Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch newsletter 23 May 2021
I’m back from what has turned out to be the best Ministry Retreat since I’ve been in NQ/Carpentaria Presbytery (my fourth). We returned to Cardwell from last year’s flirt with Cairns. Cardwell of the scrumptiousest crab roll known to personkind. Cardwell of a room directly facing Hinchinbrook Island (and Goold Island, which you’ll see in a sec). I love the place. I read in three days what might have taken three weeks or more of interrupted Real Life®. I spent lovely time with my colleagues, drawn from many different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Especially, I enjoyed exploring and discussing living in community, following one of the historic monastic rules of life (Carmelite, in the case of Rev Craig Mischewski who is offering an intentional community in Weipa). And dabbled in proselytising for the Carpentaria Presbytery Pipe-smokers’ Guild.
Now, Goold Island. My room looked straight across to it. The much larger Hinchinbrook Island is to its right. The rising sun almost bisects them as it floats up like a great orange luminous balloon above the Coral Sea.
It is an awesome sight, worth getting up for (at a civilised 06:35 at this time of year). It put me immediately in mind of Malachi 4. “The Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in its rays.” The prophet has been doing what OT prophets do, acting as antetypes for Private James Frazer in Dad’s Army, “We’re all doomed.” But he switches to OT Prophet Mode 2 (ie that was the bad news, here’s the good) with that promise of a Sun of Righteousness. But wait - we can’t just laze around gazing at the awesome sun, as I did each morning. Malachi goes on, “And you will go out and frolic like calves released from their stall”.
After great instances of blessing in scripture - Pentecost, of course, this Sunday - God’s people are told don’t just sit there, go out and tell people about your blessing. OK, not everyone can go into all the world and proclaim the gospel, baptising in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, but you can do your bit of the Great Commission. And frolicking might be a stretch, but the joyful demeanour which it implies can be your demeanour as you let your family, your friends, your neighbours, your workmates, your school and university pals, the barman at the Kirwan Tavern, whoever, know that light has come into the world, the darkness has not overcome it, the Sun has risen, the Son has risen, with healing in his wings.