One Man's Web
One of my long-time friends was leading her last service before retirement recently. We travelled over to be there, and I took the opportunity to ride home to Adelaide. She was the minister at Creswick, which is a little north of Ballarat, and the shortest way back to Adelaide is along the Western and the Duke's Highways. Traffic is very heavy on both these roads. They are not pushbike friendly, especially the Western Highway. I chose a parallel route for the first 170km and then headed due west to the coast to take the much quieter Princes Highway along the Coorong. The direct (car) route is 630km. My tourist route was 769km, which is pretty good given the big loop out to the coast. I planned the ride over four days... Read on >>>>
Wendy and I lived in a remote First Nations community. Her Pitjantjatjara name is Yipati. After our daughter was born in the big hospital in Alice Springs, Wendy—Yipati—was placed in a room on a corridor which seemed to stretch the entire length of the hospital.
She was told by the nurse in charge not to use the toilet and the salt baths just next to her room because they "were for the aboriginal girls." …. She should use the ones further down the corridor. Now… those of you who know Yipati... know that a racist, apartheid instruction like that was never going to be well received. Yipati used the toilets next to her room.
The staff, not to be outdone... immediately shifted her to a room at the far end of that long corridor so that she would have a long way to walk, and so that she would have to walk past the "white" toilets and salt baths. Well... she did. Wendy walked all the way down to the so-called aboriginal bathroom on principle.
It rather backfired on the hospital, because a couple of other young women from our community had just had a baby as well, and were in rooms in the same corridor. One afternoon, seven or eight excited and noisy little girls came in to visit their aunties and see the new babies. One of the aunties said, "Yipati is in here somewhere, and she's got a baby, too!" So: two little girls about 5 or 6 years old, went into the room next door: "Yipati? Nyuntu nyinanyi?" And then the next room: "Hullo… Yipati, are you in here?" And they visited all the new mums, and everyone else, all the way down that very long corridor until they found Wendy at the end... Read on >>>>
I have titled his sermon Much more than just what happened, because Luke 24:13-35 is a curated story which is not so much aiming to tell us what happened, as aiming to teach us what the happening everyone knew about means about how we can live with Jesus.
An Australian journalist [I forget who] wrote, years ago, that on reading the gospels he suddenly realised he was reading eyewitness accounts; eyewitness reportage! He could not have been more wrong. He was reading decades of reflection upon, and interpretation of, events that were mostly already lost to direct memory. He was reading an interpretation and understanding of the current experience of the church of Luke based on their experience of the resurrection. (Here)
What we have just heard read to us is a story of two ordinary followers of Jesus. So ordinary we don't even have a name for one of them. He could be anybody. He could even be us, and maybe that's the point. They've heard that Jesus has risen from the dead, but they haven't seen him. That's just like us, too. They had thought he was the one who would "redeem Israel." He was the one who would fix life, make it better, but it felt like the same old same old.
We can relate to that as well. So often, life seems unchanged, except we get older with more aches and pains, we worry about our kids, how we'll balance the church budget, how we can stick it out at work—all that stuff. Where's Jesus in that!?
And as they are walking along, a stranger catches up with them and asks what they are talking about, and why the long faces... Read on >>>>
My last couple of rides have been out around Fox Creek. The first ride involved a gentle pedal up the Linear Park and the Gorge from our place, and then a long climb up Fox Creek to the top of Croft Road... Read on >>>>