Rector’s Reflections

God in Creation – St Francis, the Patron Saint of the Environment.
Although the celebration of the Season of Creation’ is coming to an end, the challenge to listen to the voice of creation will continue to call us to reflect upon how we appreciate and care for the environment. We need to be constantly mindful that the beauty of creation is being dulled by its corruption. The Lament in a passage from the Book of Lamentations in some ways expresses the sorrow and desolation that we feel at the suffering in creation and the degradation of the environment. The Letter to Timothy reminds us of the faith we have and the gift of the Spirit that we need to nurture within ourselves. Nurtured like a seed that is planted, a small mustard seed that grows into a strong tree. In listening to the voice of creation, St Francis, the patron Saint of the environment sets us a wonderful example of seeing God in all creation. Celebrating his life is an appropriate conclusion to the season of creation. “Francis considered all nature as the mirror of God and as so many steps to God. He called all creatures his “brothers” and “sisters,” and, in the most endearing stories about him, preached to the birds and persuaded a wolf to stop attacking the people of the town of Gubbio and their livestock if the townspeople agreed to feed the wolf. In his “Canticle of Creatures” (less properly called by such names as the “Praises of Creatures” or the “Canticle of the Sun”), he referred to “Brother Sun” and “Sister Moon,” the wind and water, and even “Sister Death.” He nicknamed his long and painful illnesses his “sisters,” and he begged pardon of “Brother Ass, the body” for having unduly burdened him with his penances. Above all, his deep sense of brother/sisterhood under God, embraced his fellow humans for he considered himself no friend of Christ if he did not cherish those for whom Christ died.” (From the Encyclopaedia Britannica)
In the light of last week’s parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, St Francis, in his radical commitment to poverty, challenges us to reflect upon how we hear God’s call in our lives and how we share the wealth we have, realising that the greatest treasure we have and the most important task for us is, as St Paul says to `Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.’

In this season of creation, listening to the voice of creation, we are reminded how God is the creator of all that is and the creation that is good, has become corrupted. We live in a fallen world that is being redeemed. The corruption of creation is no more evident in the way we as human beings, throughout history, have abused the creative powers with which God has endowed us. Created in God’s image our human creativity is an expression of God’s creativity. On one level, we can only look with amazement at all that has come to be through human history in the various civilisations and cultures that have been and those that still are. The achievements in science, the arts, commerce and agriculture, to simply categorise them, are awe-inspiring. Yet human creativity and the creation of wealth has been abused to the detriment of society and the natural order. This is no more evident than in the world today. Excessive wealth and the preoccupation with gaining it is destroying our humanity and the environment.
In the parable (story) of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus portrays the dangers of
wealth. As with many parables, it has so many levels of meaning. We encounter the story as we hear it and reflect upon it, asking questions of the story as we seek to be guided by the Spirit to understand the depth of its meaning.
The abuse of wealth, through the excessive pursuit of it and enjoyment of it at the expense of others, ultimately leads to suffering in the life to come. Inequality of wealth leads to the aggrandisement of some who have wealth and the diminishment of those who do not. Note Jesus in no way commends the rich man for his hard work. Nor does he say the rich man deserved it because he was a hard worker and utilised his

