I have changed the wording so many times this week that I could fill an incoherent book.
Instead I’m presenting to you, today’s sermon by Rev Ross Pearce.https://highfieldroadcanterburyuc.org.au/assets/uploads/2022/07/HRUC-Sermon-31JUL22.pdf I can’t do better and it’s a fantastic example of taking these prophets, in this case Hosea, that so wonderfully wrote about the messiness of life, family life. Rev. Pearce without being explicit or using theological terminology that could isolate those living in this very messiness today that the prophets saw and used in allegory, beautifully points any reader to Christ.
The real gem, came after this delivery. We have a family worship space at the front of the church, next to the pulpit. After he delivered the sermon he turned his attention to those in that area, and engaged with them, exactly where they were. He did not ask questions about his sermon, he leant down and quietly asked what they had. He like the prophets, entered into their space, the messiness of their lives. Ross taught by example, entering into their space, their lives, their moment just as the prophets have that we cringe at everytime they come into the lectionary.
Now there are two points I wanted to make regarding the Hosea readings that we have had today and last week. One is that they speak into the messiness of our lives, the very realm, of every child and family worker. The second is that too often Child and Family workers/pastors, are thought of as theologically light.
Practical Theology is often separated from the other theologies, but it has not always been that way.
Child Theology taught us to look at Bible passages from the view of the child, Feminist and Womanist Theology has taught us to look at the effect of a passage on Females and female minorities. All preceded by Liberation Theologies. I am NOT suggesting that we create another theology, or lens to look at scripture. I AM though suggesting 1) that we don’t exclude the importance of Biblical exegesis for Child and Family studies, 2) nor should we exclude family passages from our preaching, because we are after all preaching into the messiness of life.
I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.
If these thoughts have inspired you, please attribute this page. Thank you.