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Wanniassa ACT
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Thinking Space

Jul 4, 2017

The light of the world

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The contrast between light and darkness has been an idea exercising many minds across the millennia. Consider, for instance, just these three examples: 
1)    “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when adults are afraid of the light.” (Plato, Greek philosopher, 428–348 BC).
2)    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” (Martin Luther King Jr., American civil rights activist, 1929–1968).
3)    “We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.” (J.K. Rowling, author of the ‘Harry Potter’ novels, born 1965).
    In all these instances, ‘light’ and ‘darkness’ are being used metaphorically. That is, the people making the statements about light and darkness weren’t just referring to their physical properties but were using the words as symbols for other ideas. Thus, ‘light’ represents notions such as truth, love and wisdom. ‘Darkness’ on the other hand represents ignorance, hatred and evil.

How do you self-describe yourself? If I gave you a sheet of paper with ten numbered points each beginning with two words, “I am…”, but otherwise left blank for you to fill out; and then I asked you to write a brief description against each numbered “I am”, what would you write? If we had another half-hour, we could conduct such an activity as a preliminary pre-sermon exercise; but we don’t and won’t. Instead, to save time, let me read you my own numbered list of “I ams”.
    My list, in rough order of what’s important to me, goes like this: (1) committed Christian and Uniting Church member; (2) loving husband, father and grandfather; (3) elderly, middle-class, socially conservative male; (4) practising historian. I guess if we did conduct the exercise I mentioned, many of you would write similar self-descriptions.
    In the Gospel of St John, Jesus completed a similar exercise, except that instead of four self-descriptors he used seven. As well as that, he didn’t produce a numbered list like I just did. Instead, over a period of weeks or perhaps months or even years, he made a series of statements about himself, explaining to his disciples who he was. They’re commonly referred to as ‘The Seven “I Am” Statements in John’. Let’s briefly consider them one by one, in the order in which John reports them:

Jun 26, 2017

The Followers kit

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Those of us who have had job descriptions attached to a particular position of employment know that those job descriptions have their limitations. It’s impossible to detail every aspect of our work. Imagine trying to detail the work of a Mum or Dad looking after a young family!

These instructions directed toward the potential followers of Jesus have their own intense impact, but as scripture shows, they were not always the sole blueprint of discipleship.

As an example, we read in Mark 9 that a large crowd had gathered around some disciples of Jesus. Jesus asked the crowd, “What are you arguing with the disciples about?” A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they couldn’t”.

Quote for today

...But you know Him, for He lives with you, and will be in you. John14:17

The Jesus Fatwah

Love Your (Muslim) Neighbour As Yourself. This is a DVD series which attempts to address the many issues raised by disinformation, stereotype and fear about what Muslims believe and how they live. Read more...

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P: (02) 6231 0488
F: (02) 6296 3403

Comrie Street
Wanniassa ACT 2903

PO Box 423
Erindale Centre ACT 2903 

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About Our Church

Our faith community began in 1975 as a small ecumenical gathering of people who settled in the new Canberra township of Tuggeranong. We have grown with the Tuggeranong Community, and our parish centre is the hub for our work, as a place of worship, of gathering and ministry.

We aim to help people have life to the full. We welcome people into a our Christian community where they can connect with God, with one another and with opportunities to make a difference in our changing world.

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