God-given gifts better than Lazarus. Lazarus is not condemned as a no-hoper but rather a sufferer of an inequitable society.
This theme leads us into reflecting upon how we diminish others and ourselves. Others by regarding ourselves as more important than them, more worthy than them, better than them. Ourselves, because ultimately in diminishing another, we diminish ourselves. It could be said there is a Lazarus in each one of us. The name
Lazarus means ‘God has helped’. It is only in the culmination of Lazarus’s life journey that his name can be seen to have its true meaning. This is the same for us.
As Paul says in his letter to Timothy ‘For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil’. For those of us who try to, as an activist statement of the nineteen eighties said, ‘live simply so others can simply live’, the challenges of global inequity can seem overwhelming. Some will choose to follow the example of St Francis and sell all that they have and give to the poor and become poor themselves. Yet there is another way and that is,
as Christians, to commit ourselves to work for social change that will bring about greater equity. Social change that recognises that those who are wealthy do not deserve the wealth they have because it is not really their’s. The Commonwealth of humanity has evolved over thousands and thousands of years. No one at any
moment in time, deserves to capitalise on it at the expense of others. There is actually enough food in the world for no one to starve, if we were to share it.
I have often wondered why wealthy people do not seem to shake in their boots when they come across this parable. I do! As I said earlier, there are many levels to this parable. Traditionally, it was seen as a parable about heaven and hell. More recently, there are some scholars that say this is not the case. I always try to address the plain meaning of the story, what it presents as you read it. On this basis, it is a complex story about social equity and our eternal destiny, particularly in the light of its cryptic enigmatic ending ‘‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ (v31)
Without being able to go into detail, this parable is a wonderful example of the Road to Emmaus where Jesus explains the Scriptures in the light of his death and resurrection. This too, was at the heart of the teaching, I often refer to, of Michael
Ramsey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury. He said the whole of the gospel, the whole of Scripture, has to be seen in the light of Jesus death and resurrection. In this light, Jesus rising from the dead has meant that the great chasm
can now be crossed. Yes we do suffer for the many ways we diminish others, we suffer for our sins, if not in this life, in the journey from this life but we need not suffer forever.

We continue the month of sharing in the Season of Creation, a global ecumenical event, This Sunday is also Vocations Sunday. A time to
focus on the vocation of each and everyone of us, including thosewhose vocation is the Ordained
Ministry. The way we live and express our faith in Christ. The reading from Jeremiah reminds us that those who are poor and those who suffer
in anyway are close to God’s heart. At the heart of listening to the Voice of Creation is to listen for the way of healing for the whole of creation, for the majority of people that are marginalised in the world in many and varied ways and the destruction that we are causing to the environment. Over 90% of this Parish in the recent National Church Life Survey, expressed their support for the importance of dealing with the many issues related to the environment and the current crisis. This is a great foundation for us exploring ways that we can face these environmental changes.
Today’s Gospel challenges us to see the importance of being faithful in everything we
do from the simplest mundane parts of our lives, to our life foundations. I receive regular notifications from a mindfulness app that teaches about meditation. The last
three were Do your next task in full awareness’,Sink into the present with joy and
remain’ Take delight in a friends recent accomplishment’. There were as old saying
`look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’. In applying this teaching to every area of our lives including our care for the
environment, we need to remind ourselves that the smallest things we do can make a difference. Turning lights off, turning appliances off where possible at the power point, considering how often we travel and in what way. Carefully recycling every thing we can, including cleaning the recyclables, when possible. Helping each other to have a more detailed list of things we can do, is an important and immediate task
for the future in our Parish.


11th September 2022

We continue the month of sharing in the Season of Creation, a global ecumenical event, Again, our readings differ from those in lectionary. Our first reading from the Old Testament continues the creation story. Until fairly recent times, that is the last few centuries, the Book of Genesis, together with the other four books of the Pentateuch (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy), were believed to have been written by Moses. This was the accepted view of the Scriptures and particularly the New Testament. For example, from the Prologue to John’s Gospel The Law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17) Modern Scholarship has questioned this view for a number of reasons. One being that they argue that Moses could not have written about his own death as recorded in Deuteronomy chapter 34. Moses died in sight of the Promised Land. Another reason was that these scholars regarded today’s story of Adam being created from the dust of the ground as a second story of creation that was not necessarily consistent with the first story in Genesis chapter 1. Initially, there would seem to be strong evidence for this. It seems that creation is being told in a different way that focusses on the creation of Adam, Eve and all the creatures of the earth. Adam, a human being is created first, then the animals, which is the opposite order to Genesis 1. It is my belief that Genesis chapter 2 follows on from chapter 1 and explains how the creation unfolded. Without getting too complicated, the tense structure of Hebrew and certainly Mosaic Hebrew, is different to English. We can assume that the creation of chapter 1, was completed God made human beings in His own Image and Likeness’ Done! Finished! No! Just beginning.

