Luke 19: 28-44

Over the course of this Lenten season, I have spoken a good deal about the relationship between politics and faith – or, more specifically, how various episodes in Luke’s Gospel illustrate this relationship, particularly in terms of Jesus’ identity as King and Lord, and how this compares to the way lordship is exercised by the political powers of Jesus’ lifetime.  And in today’s reading, we have, as it were, a kind of finale to this exploration; a finale that achieves its full expression in the events of Good Friday, but which, through Luke’s account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, is nonetheless brought to a final, decisive closure. Continue reading “Luke 19: 28-44”

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2 Corinthians 5: 16-21

PRESCRIPT: This weekend has marked Labour Day “long weekend” in the Australian State of Victoria.  To acknowledge this event, and to provide some theological reflection on its significance in the life of Christians, we at Mountview Uniting Church were privileged to have as our “guest preacher”, Rev. John Bottomley, Director of the Creative Ministries Network, an agency of the Uniting Church.  Rev. Bottomley preached on the theme: “God’s New Creation: Work, Recreation and Rest Reconciled”.  This sermon is reproduced with Rev. Bottomley’s permission.

Thank you for this opportunity to be with you this Labour Day weekend.  Tomorrow’s Labour Day commemorates the 8-hour day agreement made in the Victorian colony in1856, when stone-masons working on a construction site at Melbourne University reached agreement with their employer on a working day of 8 hours.  This agreement was the fulfilment of the catch-cry first voiced only a decade or so earlier in Scotland by Robert Owen: 8 hours work, 8 hours recreation, and 8 hours rest. Continue reading “2 Corinthians 5: 16-21”

Luke 13: 31-35

In the world of opera, a leitmotif is a passage of music that is used to identify a particular character.  Thus, when a certain character enters or leaves the stage, or sings an aria that is particularly associated with them, this passage of music is played first, acting as a kind of cue to the audience: it tells them who is about to appear or depart, or who is taking centre stage in the action.  Thus, for example, in the opera La Boheme, the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini wrote a particular passage of music which is exclusively associated with the central characters Mimi and Rodolfo; it is present when they sing a pair of matching arias in Act One, and again when they sing a long duet in Act Three.  This leitmotif both identifies them as individual characters, but also represents their relationship; whenever the leitmotif is played, the audience knows that something associated with Mimi and/or Rodolfo is about to happen.  Continue reading “Luke 13: 31-35”