Thursday, December 18, 2008

Newborn beginning...after Caesar

We live in the midst of empire,
awaiting the birth of the baby the angel foretold.

Caesar decreed a census, everyone counted;
Caesar intended to have up-to-date data for the tax rolls;
Caesar intended to have current lists of draft eligibility;
Caesar intended taxes to support armies,
because the emperor, in whatever era,
is always about money and power,
about power and force,
about force and control,
and eventually violence.

And while we wait for the Christ Child,
we are enthralled by the things of Caesar –
and all the well-being that comes from
such control, even if it requires a little violence.

But in the midst of the decree
will come this long-expected Jesus,
innocent, vulnerable, full of grace and truth,
grace and not power, truth and not money,
mercy and not control.

We also dwell in the land of Caesar;
we pray for the gift of your spirit,
that we may loosen our grip on the things of Caesar,
that we may turn our eyes toward the baby,
our ears toward the newness,
our hearts toward the gentleness,
our power and money and control
toward your new governance.

We crave the newness.
And while the decree of the emperor
rings in our ears with such authority,
give us newness that we may start again
at the beginning,
that the innocence of the baby may
intrude upon our ambiguity,
that the vulnerability of the child may
veto our lust for control,
that we may be filled with wonder
and so less of anxiety,
in the blessed name of the baby we pray.

(Walter Brueggemann, Prayers For A Privileged People)

The 08/09 veg season

Back in late September I dug over and planted out my veggie patch. It's been a year in the making, having removed two huge stumps, composted, and pulled out three buckets full of little river pebbles. So these were the before and after pictures:



I now have zucchini, tomato, strawberries, onions, pumpkins, beans, basil, cucumber, and various kinds of lettuce in there. Then there's the pots with capsicum, carrots, roquette, and lemon, lime and orange trees. And all of this companion planted with nasturtiums and marigolds.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

meanwhile, outside the world trade centre

I went to the World Trade Centre today, because that's where Thales is*, and I'm leading a group of NCYCers on a peace experience (we were thinking about vigiling outside Thales, but probably won't now). Anyway, just over the road, on the steps that lead to the train station, was this lovely piece of graffiti.

* Thales in Australia is ADI Limited, the largest supplier of weapons and military equipment to the Australian Defence Forces.