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Michael's blog

I wasn't like that, was I?

Sometimes, thinking on past memories, I am brought up with a jolt, ‘Did I really say that?’

‘Oh no, that’s so embarrassing!’

‘If only I knew then what I know now…’

Recently, a similiar moment occurred in conversation with the Presbytery panel, appointed for the Vital Ministry Consultation.

Discussing my placement at Gordon, a panel member made a comment that rang many bells. It was wonderfully affirming, profoundly insightful, and also painful, all three.

It was almost a revelation.

'My God, we're drowning'

Recently, I’ve been caught out in a few storms.

Being tossed about by the wind, swamped by choppy waters, wondering if you’re going to drown is a horrible experience.

As I struggled with this experience, Mark 4:35 - 5:1 came to mind. (I had written a commentary about it for ‘With Love to the World.’)

It tells the story of Jesus and the disciples, who cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee on some fishing boats. On the way, a great windstorm descends on them, causing chaos.

You can't crib the child

Most biblical scholars believe that the Christmas stories, so familiar to many (shepherds, a manger, the wise ones…), are more than biography.

They serve a theological purpose.

They answer questions such as, ‘How can we account for the extraordinary person that was Jesus? Can we track back to his origins and get a glimpse of the adult he would become?’

A massive letdown

This week, I happened to listen to Counterpoint with Amanda Vanstone on Radio National. The slot was entitled, ‘Why we distrust organized religion’ (available at http://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgMVjNaglV?play=true).

In the introduction, Amanda said she found the church to be a ‘massive letdown’ and she distrusted it.

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