notice one thing: this story takes the shape of a service of worship—and that’s no accident.
It begins with people gathered with the Risen Lord. These people hear the Word of the Lord. Then they receive bread and wine from the Risen Lord. Just as we are now.
Let’s get to the story. Continue reading
Hebrews 13.1–8, 15–16
Luke 14.1, 7–14
A couple of weeks ago, I spoke quite personally about my journey as a person of faith, from my early life as a fundamentalist Christian to the current day. I don’t often speak so personally, so it’s quite unusual for me to begin today in a personal vein as well.
The Book of Hebrews says:
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
I want to speak about hospitality today. I want to begin by reminding you of the hospitality you, the members of this congregation, showed Karen and me when we first came here. And those of you who weren’t here then, you can hear the story for the first time. Continue reading
I spent part of Australia Day at a meeting between the Uniting Church Queensland Synod’s Ecumenical Relations Committee
(ERC) and representatives of the Mosque at Kuraby
. There were 20 of us; 13 Christians, 7 Moslems. I must say I met some wonderful, articulate Moslem men today. I am looking forward to further contact.
The first meeting our groups held (which I couldn’t attend) was at Friday prayers at the mosque, where member of the ERC observed the prayers and then talked with out Moslem friends about the experience. They then retired to a barbecue!
It was our turn today. We met at the Broadwater Rd Uniting Church for a service of Holy Communion, observed by the Moslem members of the group, after which they asked questions and then we had lunch together. This was followed by a challenging film called The Imam and the Pastor
, about two men in Nigeria who suffered under violence inflicted by Christians and Moslems upon one another, and then found the grace to forgive each other. They now have an interfaith work for peace in Nigeria.
It was my privilege to preach a short sermon today at the Eucharist. Here it is:
I was not able to be at the last meeting of our two groups, but I would like again on behalf of the Ecumenical Relations Committee of the Uniting Church to welcome members of the Kuraby Mosque here today, and to return your recent hospitality to us. And I’d like to briefly speak about hospitality. I want to touch on the hospitality we have received from God; from the indigenous people of Australia; and how we Christians receive hospitality from our Lord Jesus Christ…