Jan 16, 2011
Preached at St Stephen's QLD Australia 16 January 2011 Readings:Psalm 29, Rom 6:2-9, Mark 10:35-45
Meaning in faith, not in disasters.
Given what has happened in our city and across Queensland in the last week I have decided not to use the set readings for this Sunday and expand on last week’s theme of Baptism.
What is the meaning of these floods, or the New Zealand mine disaster or the terrible bush fires of just a couple of years ago? I don't believe they have any meaning. They are simply terrible natural disasters. God is not trying to tell us anything by the floods. I do not believe that it is any specific or special judgement on Toowoomba, Central Queensland, the Maranoa, Ipswich Brisbane or the people who have suffered. However I do believe that whether we are buried in the water of the tiny river Jordan like Jesus in his Baptism, or whether we are engulfed and swept away in the terrible power and chaos of a sudden flash flood, the chaos of the water does not have the final say. Death and suffering have been defeated. For just as Christ rose out of the water, he was also raised from the dead, and through the poured out Spirit he shares that new life with us now. We have new life and we will have new life. Christ has died, Christ is risen, the Spirit is poured out, and Christ will come again.
Questions for thought or discussion.
How do you believe God brings judgement? Is the image of Baptism a helpful one in our current situation? Why/why not? As a Christian what might be the benefits of living on Easter Day rather than Good Friday?