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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.

Anzac, memories, and Easter

Last Saturday, I led a seminar on Anzac and Anzac mythology at the Grail community, North Sydney. It was a rich experience. We watched the closing scenes of the movie Gallipoli, encountered some historical documents and shared views about what constitutes the essence of Anzac and what relevance, if any, this has for today.

I usually come away from such gatherings with head buzzing and a couple of nagging questions that mock simple answers. Last Saturday was no exception.

Easter, a rubbish dump, and some women disciples

Easter is just around the corner and marking this dark mystery beckons us again.

Each Easter time, I find that the passion narratives draw me in. I pause, I wonder, and I imagine the story unfolding in Jerusalem.

Reading helps me to understand more of this experience.

This year, it is women and their customary role of attending to the dead that has caught my attention.

A proper burial was of utmost importance then. To quote Kathleen Corley, a scholar whose work I am delving into, ‘Going without a proper burial was horrifying in antiquity.’


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