We also need to take into account that there are levels of creation as the writer to the
Hebrew says in our sentence for today By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible’ (11:3) This helps us to reflect upon the nature of the realities described in today’s Genesis reading. Was the garden of Eden a physical place as we now know physical places? Ultimately, the biblical account of creation, is revelatory, giving us deep insights into all creation and who we are as being created by God. God breathing the breath of life into Adam, the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil (or of all things), the tree of life, Eve being formed from Adam, the process whereby the serpent tricked Adam and Eve, and the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin are central to God’s revelation of our origins, why things are as they are and what God has done for us through, His word becoming flesh in Jesus of Nazareth. The Corinthians passage reminds us of the importance of the creation story for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ……..The first man, Adam, became a living being; the last Adam became a life- giving spirit………the first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven’.
In our culture, we tend to not give enough emphasis to what as Christians we could
call prayerful meditation or contemplation. We pray that God will help us to understand better what we read. For example, God will give us an insight into God breathing the breath of life into Adam etc….
We reflect upon how our own experience of breathing gives us insights into this process, particularly as we, in prayer and meditation, experience the breathing process more profoundly. In other words, we listen to our created experience in the light of the biblical revelation. Reading the Book of life and the sacred scriptures hand in hand, as I suggested last week.
The `Season of Creation’ resource book describes this process: “Contemplation opens us to many modes of listening to the book of creation. Psalm 19 says that creatures speak to us of the Creator. The harmonious balance of biodiverse ecologies and the suffering cries of creation are both echoes of the Divine because all creatures have the same origin and ending in God. Listening to the voices of our co-creatures is like perceiving truth, goodness or beauty through the lives of a human friend and family member. Learning to listen to these voices helps us become aware of the Trinity, in which creation lives, moves and has its being. Jürgen Moltmann calls for “a discernment of the God who is present in creation, who through his Holy Spirit can bring men and women to reconciliation and peace with nature.”
The Biblical story of creation helps us to experience God in creation, in this way. The story of the lost sheep reminds us how precious every creature and ultimately all creation is to God

4th September 2022

As we begin the month of sharing in the Season of Creation, a global ecumenical event, Our readings differ from those in lectionary today. The readings have been chosen to help us reflect upon God in creation and how God is creator, as we say in the Creed of all that is, seen and unseen'. Over the centuries, the scientific study of creation, especially in theoretical physics, astronomy and evolutionary theory, has challenged traditional Christian views of creation. This apparent dissonance has had a huge impact on several generations, particularly the baby boomers and subsequent generations. Whilst accepting the incredible achievements of the various sciences, at a very fundamental level, science has lost its way in that generally, the various scientific theories, do not acknowledge the existence of God, although there are some encouraging signs in recent times, where the question of whether the Big Bang could have come out of nothing is being seriously explored. In a BBC article by Alistair Wilson ‘What existed before the big bang’ the question is posed. In a complex exploration of the many theories of the origins of the universe, Wilson states: “The most we can say with confidence at this stage is that physics has so far found no confirmed instances of something arising from nothing” https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220105-what-existed-before-the- big-bang The Bible does not prove the existence of God, it just states it In the beginning God
created…..(Genesis 1:1) The prologue to John’s Gospel states `All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. ‘Colossians Many of you will be aware, that after years of theological and philosophical reflection that I have come to the understanding that the existence of God is logically self evident ‘Can anything come from that which is not’ or as Peter quoted in the article says ‘nothing comes from nothing’. No! Everything comes from God. God has always existed. God is the creator and source of all that is. The theme of Seasons of Creation ‘Listening to the Voice of Creation’ leads us back to an area of theology, that in recent times, particularly in many Protestant
denominations, has been neglected; to reflect upon how God is revealed in creation.
In the light of the strong biblical testimony of the presence of God in creation, as noted in the Season of Creation—Celebration Guide’ “Some of the earliest Christian writings refer to the concept of creation as a book from which knowledge of God can be read. St. Augustine writes, “[Creation] is the divine page that you must listen to; it is the book of the universe that you must observe. The pages of Scripture can only be read by those who know how to read and write, while everyone, even the illiterate, can read the book of the universe.” Martin Luther wrote, “God has written [the gospel] not only in books, but also in trees and other creatures.” St Francis, whose feast day concludes the Season of Creation’ is one of the best known saints for his reading of the book of nature and his praise of God in all creation.
The book of creation and the book of Scripture are meant to be “read” side by side”. Reason and revelation walking hand in hand. As I noted in some recent comments on Anglican identity; we are guided by Scripture, Tradition and Culture. The sciences being largely a part of the latter. Listening to the book of creation can give us deeper insights into the scriptures and reflecting on the scriptures can give insights for deeper understanding of creation, as with my brief comments on Genesis. We need to keep emphasising how Jesus said that `the Holy Spirit will remind us of what he had said teach us everything’. Similarly, the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth.

