Sermon for Romsey and Lancefield Uniting Churches
Pentecost, 27th of May, 2012
John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15
Today we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ disciples at Pentecost, the event that we remember as the birth-day of the church. Today is a day of loud and joyful celebration, coloured red for the Spirit in the liturgical calendar, as we envisage a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and divided tongues, as of fire. In the Gospel according to John the Spirit is given to the disciples quietly, behind closed doors, as Jesus breathes on them; when Luke tells the tale the uproar is so extreme that bystanders think that the disciples are drunk. Read more »
Sermon for Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon
20th of May 2012
It is very late in the evening. The meal is long over. Earlier, as the meal ended, Jesus had knelt and washed his disciples’ feet. He then began to prepare them for life without him. He gave them the new commandment, that they love one another. He prepared them for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth. He shared with them the mutual indwelling of the Father and the Son. And he spoke of his betrayal and death. He gave them his final teachings, the wisdom that they would hold onto during the horrors of his crucifixion and the overwhelming joy and shock of his resurrection. Read more »
Today the Sunday Life magazine in The Sunday Age reprinted an article that first appeared in The Guardian in Britian at the end of March. Apparently not wanting to discriminate against non-mothers on Mothers’ Day, Sunday Life gave us a first-person article from a childless woman.
It was unpleasant. Go read the article now and see what you think.
My initial response was sympathy. Reading Bibi Lynch’s piece on not being a mother, I nodded along, aware that for some women not having children is a cause of appalling pain.
Then I got to her description of a bench with a “Much-loved aunt” plaque as “one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen”. At that point my sympathy disappeared, to be replaced by frustration and irritation.
I am a single, childless woman. This doesn’t make me feel like a failure, as though I haven’t done something that I was supposed to do. I am an adoring aunt, and would be absolutely delighted if one day my beloved nephew and nieces put up a bench or planted a tree or (lets dream big) endowed a scholarship in honour of me as a much-loved aunt.
I am not only aunt to the children of my biological siblings, I am friend and confidante and playmate and spiritual guide to the dozens of other children with whom I am connected. Families are more than biology, and communities need single people who have the time and emotional energy to connect with children, and support parents.
I’m sorry for Lynch but I have to confess that I don’t really understand her. A child is not a prize; their purpose is not to love their mother into self-worth.
And childless women are not bitter failures.
I just wish Sunday Life hadn’t chosen Mothers’ Day to reinforce the stereotype that we are.
Sermon for Romsey and Lancefield
May 13th, 2012
‘I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.’ Read more »