Good news for the Sydney Diocese

Posted: October 11, 2011 by J in Church

I’ve just been reading Luke’s stunning account of the ‘sermon on the mount’. Man that guy knows how to energise his story. Jesus comes down from the mountain, Moses-like, radiating power. He calls twelve men to be to beginning of his movement. He’s reconstituting Israel around himself. Awesome. He pronounces blessing and curses like Moses – he’s announcing a new covenant for the new Israel. The moment could hardly be of greater importance, salvation-historically speaking.

It’s what’s in that covenant that’s especially caught my attention. The blessings are for the poor, the disappointed and the outcast. The curses for the rich, the satisfied and the ‘in-crowd’. That’s the basis for approval in this covenant.

Of course it’s a covenant tailor-made to appeal to Israel, poor, oppressed, down-and-out, disappointed about what has become of their nation. But I also see in it good news for our Diocese. We have lost much of our wealth. After years of mission efforts, we are disappointed at a more or less zero net growth (in terms of % of population). We haven’t really made much progress towards that 10% goal, and that’s a real disappointment. And we’re feeling more and more that secularism has pushed us to the fringes of the public arena, we just don’t have much of a voice or a wider audience any more. Our society no longer reveres or respects the church. May don’t care whether we exist or not. We have become a marginalised sub-culture.

But perhaps here is our great hope. Maybe our Lord is finally bringing us to a place where we can hear his Word and make sense of it. Maybe it’s only now we are starting to be in a position to receive the blessings of the new covenant Jesus announced. Because he has good news for the poor, the disappointed and the outcast. Maybe now is the Diocese’s best hour.

Or do we need to go lower yet?

  1. mike says:

    lower lower lower!

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