|Pen and Ink Reflections||
Our little confirmation group had a spirited conversation last week, looking at Scripture and how it came to be formed and how we might now interpret it. We were helped along by the early realisation that most of us have what was described as a ‘pick and MISS’ relationship with scripture. Now if that idea offends you, you might want to shut your ears for a few minutes. What we meant was that not all of scripture nourishes us – and certainly not all of scripture nourishes us all, all of the time. In fact, some of it could be seen as down-right dangerous and bad for our mental health. This brings us to today’s parable – which quite frankly I might have been inclined to put in the ‘miss’ bucket. It is attributed only to Matthew, which might give us pause to begin with, and its sentiments seem to run counter to much of what Jesus says in other places. But here it is in the lectionary, so what are we going to do with it?...
address by The Revd Dr Jon Inkpin and the Revd Penny Jones to Toowoomba Marriage Equality meeting, 17 April 2016
It is sometimes said that ‘you are either part of the problem or part of the solution’. In our case we are very much connected to part of that which indeed is often the problem, but we also hope we can be part of the solution. For we have been married to each other for 30 years, presided at marriage ceremonies for about 60 years between us, and shared both amazing joys, and, sadly, many tears with many LGBTI friends and family members for so much unnecessary pain, abuse, and rejection. So, above all, want to affirm three things which we feel are at the heart of this issue, and at the heart of Christian faith - namely: love, valuing everyone as part of God’s image, and being and growing family. We feel we need to say something briefly about two things which some misuse to hold us back: Christian tradition and the Bible. And we want to suggest three key areas of resistance. In doing so, we hope and pray for a speedy end to so much unnecessary suffering and look forward to many more tears of joy as marriage is extended and grown.
We would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet, the Jarowair and Giabal peoples, their elders past and present. And we do so, because this helps us nurture respect, deepen relationship, and find renewal for us all – which, of course, is what marriage equality is also about at its best. For from a Christian point of view, marriage is about sharing in the ultimate mystery of love. We only have to go to the opening words of scripture from our Anglican marriage service to see that: ‘God is love’, we say, ‘and those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them’ (1 John 4.16). For Christians, that is the heart of the matter: where is love in all of this? In the end, what would Jesus do?...