Tag Archives: Moses

We’ve got Marriage Equality, so why am I not satisfied?

Exodus 15.19-20; 16.1-3
Luke 15.1–3, 11b–32

Last Sunday we welcomed Pastor Alex Pittaway, who brought the message to us. Alex is Pastor of MCC, the Metropolitan Community Church in Brisbane—a church that has for 40 years been a safe haven for the LGBTIQ community. He is also recognised by the Uniting Church in Queensland as a Chaplain at Emmanuel College at the University of Queensland. Alex describes himself as a progressive evangelical and is passionate about Jesus, social justice, the environment and combating LGBTIQ bullying in schools.

It was a delight to have him with us. Here is his sermon:


Good morning. Would you pray with me? 

I’d like to start by thanking Ariel and Rev. Paul Walton for this invitation to speak here this morning. You have a wonderful congregation that has shined the light of the inclusive Gospel of Jesus for so many years not just for the LBGTIQ community but anyone who has experienced marginalisation for so many years. 

This morning I’d like to share with you my own experiences about what it means to be part of the LGBTIQ community from a Christian perspective. I want to start by acknowledging my own limitations: I speak as an educated, privileged, anglo-saxon male who does not have to experience the realities of living as a person of colour or as a person with a diverse gender expression. Never the less I’d like to share some heartfelt experiences backed up with some solid research as we ponder what comes next for LGBTIQ inclusion now that marriage equality is a reality and that most legal discrimination against the LGBTIQ community is gone. We have never lived, in Australia at least, in a better time to be LGBTIQ. Yet why do I feel, despite all these advances, that something is not right. I don’t pretend to speak for the entire community, but I do want to speak for myself. 

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Standing on holy ground (Sunday 22, Year A, 28 August 2011)

Standing on holy ground

Exodus 3.1-15
Matthew 16.21-28 

According to William Shakespeare, names aren’t that important. As Juliet says to Romeo,

What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet.

But they end up dead, all because their surnames are Montague and Capulet.

Names often do have meanings. Captain Cook found some dangerous shoals as he was exploring the east coast over two hundred years ago, so he named a nearby landmark ‘Mt Warning’. As a warning to other seafarers. The first people, the Bundjalung people, had previously named it ‘Wollumbin’. In their dreaming stories, Wollumbin was said to be Warrior Chief of the mountain. The spirits of the mountains were warriors. The wounds they received in battles can be seen as landslides on the side of the mountain and thunder and lightning were the effects of their battles.

The story you tell, the name you speak, depends on the place on which you stand.

Moses stood before a burning bush. But he came from somewhere. He was an Israelite baby, saved from death and raised in Pharaoh’s palace. He’d killed an Egyptian for mistreating an Israelite—yet the Israelites didn’t trust him. Moses was lying low in the middle of nowhere herding sheep.

How might Moses be named? What name would suit him? Again, it depends where you stand. An Egyptian might name him ‘murderer’. An Israelite could call him ‘distrusted’, or ‘one of “them”’. Either way, he was ‘unwanted’.

Maybe that’s why Moses said to God at the bush, ‘Who am I?’, for he had no idea who he really was. Yet God had given him new names: ‘leader’, ‘saviour’, ‘prophet’, ‘deliverer’. We can understand why Moses said,

Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?

Moses sees things that we don’t see. We see that he was brought up in a palace, that he could have a different iPad for each day of the week if he wanted it. But Moses sees very little in himself. He doesn’t belong, he has a speech impediment, no one will listen to him. But God sees ‘something more’ in Moses. Something more than the privileged upbringing, the awkwardness inside. God sees a heart for the poor. God can use that heart. God shares that heart.

God sees more in you and me as well. What is that ‘something more’ that God sees in you and wants to grow more of? You may find yourself standing on holy ground one day, and find out. You’ll find out that you are a work in progress, that you’re still becoming fully human. Continue reading

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