Category Archives: STAND FOR SOMETHING

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Love Others Radically

Love others so radically they wonder why.

This weekend it was announced by the Prime Minister that he wants to pass a law that says that anyone who has tried to come to Australia, illegally,  by boat since 2013 will NEVER be allowed to enter the country. It is being done as a “sign to the people smugglers of how serious we are” about border protection. That’s great , Mr Turnbull, but it’s not the people smugglers who are being effected by this, its the little people desperate to find a new life away from tyranny and oppression – they won’t find it here apparently. (Yes, I know that some of the boat people are trying to jump the queue and beat the system but the (documented) majority are trying to escape terrible lives. Just think, what would have to happen to you and your family to make you jump into a boat and risk your life? It’s not a decision that most of the people make lightly.)

I was listening to the radio yesterday morning and a politician (I don’t remember her name) confirmed to the interviewer that if someone has tried to come to Australia to seek asylum by boat, even if they are found to have a legitimate claim, they will not be allowed to enter the country EVER! My friend (who works for the United Nations as a lawyer) cannot work out how many U.N. statutes  and Internation Laws this new law (if passed) will contravene. Where is our nation’s compassion? Where is our love for our neighbour? When we will stop singing the National Anthem that says, in the second verse, “For those who’ve come across the seas, we’ve boundless plains to share”?

Please don’t think I’m advocating that we do away with our immigration laws – I’m not. I went through the system to be allowed to live here, it was fair to me. I am questioning the fairness and justice of a law that contravenes many International laws and treaties for those legitimate people who have been so oppressed in their own country that they have had to make the difficult decision to flee and will be denied the right I have because of the way they travel; for many the boats are the only way they can get out. (And I’m very aware of the amazing privilege I have to be able to write this blog, granted to me because I do live in a ‘free’ country.)

The sign this week speaks of the Christian value of love – that love that Jesus speaks about and shows to others. To those who, in the eyes of the government of his time, didn’t deserve love; to those that did him all manner of wrong; to those who oppressed him and, eventually, killed him.

This ‘radical’ love is what we, as Christians (I would say decent humans), should strive for; a self giving love that sees others as equals; a love (and a way of life) that doesn’t judge the worth of others by what their job is, or where they come from.

Love one another because love is from God – to quote a book a read from time to time.

A very appropriate meme!


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Whatever you do give 100% unless it’s giving blood


Today we continue the re-vamped Bible verses – how about Matthew 5:41?

 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.

Or in modern speak – 

Whatever you do give 100% unless it’s giving blood.

The original verse is about the practise of impressment, when a Roman Soldier could command a civilian to carry their pack a mile for them. Jesus was saying that you should even help those with whom you don’t agree. Not just help them but do more than you’re expected to. 
Society doesn’t do this anymore, at least it’s not common practise anymore. Here, in Australia, on the whole, we seem to have a “that’ll do” attitude.
The job isn’t quite finished but that’ll do
I went to church three weeks ago, that’ll do
I helped a little bit, that’ll do
I saw someone else give that homeless woman 50c, that’ll do
Climate change? I turn some lights off sometimes, that’ll do
Insert need here – Other people help, that’ll do
People – it isn’t good enough. I don’t care if you share my faith, have a different one or don’t have one at all – in a world with so much suffering as ours “that’ll do” is never good enough. Basic humanity demands that everyone has just that, basic humanity. When did it become normal for someone to work over 40 hours a week and still not be able to care for their family? When did we so shut our eyes to the needs of others that it became okay for some children to go to school hungry because their parents can’t afford food for them?
I met a guy the other day at a food van who has a choice – either he or his two kids eat. He can’t afford both. And before you shout that “he should get a job” he has TWO and still can’t afford to pay rent, bills, etc and get food. 
And this is becoming more and more common. Western ‘civilisation’ globally is now finding it has a new emerging class – the working poor. People who do work hard and who still can’t afford to live. People who struggle everyday to try and make ends meet only to find the gap between the ends is getting bigger and bigger. 
If ‘that’ll do’ then I pity you. If you can read and understand that concept, if you agree it’s happening and your heart doesn’t say that you should do something about it then your faith and mine are very different. Our views of social justice will not agree and our understanding of who Jesus is and what he wants us to do is markedly at odds.
The faith I follow demands I walk with those in need – not to make me feel better but to make their lives easier. Jesus told his followers to do that for the invading army. Carry the burdens of the Roman soldiers – not just carry them but to carry them twice as far as you need to. Go the extra mile.
It’s not just Christians that have this idea; most (if not all) of the faiths of the world do; Muslims do, Jews do, Buddhists do – we do not have a monopoly on compassion and caring, but we are commanded to do it. 

When life is fair for all, when everyone, regardless of their faith, or colour, or background can feed their family and have basic human rights then that’ll do – until then go the extra mile; until then give 100% in everything, well, unless it’s giving blood.
(And yes, that is a Joel Osteen quote – I don’t agree with all he says, I’m sure he doesn’t agree with all I say but we agree on the following Jesus bit and that’s a start.)

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STAND FOR SOMETHING OR FALL FOR NOTHING?

As a younger man I drove a 63 model holden , I enjoyed that car. 
I had many stickers on that car displaying messages of the things I was against.
An older woman started a conversation with me one day about these stickers. 
She was known to me, Peter she said, for that is my name, I see from the stickers on your car what you’re against, but, what do you stand for???
It was a good question and it made me think.
It made me think again recently as we witness events locally  personally and globally.
At these times it’s easy to be against everything we see and hate, but the question remains…
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN! WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR??
WHAT DO WE BELIEVE IN???
Maybe it’s in these hard times, it’s what we stand for that will bring change?


Upcoming Events

Mar
1
Sun
3:00 pm St David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
St David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
Mar 1 @ 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Guest conductor from Wales National Eisteddfod of Wales blue riband winner / soloist 2 other blue riband winners 5 local Welsh voice choirs Congregational hymn singing Projected 700+ in attendance. Wow….should be wonderful!!!