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One Man's Web

Australian Country Landscape

A great silence settled over the stockyards. Many among the sheep had expected to go to the other place. They had, after all, not lived well. But some small mercy on their part had them standing here kingdom bound. A few shifted uneasily. Some of that charity had only been to shut up and get rid of beggars on the street.

In the other yard, people who had worked long and hard, and sacrificed much for God gazed dully at the ground. It was so obvious now− how could they have not seen that doing the right thing while leaving someone unloved was an absolute contradiction of the kingdom?

A small lamb squeezed its way between the fence rails and limped into the middle of the goats. The king rumbled, "You! Lamb! What are you doing there?".... Read on >>>>

"I'm a kilo and a half over," said my friend. "I'm hoping they'll let us through."

Well, the airport scales said 5 kilos over, and the counter staff were not letting a gram extra onto the plane. So we went over to the repack area, with its scales, and began the hard task of working out what to leave behind.... Read on >>>>

"Teacher when will the world end and the Christ come again?"

No one knows. Not even the Son knows. Only the Father knows. Yet...

"The world will end when Satan repents and begins to follow the Way of Jesus. God will bring the world to its completion because then, when even Satan has returned to God, everything will be complete."

But not in Matthew. In Matthew 25 the doors shut early. Satan will never repent.

One of the listeners asked, "If everyone is to be saved— if the bridegroom delays until even Satan arrives for the wedding—  why should I not keep sinning and enjoying myself? It does not matter. He will wait."... Read on >>>>

When I read Matthew Chapter 23 I feel like I have read an article in the Murdoch Press, determinedly whipping up hostility toward Muslim people with images and rhetoric so different from the Muslim folk I know. I find the chapter profoundly depressing. Sharon H. Ringe says of the reading for this week

As a resident of Washington, DC, I recognize political rhetoric, caricatures, and trash-talk when I hear them, and I hear them loud and clear in Matthew 23:1-12.... Read on >>>>

This is the long way home! ... Read on >>>>

We are building toward a diatribe.... And 32 verses of denunciation follow...On my recent holiday I read Amy Jill Levine's book The Misunderstood Jew.... I  already knew how we take the often bitter words of Matthew formed in the conflict between his community and the synagogues and turn them into an anti-Jewish gospeI. I have sought to correct this in my preaching, and to warn against such attitudes in Bible studies. But reading how I am heard by a Jewish woman left me alternately shamed and despairing... Read on >>>>

Two 170km rides, very different. Gotta love this country.  Read on >>>>

Jesus response was stunning....  The obvious point for the listeners, and for those present at the original confrontation, is that the Pharisees actually had the coin in their pockets! That was damning. They were condemning themselves by carrying the unholy coinage of Rome into the Temple itself. Even before Jesus makes his brilliant reply, the questioners are exposed as insincere. Read on >>>>

This is my second week of holidays, so we have another post from the past. You can find another short reflection here. Next week-- back to work!  Andrew

I'm actually taking some leave! So this week's post is a repeat from 2011...

We are all looking for The Kingdom of Heaven. We might not call it that. We might call it The Peace, or The Good Life. Whatever we call it; all folk want that Sunday afternoon in the spring sun just after the start of daylight saving, when all is right with the world. The afternoon goes on forever, all is safe, and life is good.... Read on >>>>

The hotel was too cheap to buy decent computer gear, so I was trying to fix an ancient Point of Sale system immovably bolted into the bar. This involved kneeling and feeling blind through tap lines, and goodness knows what else, to plug cables into com ports at the rear of the computers, as beer trickled down my neck... Read on >>>> 

Our little hospital saved my life. It also left me with trauma which means, 50 years later, that it is still difficult to visit people in hospital. By the time I reached high school it was inevitable that the hospital would close, much to the consternation of the town. I heard my Dad say, "Well, we had the choice of a hospital but we chose a swimming pool." I asked what he meant... Read on >>>>

One year I went to my daughter’s Year Seven school camp as one of the supporting parents.

One activity on offer at Coffin Bay that summer was wind surfing. The girls were in thigh deep water, and would teeter to an upright position on the board, which mostly resulted in them falling off, and bouncing off the bottom of the bay, with the obligatory squeals and shrieks. Everyone was having a great time.

The three girls I was tasked to watch and help, were very slowly drifting away from the shore as they splashed and crashed around in the water. Then, after one more attempt to raise the mast, the girl fell off, just on the other side of the board to where her friends were standing, and completely disappeared.... Read on >>>>

When we took our kids back outback the six year old did not travel well, until we visited Trephina Gorge. Suddenly he was back to taking the lead, climbing rocks with disregard to gravity and safety, and all the rattiness was replaced by his normal good humour. My wife said, "It's the gorge walls! He has boundaries around him again.".... Read on >>>>

To read the stories in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2 as narrative descriptions of the beginning of creation is to make an understandable but fundamental mistake. They are not a description of the processes of creation. They are ponderings about why the world is the way it is. The stories hold some of the answers of the tellers and writers. The "creation" stories are aetiology....

What does it say about us if we fail to see the injustice and the violence being done around us?  How can we fail to be horrified and distraught? How do we live with energy, and with integrity, rather than simply withdrawing and hoping to be left alone? How do we not become exhausted and despairing?... Read on >>>>

Biblical scholars think the two creation stories at the beginning of Genesis were written while Israel was in exile in Babylon. It felt a bit like the end of the world. Was God with them or had God been defeated in Jerusalem? Did God even exist? Is there any hope for us?.... Read on >>>>

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