Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch newsletter 6 June 2021

Peter Siddle is one of my cricketing heroes. In case you don’t know who he is (I’ll pray for you), he’s a right-arm fast-medium bowler who has retired from an illustrious international Australian career, and now plays for Tasmania – he was a long-term Victoria player – in Sheffield Shield, and for Adelaide Strikers in Big Bash. He was never a big-name multi-wicket taker like McGrath, Lee or the current crop (although he did take a hat trick in an Ashes tour). His value lay in being completely dependable, keeping a nagging line and length, and so frustrating opposing batsmen that they would play silly shots against the frontline bowlers who had them caught outside off.

I’m sure that there is a spiritual point to be made here, but I haven’t thought what it might be, and it’s not what brought Siddle to mind anyway.

I have a couple of things against him. He’s a Bushranger (Victorian), or was. And he’s vegan. I look askance at vegetarians (if vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?) and vegans. And people who don’t eat fish, or shellfish, or liver, kidneys, and lambs’ brains. OK, shellfish might feature as a serious allergy, I’ll let you off that if you’re clinically allergic.

But I’m dead wrong to do that. Romans 14:3 “The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.”

Oh, and when I was young I thought that people who used liturgical prayers were weird, and now in my dotage I think that people who don’t are even weirder. Just as wrong. Colossians 2: “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

We all have prejudices about how things should be done, me as much as anyone. I must ask myself, how does this map to First Corinthians 10: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

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