Luke 8: 26-39

It would be an understatement of monumental proportions to say that this has been a tragic week in human affairs.  We began the week with the terrible shooting in Orlando, in which, for no sane reason that anyone can discern, one man acting alone was able to legally purchase a firearm that enabled him to gun down scores and scores of people who had never done him any harm or wrong.  And we concluded the week with the murder of a British politician, at the height of a divisive and bitterly contested debate about whether or not Britain should remain within the European Union.  And, of course, in between those two horrific events have been all the daily tragedies that rarely get reported; or which, if they do, are frequently dismissed from our minds: the daily suffering of those who, here in Australia and around the world, labour under economic, social, or political injustice and oppression. Continue reading “Luke 8: 26-39”

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Luke 7:36 – 8:3

As you are aware, I have spent a good chunk of the last week attending the meeting of the Synod-in-Council of the Victorian/Tasmanian Synod of the Uniting Church, one of the decision-making bodies of the UCA.  And it’s always part of the program of any meeting of the Synod-in-Council that we spend time in Bible study.  This year, we were extraordinarily privileged to have the Bible study sessions led by my colleague, Rev. Dr Sally Douglas, who guided us through a series of studies that were an outline exploration of her recently published doctoral thesis.  In the course of these studies, Sally demonstrated two things: firstly, that the earliest textual evidence available to scholars shows that the very first Christians reverenced the divinity of Jesus, contrary to claims that Jesus’ divinity was “invented” by the Gospels; and, secondly, that the language which the first Christians used to reverence Jesus’ divinity was couched in the imagery and symbolism of the female divine.  That is, they used the “Woman Wisdom/Sophia” language which is present in the Hebrew Scriptures, and which I preached about on Trinity Sunday in my sermon on the reading from Chapter 8 of The Book of Proverbs.[1] Continue reading “Luke 7:36 – 8:3”