“Baptism is not the moment you suddenly get to go to heaven, it’s not the moment you decide that you’re a Christian. It is when people make the personal decision to publically say, ‘I am going to follow Jesus, I’m going to learn from His way of life and the example that he showed us and I’m going to make a declaration to my community and to my God that I’m on the path to following Jesus for the rest of my life.”
“Richard Rohr says, “One could be warlike, greedy, racist, selfish and vain in most of Christian history and still believe that Jesus is one’s “personal Lord and Saviour” or continue to receive sacraments in good standing. The world has no time for such silliness anymore. The suffering on earth is too great.” “
“The structured definition of family that we often see in our society doesn’t always work. It can hurt and exclude people, failing to protect women and children. Some have defended this structure with the language of ‘family values’, but they are actually defending a patriarchal vision of family; the family as a power structure. Jesus did not value the family as a power structure, but instead valued the powerless, those who did not have family. Jesus had a larger vision of family, a family found in a sacred community of equality.”
“The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self- control.”
“When I first came to faith so many people exclaimed ‘the prodigal son has come home’, and while there are similarities between the younger brother in this story and my experience of “coming home”, if we think that that is the only and most important meaning of this parable, then we have missed the point. Jesus is not talking to the rebellious pastors kids or the wayward backsliders. He is talking to the Pharisees and Teachers of the law, exposing what underlies their seeming selflessness.”
Jesus didn’t come to shame people into behaviour modification. He came to present an entirely new way of looking at the world, a new way of doing life, a new blueprint for society in which the poor and oppressed people have a special place and focus, in which those who would follow him would not consider themselves the centre of the universe but instead serve others first, a new way of understanding power in which peace, humility and unconditional love would be the true sources of power and where non-violence in the face of corrupt powers using violence to reinforce their privilege would become a way of life.
‘Live hope filled lives. Dare to live the reality of the Kingdom of God now! Jesus modelled that Kingdom when he announced that he came for the excluded, not to coddle the included.’
“The Parable of the Banquet for the Poor, the poetic picture of this sacred feast, teaches us that the Kingdom of God is community where everyone can come to the table and a model of equality.
This community is already at that table; every Sunday we gather here around the bread and the wine, every time support groups meet at this place to share food and coffee, every week members of this community meet in each other’s homes, every day that activists within this congregation work to improve the living conditions of the poor.
Every time we work to make the world a better place for those who need it most, that is God’s table, and that is the Kingdom of God.”
“The ramifications of loving your neighbours as yourself are deeper than you might’ve thought. What would you want others to do for you if you were having your rights, your humanity, your reputation and your dignity challenged? Would you like them to sit on the fence? Sit this one out because it’s a bit too theologically contentious?”
“Can we consider acting on behalf of others simply because they are human and not for any other reason? Can we include people in the “us” that we would defend no matter what the cost? Even if it had nothing to do with me and the people like me? Even if it had nothing to do with protecting my way of life, my standard of living or my world view? Even if it cost me some of those things?”