Showing posts from January, 2019


One of the themes that runs through this Sunday’s texts is longing. The Psalmist longs for God to rescue him from all that besets him. God longs for a prophet to speak the truth about the present realities facing Judah so that the people might let go of their false hope and all that separated them from God might be removed. Jeremiah longs to be freed from that call. Paul longs that the young church in Corinth might let go of needing to know who was in and who was out and instead base their communal life of God’s hospitable generous love. The people of Nazareth long for Jesus to place them first, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour to them by bringing good news to their poor, proclaiming release to their captives, recovery of sight to their blind and letting their oppressed go free. And Jesus longs for them to let go of this longing. Which of these echo our longings? What invitation are we offered in these readings?

Hearing the Way

Last week we were invited to taste, feel, smell, hear and see the abundance of grace brought about by the Word of God dwelling among us. And I suggested we are invited to read John’s gospel in that light; as a story of grace upon grace. This week we are given Luke 4 where Jesus goes home. AS a pious Jew from this pious community, he goes to synagogue on the Sabbath. And as someone who can read – no ordinary carpenter then – he in invited to read from the prophet Isaiah. Luke gives us an amalgam of Isaiah 61: 1-2 and 58:6. In our reading from Luke 4: 14-21 Jesus reveals who he is, what he is doing, and for whom he comes. And in telling this story Luke is giving us the lens through which we might read both his gospel and the book of Acts. And it is radical stuff. This is not about improving the lot of the poorest of Israel; this is a turning upside down and inside out of all social structures. It is a re-imagining of society and placing a whole new set of priorities at the hear

The Taste of an Abundance of Grace

Sundays sermon was based on my reflection I posted last week . It can be listened to here . Life was hard life was very hard it had gotten harder lately each day defined by back breaking poverty the struggle just to eat to live but there are moments when that can be put down moments when the daily grind to survive can be put to one side forgotten for a moment lost in moments of celebration like when two families agree on the marriage of children date set village gathers bringing their koha to add to the putea to add to what meagre food and wine those families have been able to scabble together people gather women out the back the ringa wera ensuring food is ready wine is available overseen by kuia whanau from there or near joining in overseeing enjoying the party in their way. And so it was in this poor village they gathered people food wine and celebrated as well as they could and then after some time the win

The party begins

First Sunday back and it’s all about an abundance of great wine. 500 litres of awesome wine. Not mid-shelf stuff. Top shelf where I never look because I don’t have that kind of money.   Provided for a gathering of whanau and friends in a small poor community in the middle of nowhere. People whose lives are defined by back breaking poverty and deprivation, surviving from day to day, who have gathered with their meager koha to celebrate this new beginning and all the hopes that held. For these days they will forget that life is not as they hoped and they will enjoy each other and what food and wine they have gathered. Jesus’ mum is there out the back with the other ringa wera keeping it going. But too soon the wine has gone and the party will end. Reality will bight. Celebration to lamentation is one breath. Except Jesus’ mum does her best to fulfil her role and suggests Jesus might be able to help out. And he helps out. 500 litres of the best wine. That party was not stopping any tim