Avril at Romsey

… and Lancefield and Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

The Biblical Bathsheba and Her Afterlives

Sermon for Romsey Uniting Church, 29 July 2012

2 Samuel 11:1-15


Today, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put on my historian’s hat. Today our reading from the Hebrew Scriptures, from the second book of Samuel, tells the story of David’s seduction of Bathsheba and his decision to murder her husband, and it does not contain a single mention of God. It’s next week, in the second part of the story, that the Prophet Nathan will tell David how YHWH feels about his actions. Today we just have the tale of those actions, and what I want to do is take us on a quick tour of how this story have been told and retold over the centuries, asking whether there is in that history any lessons for us today. Continue reading


July 27, 2012 Posted by | Ministry, Slightly Higher Culture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflection: Death has no dominion

This is the reflection I gave yesterday at the Second Annual Sci Fi and Fantasy-Friendly Service, aka the second service of the Church of Latter-Day Geeks. As you can see, the vid just made the reflection. I owe the creator big time! Continue reading

April 23, 2012 Posted by | Ministry, Pop Culture, Slightly Higher Culture | , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Messy Middle that is the Uniting Church

(A longer version of the letter that appears in the August Crosslight.)

I have been reading the debate on hope and the essentials of the faith in Crosslight with interest, and I am starting to worry that some lines are being drawn too rigidly. There is a danger that in this debate false dichotomies are being created. Christians are being asked to choose between being either progressive or fundamentalist; between reading the Bible literally or seeing it as no more significant to faith than modern poetry; between accepting the scientific worldview without criticism or retreating from science into creationism or a belief in intelligent design. Most worrying, we are being asked to choose between being inclusive and welcoming to all, and the orthodox faith. Continue reading

August 4, 2011 Posted by | Ministry, Slightly Higher Culture | , , , , | 1 Comment

What do we eat with our cups of tea?

I’ve just finished reading Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson, and loved it. BUT – at one point I think he’s mistaken about Australian English, which makes me wonder whether I can trust him on other matters.

To wit: “In Australia, people eat cookies, not biscuits”.

I eat biscuits. Always have. Definitely not cookies. But then I’m only second-generation Australian and I use lots of Scottish terms picked up from my mother: pants and vest rather than knickers/jocks and singlet; sweets rather then lollies; that sort of thing. So before metaphorically making nasty faces at Bryson I need to double-check with other Australians.
Do we eat biscuits or cookies?

September 9, 2008 Posted by | Life, etc., Slightly Higher Culture | 10 Comments