Scott Sanders launches our Advent series by getting lost in the bush and finding the humble path - at expense of his pride.
Brooke Prentis is a Waka Waka woman and Aboriginal Christian Leader who serves as the Aboriginal Spokesperson for Common Grace.
Today's reading is Isaiah 11:1-9
I became a Christian at the age of 21. It was an exciting time where I felt invincible. God was on my side. Jesus was my best friend! Fear seemed to be a distant memory.
17 years later, my mantra is still “Fear Not” and “Let’s be friends”!
Over the last seven years, I’ve publicly called non-Aboriginal Christians into friendship with Aboriginal peoples. There have been beautiful moments where people have physically taken my hand, stood shoulder to shoulder with me, and turned up to pray with me.
But this year, I have also found fear, ignorance, and racism. I have been told I don’t have to work because “all Aboriginal people get money from the government”, called an alcoholic because “all Aboriginal people are alcoholic”, been branded evil because “all Aboriginal peoples worship evil spirits”, and told to “just get over it.” These have all been said to me by non-Aboriginal Christian brothers and sisters. In 2018.
Creator God is a God of love, a God of community, a God of relationship. My peoples, Aboriginal peoples, from over 300 nations in these lands now called Australia, have been walking with the Creator since time immemorial.
We fear the destruction of the lands, waters, seas.
We fear the treatment of our asylum seeker and refugee neighbour.
We fear institutions – the government, the prisons, and the churches – where after nearly 250 years we are still calling for Voice, Treaty, Truth.
Will this be the year where creation wins over profit and greed, where welcome wins over torture (a torture we know only too well), where love wins over The Great Australian Silence?
Will this be the year that the lion and lamb, the dingo and kangaroo, the fox and chicken, lie down together in friendship, not fear, solid in the knowledge that we are all connected?
Will this be the year that we take off our shoes and walk barefoot together, feeling the pain of colonisation, racism, theft – stolen land, stolen wages, stolen children, stolen lives – but with that pain instead of fear we strive for hope.
The answers don’t lie with the government. The power is with us, the people.
May we remember the invincibility that comes with the hope of Jesus, the strength of community, and the courage of friendship.
Share this post?
The Peaceful Kingdom
11 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
2 The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
6 The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
9 They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.