Celebrating the Fifteenth Anniversary of Christ Church Drouin
Celebrating the Fifteenth anniversary of the building of our current worship Centre is a time of thanksgiving for the life of our parish, our faith community and our rich heritage. It is also a time of reflection on the significance of this church building and what it represents for us and how we see this place in the future. Primarily it is a place for us to gather in the presence of God. As a gathering place it
represents our identity as Christians within the Anglican tradition. The church with its Baptismal Font, Sanctuary, Altar or Holy Table, Lectern upon which the Holy Bible rests, reminds us of the importance of the Word and Sacraments in our faith life, our Worship. The musical instruments and sound system enable our worship in the celebration of the sacraments. In our church, although not in all Anglican churches,
we have an Aumbry, where the consecrated sacrament is reserved for ministry to the aged, the sick and dying. A visible sign of Christ’s sacramental presence?
Our forebears built the first church in 1880 according to the tradition that they had received and we have been faithful to that tradition. Yet it is important that we reflect upon what we have received and how we are to journey into the future. We are aware that other faith communities have different styles of buildings. There is a great variety within Christendom. Many churches are built similar to ours but many
are quite different and more like an auditorium or concert hall. Each building representing something of the identity of that faith community. Each faith tradition having different perspectives on how God is present in their building and community.
In these challenging times, we need to reflect upon the foundations of our tradition and its viability for the future. It is a time to not take anything for granted. We cannot today go into complex the story of sacred places that emerges in the story of the people of Israel. The story that began with places that became sacred because of a particular experience of God that someone had, for example, when
Jacob, who was renamed Israel, wrestled with God one night, he `called the place Peniel, saying,
“For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” (Genesis 32:30).

Later, Israel’s understanding of sacred places blossomed into ‘the Tent of Meeting’ and ‘the tabernacle’, which had the ‘Ark of the Covenant’, a place where God was present with Moses and showed his presence through the ‘pillar of cloud’ at the entrance. Here people could enquire of God. Then followed the building of the temple, some 400 years after their arrival in the Promised Land.
As we heard in Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple there was a belief that God in some way mysteriously dwelt in the temple through his ‘Name’. Israel had a place where God dwelled in some mysterious way.
The writer to the Hebrews writes of how the ‘tent of meeting’ was Christ’s own body which he offered up for all humanity. Paul also compares the tent of meeting or tabernacle with our earthly human body.’ Similarly Saint Peter speaking of Christians being living stones, built into a spiritual house offering
spiritual sacrifices, diminish the importance of a physical place that would be God’s dwelling.
With this emerging theology and the primacy of the idea that Christians are temples of the Holy Spirit and then the destruction of the temple around 70 A.D. and with the consistent persecution of the church until the time of Constantine, Christians primarily met in homes for their worship. There was no longer a
physical temple as a place to meet with God. Yet Christian worship during these times had all the same elements that we have today: admission to the faith community by baptism, listening to the Scriptures, which were primarily the old Testament as well as the growing collection of writings that became the new
Testament, hearing the Scriptures expounded, the Gospel proclaimed, praying, singing psalms and spiritual songs and celebrating the Lord’s supper. It was not until the third century that churches
began to be built. Then followed a great diversity of churches, of places of worship, as referred to earlier in the diversity of ideas as to how God was present in the place of worship. This Fifteenth Anniversary gives us an opportunity to revisit how we see this sacred place and how God is present with us in this
place. What reverence to the symbols of faith, to God’s house of prayer, does God require of
us? What changes do we need to make in our tradition, if any?

The Sundays after Pentecost. Exploring how we can be empowered by the Holy Spirit in our lives as we keep being attentive to how heaven is opened and the Holy Spirit comes upon us, reminding us of what Jesus said, how He is spoken of in the Scriptures and leads us into all truth.

Another stage of our Journey, continuing to explore how God’s love is for everyone, especially those on the margins of society.

