Homilies by Rev. Andrew Collis unless indicated otherwise.
‘End of the world’
There have always been Christians for whom the imminent end of the world is a compelling, sometimes comforting, notion. The apocalyptic imagination conjures fire and fireworks, darkness, judgement – destruction and re-
I think of contemporary fundamentalism (escapist and anti-
Not only does apocalyptic imagination call to mind the brute fact of human limitations (we’re all moving towards the “end” – personally, culturally, historically), it also calls us, as perhaps no generation has ever been called, to address environmental damage and decay – the world of ever-
We’re not about to stamp out apocalyptic thinking, though we should always be prepared to critique narrow-
Last night's SSH end-
I sat with a man at the Sacred Heart Hospice yesterday morning. Five years ago he married the love of his life and set about building a home for them in Mascot. One year ago he received a cancer diagnosis that meant rapid physical decline. He went then for several months to Bali (where he'd lived previously for 12 years), unsure whether he'd return. Then he came back to share his remaining months with his beloved/loving partner. He told me that he'd written 10 chapters of his life story and how many adventures those chapters recounted. He knew the title of his book, too. It's to be called The Last Cracker. Whether the last biscuit, the last firework, or some other cracker ... the title just felt right he said. We shared a pot of tea. He said to me: "I didn't know what we'd talk about but this has been good."
The world as we know it is ever at an end – and ever re-
These are not so much my thoughts as a reworking of our epistle. Peter writes: “… what we await are new heavens and a new earth where, according to the promise, God’s justice will reside … Consider our God’s patience as your opportunity for salvation.”
These verses do what holy Scripture is professed to do – they imbue common anxiety (and superstition) with uncommon grace and hope. They speak into the general knowledge of a time and invite a flowering of wisdom. 2 Peter 3:1 reads: “Beloved, this is the second letter I have written you. I wrote both of them to stir up your honest minds.”
How does the Spirit stir up your honest mind today? What questions are raised for you? What opportunities do you discern for “salvation” – which means wellness and wholeness?
Today, we’ll contemplate this question in silence, complete the homily in silence.
Later we'll commission our spiritual leaders or elders with whom, it is hoped, we will learn to speak into the general knowledge of our time and invite a flowering of wisdom. In short, we have discerned these elders as wise members, or better, as members who are also passionate lovers of wisdom. The ministry of "spiritual oversight" they offer – as pastoral carers, teachers, missionaries, advocates, prophets – will help build our own understanding and development of our ministries.
In Peter's first letter we find this evocative reference to elders: "I send a word of advice to the elders (presbyters) among you. I, too, am an elder, as well as a witness to the sufferings of Christ and a partaker of the glory that will be revealed. Shepherd the flock entrusted to you. Shepherd it, not just out of duty, but eagerly, as God would have it. Don't do it for money, but do it freely. Don't be pompous or domineering, but set an example for the whole community to follow ..." (1 Peter 5:1-
How does the Spirit stir up your honest mind today? What questions are raised for you? What opportunities do you discern for “salvation” – which means wellness and wholeness? ... Amen