All posts tagged: light

Inaction of the Church in the Past Requires Apology, Love, Compassion Now

I am sorry. I am so desperately sorry that fellow Christians have at times misrepresented Jesus by protecting people who sexually abused children. People who should have faced immediate investigation. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is revealing a disgraceful culture of cover-ups in the Church and other institutions. The victims, often nameless to protect identity, have shared stories from many decades past with the clarity and emotional wrench as if it happened yesterday. Such is the impact of sexual abuse on a child. Confronted with such stories, I have grieved their suffering and the way my Lord Jesus has been so seriously misrepresented. Jesus was a passionate advocate for children. If you would like to know what Jesus’ thoughts are on child sex abuse, in no uncertain terms, read no further than Matthew 18:6, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the …

Christmas is NOT just for kids

Every time I hear someone say, “Christmas is for the kids” I want to stamp my foot, fix my hands to my hips and, in my most maturest, grown-up voice respond, “It is NOT!” I love Christmas. I love presents, tinsel and carols.  I love the feasting, the family time and the drinks with friends.  I love decorating the tree, lovingly wrapping each gift and driving around in the nights before Christmas to look at the houses lit up like the proverbial.  The season is certainly made richer for the squeals of delight and wide-eyed wonderment of children.  That was evident at the Christmas pageant through Launceston’s streets recently.  Kids hoisted on their dads’ shoulders and jumping at the roadside brought a generous measure of joy to the atmosphere. But let’s not relinquish Christmas to the kiddies. Children bring the merriment, but it was one single child more than 2000 years ago that brought the reason for the celebration – for adults and children alike.  He came via an unplanned pregnancy, out of wedlock, to …

Illuminations (from Dark Mofo, Genesis and my Two-Year-Old Lad)

“Turn on dark, mummy, turn on dark!” Little Master van Ryn, 2, has been learning about light and dark. Lamps are switched on again, off again. On again, off again. He points out the sun in the day and the moon at night, and blowing candles out is a particular thrill (or maybe he’s just a pyro…). We (pretend to) blow the light out after we’ve tucked him into bed, and when I pull up his blinds in the morning, he asks, “Where the dark go?” Light and dark are so much more tangible to a two-year-old. But when I got hold of a program for the Museum of Old and New Art’s winter festival in Hobart (Dark Mofo, on until Sunday), it struck me that we never grow tired of the contrast between light and dark – our explorations just get more sophisticated. In his prelude to the festival, creative director Leigh Carmichael said Dark Mofo would, “celebrate links between ancient and contemporary mythology, humans and nature, religious and secular traditions, darkness and light, birth …

A Word from the Supermarket Optimist Himself

About a week ago I wrote a piece on the friendly guy at my local supermarket who is so generous with his smiles and well wishes. Well, I’ve been chatting to this bloke, who I have dubbed Super(market)man, and discovered more wonderful optimism and wisdom, too good not to share. Before I do, he mentioned that he had been rather overwhelmed by the number of people who just knew it was him that I referred to in the column. Strangers have approached him and said, Well done! I didn’t name him in the article, didn’t even name the supermarket – so he really has made an impact on us. I hope you will be further encouraged to look for the positives in life. This is what Super(market)man wrote to me: I like to believe that we all have friendliness inside of us but it gets stamped down by this overbearing, commercial world that we live in and it’s so much easier for folks to put on their “don’t look at me” faces and just ignore …