All posts tagged: Easter

“I am the bread of life,” he said as I pulled a loaf from the oven.

I reach to the top shelf of the fridge and grasp the jar, carry it to the bench and twist open the lid. There it is. Barely half a cup of viscous, off-white matter. I heave the flour bag to the benchtop and open its mouth, loosely fastened with a wooden clothes peg, to measure an equal amount into the jar. White particles fly around in the bands of morning light that spill between the slats of sleepy blinds. They settle into the folds of my fluffy white dressing gown, on eyelashes and in the wispy blonde hair of a certain three-year-old who is chasing cuddles. Water next. The same amount again measured carefully into the jar, splashing up the sides and swallowed into the parched flour. Then I stir, round and round, round and round, until it clings together. Making sourdough has become a part of my week’s rhythm. Usually we have two loaves freshly baked for the weekend, and I love nothing more than cutting off a generous slice, still just a little …

Five ways to keep Easter real

Easter is the most important time on the Christian calendar, right? Which explains why I get to this time of the year and fret over how I can give Easter its due weight of significance. God gave so much for us – how can I appropriately acknowledge that? Not in a religious way, mind, but in a way that focuses my thinking and gives new revelation of Easter’s gift. With two little ones in the fold, I’m also conscious of the way we do Easter for them. I’m not opposed to a good old Easter egg hunt, but I want them to grow up with a clear understanding that this time of the year is more about Jesus than chocolate. Which is why I sat down and wrote these five things I’ll be focusing on this Easter to keep it real. ONE. Attend a gathering of some description. It could be a church service or an Easter parade, a festival, feast or mass. The important thing is to be part of a throng of like-minded people. …

Just Call Me OH&S Officer on Steroids

I am Mother. And I am Risk Assessment Officer. As mum to an adventurous toddler and his equally daring baby sister, I have discovered a habit that I’ve yet to decide whether is newly acquired or some kind of primal maternal behavior. Perhaps it’s just plain evidence of madness. In every context where my children are present (or will be), my mind darts ahead, scanning for hazards. You may as well just hand me one of those risk assessment forms – although I feel certain my process would be more thorough. An example? Hubby and I were going to bed – clearing the benches and switching lights off – when I noticed a packet of lollies on the table. I picked it up and stashed it in a cupboard up high so the first thing consumed the next morning wouldn’t be the equivalent of 48 teaspoons of sugar. Then the RAO in me took over. What if our capable toddler pulls a stool over to the cupboard? What if he stands on that stool, and …

An Easter Question: Who is Greater?

“He saved others, but he can’t save himself!” – one of many taunts that were spat at Jesus while he hung dying on a cross more than 2000 years ago. Limp. Parched. Bleeding. Hurting. The notice describing the charge and basis for Jesus’ death penalty read: “The King of the Jews”. He was the king of an oppressed people, living under the merciless Roman occupation. They mocked him because, what kind of king bows to death? Here was a self-proclaimed king who not only accepted an unfair death sentence but willingly and humbly permitted the torture. When I think of the great warriors and kings of history – Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the Great, Richard the Lionheart, the gladiator Spartacus, Genghis Khan – none approached leadership as Jesus did. As far as my limited command of history recalls, not one of the great warriors, leaders and kings of old took their army to the frontline of the battlefield and suddenly cried, “Stop!” and, “I’ll take it from here.” None turned their army back to take on …

What’s the Most Prevailing Fashion Accessory? (Clue: It’s an Instrument of Torture)

Isn’t it interesting the way so many people choose to wear a symbol of torturous execution as an adornment around their neck. Some go a step further and have this emblem stuck to their bumpers, hung on their wall, tattooed on their skin. The cross is a timeless fashion accessory. I wonder why the gallows and the guillotine didn’t take off in the same way for the interior design and fashion industry. I’ve yet to see someone sporting a lethal injection tattoo, a cat o’ nine tails artwork above their mantelpiece or an electric chair (in miniature) hanging from a chain around their neck. That would be macabre, in poor taste – gothic at best.  Why then, do we make an exception for the cross? Roman crucifixion, the method used for Jesus’ execution, was incredibly painful, hence the term ‘excruciating’.  Warning: if you’re sensitive around the topics of violence, mutilation and torture, I’d suggest you skip the next few paragraphs. Crucifixion was saved for the worst kinds of criminals. The criminal usually carried his cross …

Acorn or Oak? Allow Jesus’ Greatness to Speak.

My son is a collector. Doesn’t matter much what the object is, but were you to drop in at our place on any given day you would find small collections stashed in tins, on plates and in plastic bags. Vacated snail shells. Pebbles. Old business cards. Once, he collected a pile of broad bean husks and we didn’t find his hidey hole until months later, mould and all! But his all-time favourite is acorns. Every trip to the park sees him return home with fistfuls of acorns, pockets bulging with the things (although he insists they are coconuts). Recently, we planted some. We explained that from the unassuming little orb buried in a pot of dirt would sprout a tree – a grand and towering oak tree with strong sprawling branches and a height that would dwarf even daddy! Did he understand?  No.  He was still looking at the acorn nestled in his palm. He liked the acorn, he could appreciate the acorn but he couldn’t truly grasp its potential. In a few short days we …

Finding the Rhythm of Salvation

What does Easter mean to you? I was asked this question recently. It’s a question I consider every year as the hot cross buns and chocolate bunnies begin to line supermarket shelves, because every year it feels like those things try to crowd out the heart of this holiday period. For me, they will never overshadow the celebration of Jesus’ mission on earth more than 2000 years ago, to provide a way for direct relationship with God. Jesus was crucified on the Friday, for no reason other than the blind hatred of the crowds. Even Pilate, the governor of the day, symbolically washed his hands when he saw the crowd would not be placated unless he handed Jesus over to be crucified. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said, washing his hands, “It is your responsibility”. Jesus endured every indignity. He was spat on, mocked, flogged, a crown of thorns was rammed onto his head and then he was hung from a crude cross, nails driven through his palms. He was left to die. …

He Chose a Donkey, Not an Arab Charger

“I seem to have a gift with donkeys, I can read them no matter how wild they are.” Donkeys? When Gayelene Harrower admitted her donkey-whispering talent, I may have choked back a giggle. But as our conversation continued I became interested and then intrigued at her marvelous breadth of knowledge regarding the humble, big-eared animal, and her donkey pursuits. The wife of Tasmanian Anglican Bishop John Harrower has four donkeys which form the onlyworking herd of donkeys in Tasmania, giving rides and pulling carts at 30 church and community events each year. Gayelene is also an honorary life member, and the Tasmanian representative, of the Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary which cares for more than 130 donkeys.  The animal-lover has rescued donkeys from abusive homes – one that was tortured and beaten until it was so wild, it took Gayelene three months before she could touch him and get close to him. She was living in metropolitan Melbourne when she first “felt led” to buy a donkey. Most of us would shake off such an inclination, …