Archive for October, 2010

As we have heard, the people of Judea were expecting God’s promised Messiah; a deliver who would come to rescue them, set them free and inaugurate the Kingdom of God.  This expectation took on many forms.  Most expected the Messiah to liberate God’s people from the Romans.  There were a number of questions floating around at the time; ‘Why was God waiting so long?’  And if God was waiting, what was he waiting for?  And what could they do to hurry him up a bit?

Some believed that if just one Jew could live righteously within the Law of Moses for just one day then the messiah would come.

One movement teaches that if every Jew, everywhere, will observe two consecutive Sabbaths, the Messiah will come.

Another that if enough prayer and good deeds take place, the revelation of the Messiah will take place.

The Breslev Hassidim teach that the Messiah will come when the Jewish people are infused with joy and will worship God with their whole beings.

Video –  Benjamin Netanyahu Ordered to Hasten Jewish Messiah’s Coming

And it hasn’t changed.  In the mid 80s a group had plotted to blow up the Muslim Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, so that the Temple Mount could be cleared and the Temple rebuilt. Though such an action might well have provoked an international Islamic jihad (holy war) against Israel, some members of this underground group apparently welcomed such a possibility, feeling that a worldwide invasion of Israel would force God to bring the Messiah immediately.   (more…)


From the Lake Times – 28th October 2010

MOST people who volunteer, do so out of the goodness of their hearts, not for rewards or recognition, which is why Warilla’s Rick and Chris McGovern were so surprised to be named Shellharbour City Council’s Good Neighbour of the Year.

The Warilla couple both donate much of their time to helping those less fortunate in the area.

Mrs McGovern, who also works a carer on a community bus program said she volunteered two days’ a week at an op-shop in Warilla.

“I also help out at the Warilla North Community Centre cooking for their community meals programs and in my spare time I do some work with Darcy House,” Mrs McGovern, said. (more…)

Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus.  In John’s gospel it reads like this…

John 1:45-51   Philip then found Nathanael and said, “We have found the one that Moses and the Prophets wrote about. He is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”  (46) Nathanael asked, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip answered, “Come and see.”  (47) When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said, “Here is a true descendant of our ancestor Israel. And he isn’t deceitful.”  (48) “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”  (49) Nathanael said, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God and the King of Israel!”  (50) Jesus answered, “Did you believe me just because I said that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see something even greater.  (51) I tell you for certain that you will see heaven open and God’s angels going up and coming down on the Son of Man.” (more…)

Last week I had the pleasure and the honour to be the master of ceremonies at our local council run Good Neighbour Awards presentation.   Some 300+ people gathered together to receive their awards and hear who was recognised as the Shellharbour Good Neighbour of the Year for 2010.

Having been involved in previous years I get a  bit of  sneak peek into the workings of the Good Neighbour Awards, the people who make it happen and it’s impact on the city.  This year our faith community were even a  financial sponsor, albeit a  minor one in terms of the amount of money we kicked in.   My reasons for asking the gathering to kick in:  if any organisation has a  mandate to ‘love their neighbour’ it has to be the church so it only makes sense that we would take some role in this.  More reflection on this shortly… (more…)

It would seem that in the Gospel stories people repeatedly bring their friends to Jesus.  Today we meet two of Jesus followers who were good friends before connecting up with Jesus and whom Jesus kept as a boxed set, or so it would seem, in their discipleship and mission as part of the band of twelve disciples.

But before we meet them we need a bit of back-story.  Judea had been under the control of foreign power for the previous three hundred years; first under the Greeks then under the Romans.  As the people of God the Jews tried to interpret what it was that God was saying to them and doing in history.  Un upshot of this reflection was the growing and ever present expectation that ‘the day of the Lord’ was soon to appear and that God’s chosen ruler would appear and rescue his people from oppression, presumably from the Romans.  People were waiting and watching for the Messiah.

So it was that people went into the desert to hear John the Baptiser and see if he could be the promised Messiah.  So it is that Philip, who comes from the same town as Peter and Andrew, meets Jesus.  He, in turn, goes and finds his mate Nathanael.  It is these men, Philip that we meet today and Nathanael that we will meet next week (more…)



Mary MacKillop - speaker, activist, social entrepreneur, missional leaderI was watching the telly last night and was pondering the question ‘what would Mary MacKillop think of all the current who-ha concerning her saintly status’.

The girl sounds like a  bit of a  hoot and I reckon lots of us would have gone to hear her if we and she had been contemporaries.

At 24 she was running her own school for the poor rural families in her area.  At 25 she took on  a  religious vocation to be  teacher, particularly of those who were poor.  This was not simply going to work in someone else’s mission but starting from scratch as teacher, school founder and head of a small staff.  Today we would be looking at her as ‘social entrepreneur’  probably with a  bit of an ’emergent’ flavour.

Once set up and with the support & approval of the local catholic hierarchy she did not fall into the roll of a  lackey of the system.  It was not all that long before she fell afoul of the system and was excommunicated for her trouble.  We would have highly regarded her stand of determination and integrity to her call.   (more…)

Jackie Evans brings us this week’s message.

Brian has been talking about some of the disciples of Jesus who were the twelve, the inner circle. But there were many others who were disciples, or followers who sought to understand what Jesus was saying and put this into practice. Amongst this crowd of disciples were many women. In fact if you look at the Gospels there are almost as many women mentioned as disciples of Jesus as there are men. This is very unusual in a culture that counted or talked about its men but not its women or children (When Matthew reports the feeding of the 5000 it was 5000 men not including women and children). Females belonged to or were the responsibility of the men, so if you counted the men you included the females who were with them and part of their family.

So today we are going to look at two of the women mentioned; Mary and Martha. (more…)