Spirit & Life
Refugee and Migrant Sunday is a celebration of the contribution refugees and migrants make to Australia and the needs and hopes of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants worldwide. It is celebrated by the Churches together on or around the last Sunday of August each year.
When listening to music, a discordant note, out of tune or out of place, leaves an uneasy ripple in the continuing tune. Subtly, the trust of ‘pleasant harmony’ is disrupted, and often leaves the listener waiting for another sound ‘out of place’ rather than resting in all that remains harmonious.
Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good. Love one another warmly as Christians, and be eager to show respect for one another. Work hard and do not be lazy. Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion.
The mother is unwelcomed, a Gentile, has a child with a serious illness, which has likely brought shame to the family. She faces a group of men and a revered charismatic preacher alone, during the day, putting herself at risk of being seen as a woman of ill repute.
As a parent of little children, sometimes when fatigue was so great, a simple escape to the laundry to fold washing was luxury! It was not lack of love or commitment, but realization that quiet time offered refreshment.
What’s in your paddock of life? Are there weeds intermingling with that which is healthy, hope-filled and lifegiving? Hope grows when we least expect it. It is unseen and often hard to describe.
There are many times in our life, where we hear things ‘as if for the first time’. Jesus speaks not only to new believers, but to those who have heard the truth of God, have even participated and flourished, for a while, in faith and practices, but have not imbedded it deep within their lives.
Jesus highlights the very human attitudes that can so easily develop when we allow ‘religion’ to override ‘faith’, when we lose sight of our being and belonging in the family God.
Being alone is one thing. Being lonely is another. The pandemic experience has highlighted the significant difference between alone and being lonely.
Jesus calls us to keep our eyes, ears and hearts open to all. Our actions are to be welcoming, with generous hospitality, as we serve with humble hearts, healing hands, with justice and equity.