Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet 22 January 2023

 “Lost property”, on trains, aeroplanes, theatres, even churches (KUC has enough pairs of glasses now to rival Specsavers), is a curio-seeker’s dream. Different organisations have different rules concerning disposal. Most Australian rail authorities, for example, keep items for 2 months before donating to charity, returning official documents to the appropriate body, or destruction. Umbrellas feature prominently in any collection. The Southern Region of British Rail (or whatever they’re called in these privatised days) have, or had, quite a few of my umbrellas over the years. Mostly left behind on the 17:35 from Waterloo to Havant, but sometimes, er, “borrowed” by other passengers. Which puts me in mind of a ditty:

The rain, it falleth on the just

and on the unjust fella.

But more upon the just, because

the unjust pinched the just’s umbrella.

The dittyist’s (is that a word? It is now) muse was inspired by Matthew 5:45, “your father which is in heaven … sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.” (KJV) The massively counter-cultural chapter kicks off with the Sermon on the Mount and ends with the dominical injunction to love our enemies and pray for them. Because that’s how God behaves, He sends sun and rain on righteous and unrighteous alike, no discrimination. Verse 48, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Here, Hebrews 2:10, “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.” See, the Holy Trinity’s perfection is expressed in the Son praying and suffering for us, his enemies before grace reconciles us. “Forgive them, Father …”

We’re sort-of under attack in Townsville (and in every Australian State and Territory, let’s not fall for the ‘It’s all Queensland’ line) by young criminals.  Most of them have not had the inculcation of moral rights and wrongs which we have, so we don’t know how we would behave if we’d been in their shoes from birth. Take sensible security precautions, of course, Matthew 5 doesn’t preclude that. But it does enjoin us to love them and pray for them, because WWJD, that’s what Jesus would do.


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