The approaching celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the completion of our current Worship Centre provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon the story of our faith community in this area. This centre is a priceless gift for our community, our diocese and the wider church. Yes, we are part of a fragmented church. Some Bishops, including the Sydney Bishops, did not attend the Lambeth Conference. There are so many different churches and denominations locally and globally. There are many different religions and life ideologies. Yet, amidst all this, we are called to be faithful to what we have been given and the faith tradition that we are a part of, and which this Worship Centre is a focus for. As the readings from Hebrews continues reflecting upon faith as the foundation of the human journey, so we need to live by faith, trusting that our faith community is an essential part of God’s divine purpose. We need to be a community that is prepared to be challenged by God. To reflect upon how we might be a vineyard that produces wild grapes. To be challenged by the divisiveness of human life and heed Jesus’ warning that, in this divisiveness, we might not be right. To accept that suffering is a part of following in God’s way, of doing God’s will and accepting that, ultimately Jesus way is one of forgiveness, redemption and reconciliation. The healing of divisiveness is fundamental to our redemption as instanced in the conclusion of today’s Gospel and in Jesus healing death and resurrection

The Sundays after Pentecost. Exploring how we can be empowered by the Holy Spirit in our lives as we keep being attentive to how heaven is opened and the Holy Spirit comes upon us, reminding us
of what Jesus said, how He is spoken of in the Scriptures and leads us into all truth.

Another stage of our Journey, continuing to explore how God’s love is for everyone, especially those on the margins of society.

A major phase of the journey in Faith was from Advent to Trinity Sunday. In the Sundays after Pentecost we continue to share a journey but with a different emphasis. From now until Advent, our readings from Luke’s Gospel come from what many scholars describe as the second phase of Luke’s account of Jesus’ ministry.
The first, Luke 1-9 describes the foundations of his ministry, the second describes Jesus journey to Jerusalem that culminates in His death and resurrection. The chapters that we are dealing with at the moment, show Jesus giving us a deeper understanding of his mission in terms of his concern for all who are oppressed and the conflict that this causes with those in power, particularly the Jewish Leaders.
Today’s Gospel, as did last weeks, deals with a central theme of Jesus concern for the poor in his challenging us about our use and accumulation of material things and the need to be rich with the things of God, A challenge reiterated in the passage from Hosea. The Letter to the Hebrews helps us reflect on how we can be rich with God. .
As we prepare to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Christ Church, Drouin, in three weeks, we can reflect upon how we share in Jesus ministry to the poor and oppressed, the marginalised of our society.

The Sundays after Pentecost. Exploring how we can be empowered by the Holy Spirit
in our lives and being attentive to how heaven is opened and the Holy Spirit comes upon us

Baptism

This Sunday we celebrate a child’s baptism. His baptism is a time for us all to reflect upon baptism as a foundation of the Christian life.
The baptismal promises: to turn to Christ, repent of sin, reject selfish and unjust living
and renounce Satan and all evil, are a foundation of the Christian life and the basis
on which we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles 2: 32-42 is part of the story of the first baptisms
that took place on the day of Pentecost after Jesus death, resurrection and ascension
into heaven. These baptisms were based on repentance for the forgiveness of sins
that the person baptised might receive the Holy Spirit.
The churches understanding of baptism, largely influenced by St Paul, came to
emphasise baptism as a process of dying with Christ, being buried with him that the
new nature given to humanity through Jesus death and resurrection, will be a
foundation of our humanity and all human life.
When we look at a new-born child or young child, we might wonder what the new nature is that is given to the child in baptism. It is a Christian understanding expressed in many and varied ways that the human nature we have is to some extent imperfect, no matter how beautiful a child seems and that a fundamental purpose of our human life is to become like Christ. We are all baptised to share in the dying and rising life that this new life offered to humanity through Christ will be nurtured in us. Baptism represents a life long journey that we are all called to travel. Each baptised person in seeking to be true to our baptismal calling shares in the redemption of humanity and ultimately, all creation..

Our second reading from Ephesians 1: 15—23 expresses so beautifully, this life and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, how we experience the same power in us that raised Jesus from the dead. All Christians, sharing in the life of the church, the church being the body of Christ and ‘the fullness of him who fills all in all’.
Prayer is also central to our baptismal life in Christ. The Lord’s prayer as Jesus taught his disciples in today’s Gospel passage and the prayer of St Paul in Ephesians guide us in how to nurture our prayer life’. Jesus promises us that God, in loving us will answer our prayers and give us the Holy Spirit.

