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Into the desert

I love reading books, but there are few that I read again. I have, however, returned to 'The Absence of God: Dwelling in the Presence of the Sacred' by Sam Keen.

The central thesis of this work is that in throwing out traditional beliefs about God, the West has lost its connection with the sacred. Keen seeks to recover some of this lost spiritual wisdom, writing about it in such a way as to inspire a yearning for its return.

Much taken by his reflections, I am trying to figure out how best to embody one part of the wisdom he speaks of - retreating into the desert.

Chaos and good news

In the beginning, the earth was a formless void, shrouded in darkness. A wind from God swept over the face of the waters, and God said, ‘Let there be light.’

These are familiar verses from the story of creation in Genesis. Alternatively, we might say from the continuing story of creation, for it is an ongoing process.

It doesn’t concern one event aeons ago, albeit seminal; rather, it speaks of the way new life continually comes into being in the world.

Iftar, generosity, and obligation

On Wednesday, I participated in the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims, and Jews. We began the dialogue with prayers for the victims of the Manchester massacre.

The topic of yesterday's meeting was fasting, with particular focus given to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins this weekend.

The Jewish and Catholic communities also offered input. The Uniting Church didn’t because our church has little to say about the importance of fasting!

What the hell is resurrection?

We have had a great time at the Tuesday night group discussing different accounts of resurrection in the Bible.

Last week we looked at Mark. The narrative of an empty tomb is arresting; several women disciples, instructed to relay a message about meeting the Risen Christ in Galilee, are so terrified they don’t tell a soul. At that point, Mark’s gospel ends. Wow!

It is a dark and mysterious narrative of resurrection.


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