Archives For Beauty For Ashes

So I penned some quick thoughts today for an old friend concerned about the state of things in Australia. I’ll post it here as I have on social media, because it might help put some things into perspective for you the same way it has for us.

Remember Italy has the highest older population in Europe. It also didn’t close down it’s borders until late in the game. Whereas Australia, followed the U.S and banned travel pretty much right of the bat – smart decision.

Australia is also an island continent, meaning the cases we have here, shouldn’t increase much more than they have – despite predictions; it can be contained better, and those who are infected can receive better treatment.

I think the bigger concern for us, is trade, the economic impact – purely because we are an island continent and import a lot of goods. This could be a good thing, though for local producers, though, as demand for their product increases, simply because it cannot be sourced anywhere else.

I’m not saying the COVID-19 issue is going away anytime soon, or that it’s not serious, it is. I’m saying our ability, say as compared to Italy and Spain to contain, treat, and slow infection rates, is far greater. Due largely to decisive, unpopular action early on from Morrison, and his continued vigilance, through working with Labor, and state governments in a “war cabinet” in order to better serve the needs of Australians.

He’s clearly putting party divisions and politics behind him in this regard, which is good leadership.

So a) we are already, as a nation, socially distanced because of our geography b) we have a war chest, so we’re better positioned economically, thanks to good management of the economy c) we have a leader who has taken the reigns and pushed beyond petty political manoeuvring (such as the Greens are doing) in order to see us through.

Strategically speaking we’re doing well so far. Let’s hope and pray it stays that way.

I’m not sold on the “things will never be the same again”. Neither should you be. This was said after 9/11, and sure things did change regarding security etc. But we’re smarter and understand a lot more about our world because of the event – call it beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3).

I believe the same Biblical example applies here.

We can either learn from this and improve ourselves, both as a society and as individuals, or fail to recognise what generations before us have. That even ‘in suffering we should aim to affirm life’ (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

We should recall that deliverance is the point of Easter. God cares for humanity, and has made Himself known through his covenant with Israel and in Jesus Christ. God redeems the irredeemable. We are not abandoned, though we may find Him silent from time to time. He isn’t beyond liberating in the present, having already proven Himself to be Our past and future liberator.


Bonhoeffer, D.2012.  God is On The Cross: Reflections on Lent & Easter, Westminster John Knox Press (p.52)

Photo by Ahna Ziegler on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020

.

.

How many white pages remain blank?

Ink, less applied,

.  an empty space.

Quiet and inkless.

Wisdom left aside.

Abandoned as worthless?

This divorce between mind and matter.

No longer weaving together;

.    leaving what was woven

.     to yesterday’s empty praise.

Worthiness splattered over the blue and white walls of false applause.

Oppressed by the easy choice of scroll, repeat and ignore.

Condolences distributed for dignity,

.     shattered, then gathered up, then strapped to the service

.     of insincerity.

Pinned, posted, paraded;

.     contributions constantly measured against sterilized pixels.

Beauty soaked and shivering;

.     beauty left drifting;

.         beauty become hostage;

.            lost, gagged and beaten.

It’s pain become high-priced entertainment footage.

Beauty longing for its pain to be known,

When from ashes, beauty rises with new strength to carry its own

Deep within, the Word moves and lifts the injured,

now flightless,

beyond its cage,

Beauty freed, breathes life onto the page.

No longer vacant, this paper wraps itself around wounded words

Under God, clear vision.

In Jesus Christ, one commission.

Through His Spirit, the death of oblivion.


(RL2017)

‘…I will not leave you as orphans’ 

(John 14:18)

Lent Is A Process

March 5, 2015 — Leave a comment

Like art, Lent is a process. There is no drive-thru or ATM.

Lent can remind us that even in our darkest moments we are loved, guided, empowered, renewed, transformed, forgiven and created for fellowship.

It is within the small moments, which all add up to make the whole that we can truly recognise the importance of faith, truth & connectivity.

Of, trusting God’s lead. Of, capturing the gravity in every season under heaven with all our heart, mind & soul. Recalling that whatever God does, He does well; that ‘whatever God does endures forever’ (Eccl.3:1-14)

Bonhoeffer wrote:

‘We must forego our pious self, so that God can do his work in us. Otherwise our “I will” will almost certainly be followed by bankruptcy.’ [i]

For in Jesus Christ, God seeks us, God stands with us and for us. It is out of His brokenness and faith that we are brought up to safely surrender our own.

‘The glory of the Lord has risen upon you…Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, with no one passing through, I will make you majestic forever, a joy from age to age.
You shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver; instead of wood bronze, instead of stones, iron. I will make your overseers peace. Your taskmasters righteousness.
Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction be heard within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.’ (Isaiah 60, ESV)

Easter Tree nametagged


Source:

[i] Bonhoeffer.D, For\going the Pious Self in Riess, J. (Ed.), 2012 God Is On The Cross (p.30)