The Sundays after Pentecost. Exploring how we can be empowered by the Holy Spirit
in our lives and being attentive to how heaven is opened and the Holy Spirit comes upon us

Our readings prompt us to reflect on how we are to obey God’s laws through loving God and our neighbours as ourselves. The way of God, God’s law is ultimately, near to us it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe’, written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leading us into all truth and as St. Paul says that we may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding…. [growing] in the knowledge of God.
As we are reminded during NAIDOC week of the reconciliation and healing that needs to take place within our nation with our Aboriginal people, the question asked by a lawyer, in Luke’s count of the Good Samaritan `Who is my neighbour’ is central
to this process. This story, is full of rich symbolism, metaphor and meaning. We are the person who travels from Jerusalem (the heavenly City), to Jericho (the lowest place on earth), this is our soul’s life journey. We are beaten up by robbers, the powers of darkness, and neglected, shunned by those who practice the law but have not come to realise its foundation of love. Our healing is to recognise Jesus in the Good Samaritan, who, in transcending human divides, in this case religious differences, takes the broken soul
to the Inn, the Church to provide for our healing. We are called to imitate Jesus, in recognising that everyone
is our neighbour and the church is to be a place of healing . We reflect upon how our church, our faith community
can grow as a place of healing.

Luke, chapter 9, verses 51-62
All James and John can think about is that they are now in the same position as
Elijah in the Old Testament. If they meet opposition they want to call down fire from
heaven. But that’s not what Jesus’s journey is like. It’s not a triumphant march,
sweeping all resistance aside. It is the progress of the gospel of the kingdom, and as
we know from Luke 4 that means the message of love – of a grace so strong, so wide
-ranging, and so surprising, that many will find it shocking.
Including, it seems, many who see Jesus and think it would be a fine thing to follow
him. The people who speak to Jesus on the road are like the seed sown on rocky
ground or among thorns, in Luke 8. They want to follow but have conditions attached.
The challenge to move forward, to journey on with Jesus, comes over loud and clear
in the last line: No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the
kingdom of God.
The question comes home to us with renewed force. Where is Jesus asking us to
travel, not yesterday, but tomorrow? Are we ready to follow him wherever he goes?
N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, in ‘Luke for Everyone’ A reflection from Rev Dr Jim Connelly

Looking to Jesus: A Journey in Faith Seeking Renewal in Christ

Travelling with our companion or companions, sharing the journey, as we reflect on questions of Faith, the Scriptures and pray together. The end of this journey, our Journey, is in sight. We are going home, coming home Ascensiontide: Jesus ascension into heaven in our waiting upon the Holy Spirit
This week, we have stood with the disciples watching Jesus taken up into heaven and heard how he will come again as we saw him go, and we are to wait, in prayer, to be empowered by the Holy Spirit
We continue to reflect upon
 how, as noted previously, Jesus ascending to the Father on Easter Day, began a process of transformation, that began with his death and Resurrection and culminated in His Ascension. This was the spiritualisation of his physical being, of his humanity being assumed, in some mysterious way, into his divinity and in this process how the whole of creation, every living being, is being transformed, being transformed by the Spirit. Jesus promise ‘and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people (all things) to myself (John 12:32), is being fulfilled.
 The importance of prayer, both communal and personal, in waiting upon God, the gift of the Lord’s prayer, the prayer that Jesus gave us to say and how praying for revelation is central to our prayer life. (Ephesians 1:15ff)
 How we experience Jesus making God’s name known to us, and continuing to make it known, so that the love with which God has for Jesus may be in us and Jesus in us
 How Jesus prayer that we be completely one, in concluding the Last supper, emphasises the importance of us being one.
 How are we to become one, amidst the fractured nature of the church throughout the ages and today.
 How are our robes washed and have we come to the time when we can eat from the tree of life? What are the ways we can take away from the prophecies.
 How we describe the way of salvation’.  The conversion process as recorded in the Book of Acts and particularly in today’s passage. Paul spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay’.
 How God works through natural phenomena.