Everything you wanted to know about Christianity
at the Anglican Parish of the Otways
Please join me each week for our reflections
of sermons conducted during our church service.
Plus, occasional splashes of humour and epiphanies!
With much Love and Blessings
Rev. Jenny Brandon
LET me tell you a story!
After Jesus returned to heaven after his death and resurrection he was met by the Archangel Gabriel. Gabriel was surprised to see him back so soon. He didn’t think thirty three years was long enough to redeem and convert the world, after all it is an extremely important and enormous task.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." -Matthew 5:16
The greatest need each one of us has is for real,unconditional love.
This was most evident to me when working as a school Chaplain.
There is nothing sadder than a child who thinks they are unlovable, who thinks that there is nothing good inside them,
My greatest challenge was to turn their thinking around because it was when we did that their behaviour improved and they began to realise they were worth something.
Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.
WHEN Richard and I first moved to Victoria in 1988 I remember the dread of our first driving trip to Melbourne. Not only was it an unfamiliar city, but it was a city, and we were from outback WA.
We were totally out of our comfort zone. We bought our trusty Melways maps, studied the path we wanted to take and with it on my lap we navigated our way through the maze of the city,taking more than one wrong turn along the way.
TODAY we reflect on Jesus the Good shepherd. In John 10:1-10 Jesus tries to describe the connection between himself and his followers, but he uses images that don't touch our hearts and minds as richly as they would have touched his original hearers.
I am the good Shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
THIS week we reflect on the story of the disciples on the Emmaus Road.
The disciples in the story had been plunged into gloom, and the road for them was sad and lonely. Their dreams about Jesus being the long awaited Messiah had been reduced to rubble. As they went along they were talking about his death, looking at it from every possible angle, but still could make no sense of it. A humiliated, crucified Messiah! It was impossible; it was unthinkable.
LIVING in a tourist town you notice the need people have to take photos and buy souvenirs to prove they have visited our little corner of the world. These accoutrements act as tangible proof of their experiences while touring.
This is an expression of the universal human need for the visible, the concrete, the tangible. So I think we can sympathise with Thomas when he declared that he would not believe the Lord had risen unless he actually touched him. He was merely echoing the human cry for certainty.
IN Matthew’s account of the resurrection it almost seems he is working at cross purposes.
On the one hand, the message delivered by the angels is clear, succinct, and compelling:
Do not be afraid;
This week we have had the heartache of saying goodbye to one of our much loved community members.
As we come to terms with the reality of a loved ones death, with all its pain and sense of loss, we are not only united in our sorrow, we are also united in our hope, for just as we are confronted with the reality of death so to we must allow ourselves to be confronted with the reality of our faith.
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, for we are all one in Christ.” Gal 2:28
IN John 4 we read of an encounter between a Samaritan Woman and Jesus. Here was a woman living on the fringe of her society, marginalised due to her lifestyle.
Jesus, despite the social, gender, cultural,religious and political barriers that would normally separate these two individuals, smashes through them and not only speaks to this woman but offers her forgiveness and eternal life.
About the author
Rev. Jenny is an ordained Priest of the Anglican Diocese delivering services at Anglican Parish of the Otway churches every week.
With great depth of knowledge and a spiritual practice that shows she walks her talk and has taken her to the far reaches of N.T. Australia working with indigenous youth and elders.