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Michael's blog

Who can you be?

I have recently re-read a compelling book on interfaith relations, ‘Without Buddha I could not be a Christian.’ It’s a fascinating and provocative read, not least because it offers valuable insights into our own faith tradition.

In one chapter, the author Paul Knitter reflects on the way Siddhartha achieved enlightenment (thus becoming the Buddha.) In summary, he suggests that Siddhartha did so by asking questions.

He contrasts this path with the orthodox view of Jesus, which asserts that Jesus arrived on earth with all the answers.

Spread hummus not hate

Last night, I met Lina Jebeile at an Iftar meal co-hosted by the Uniting Church and the Affinity Intercultural Foundation.

Lina is a Lebanese Australian, born and raised here. Growing up, she was often told by strangers to ‘go back to where you came from.’ (She wears a hijab.)

After she finished school, and feeling alienated from her Australian identity, she did just that; she went back to where she came from, at least, where her parents came from, Lebanon.

But there, she was told that she was a ‘foreigner.’

That sermon...

Weddings are rarely remembered for sermons.

Recently, Rev Michael Jensen wrote, ‘What the preacher has to remember is that people are not there to hear your sermon.’

However, Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon at Meghan and Harry’s wedding will be remembered, as will the questions it generated:

Was it appropriate for a Royal Wedding? Was it too long? Was it too political? Was it too flamboyant?

Whatever you made of it, it did start many conversations this week. I’ve triggered a few myself.

Apocalypse Now & Gaza

Over recent weeks at Tuesday night conversations, group members have chosen movies to share, notably Searching for Sugar Man, The Life of Brian, and more recently, Apocalypse Now. Some excellent.discussion has ensued.

Issues and questions from watching Apocalypse Now have remained with me.

The movie is set during the Vietnam War and narrates a journey upriver by US soldier, Capt. Willard. Willard has been ordered to assassinate Col Kurtz, an American commander who has ‘gone mad,’ and who employs ‘unsound methods.’

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