Monthly Archives: June 2019

Elijah and Jesus: Last Journeys

Rev Hugh Perry
Readings: 2nd Kings 2:1-2, 6-14

Most people remember this story as being about Elijah being taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire, but it is actually about Elisha becoming Elijah’s successor.  In a very kiwi metaphor Maurice Andrew notes that Elisha sticks to Elijah like a paua sticks to a rock.  Three times Elijah tells Elisha to wait and three times Elisha tells him he will never leave him. [1] . Note also that the chariot is the vehicle of divine presence, but it is actually the whirlwind that lifts up Elijah (just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz). Continue reading Elijah and Jesus: Last Journeys

The Lighthouse of You

(Exodus 19: 1-6 & Mark 4: 21-23)

I don’t know about you but as I get older I find it harder and harder to remember what happened yesterday let alone last week. As an example I phoned my mother on Monday she asked me how my weekend was – I made my usual rather vague reply. “Oh yes, you know, just a weekend.”  She makes allowances for this characteristic of mine, so said, “and you all had a good dinner out?” at which point I suddenly remembered my brother and his wife had stayed and we’d gone out to dinner with my nephews. Continue reading The Lighthouse of You

Vulnerability at the Heart of the Trinity

 Proverbs 8 & John 16: 12-15

 Periods of transition are challenging. I can remember at primary school running in relay races when it seemed like the scariest moment was the transition of the baton from one runner to the other. I was terrified I might drop it. Or if it was a swimming relay, the fear was that I might dive too soon and the team penalized. You will no doubt be able to make the obvious link as you and I move through this particular transition as I prepare to leave and you look ahead to a new ministry. This is a vulnerable time and we all feel vulnerable. Vulnerability was at the heart of Jesus’ farewell discourse to his disciples in the gospel of John. Continue reading Vulnerability at the Heart of the Trinity

Pentecost: The Spirit as Interpreter and Translator for the Language of the Heart

Acts 2: 1-20 & John 14: 25-27

New Zealand’s seasons don’t often match up with the northern hemispheric slant on the church seasons but the winds in Canterbury these past couple of days and the gales on the Catlin’s coast suggest a good match for the church season of Pentecost. The wildness of wind and fire characteristic of the Acts narrative has had an uneasy fit in Presbyterianism. I’m not sure the Presbyterian catch phrase ‘decency and in good order’ fits with Pentecost – at least as the author of Luke and Acts understood it. Much better, we might subconsciously think, to go with the quieter gospel of John’s understanding of the Spirit. But actually, when we put the reins on Holy Spirit – when we attempt topre-empt and control how the Spirit moves and breathes amongst us – we run into trouble. We run into power plays, passive aggression, dogmatism, an unwillingness to listen to the language of not only our own heart but of the hearts beating around us. Continue reading Pentecost: The Spirit as Interpreter and Translator for the Language of the Heart