Australia: Black Saturday-Ash Wenesday 2009

Australia: Black Saturday-Ash Wenesday 2009

AND now it’s 210 dead AND more than 2000 houses destroyed AND a third uninsured AND more than a million animals killed. AND an estimated 30 people still missing

AND now it’s 210 dead
AND more than 2000 houses destroyed
AND a third uninsured
AND more than a million animals killed
AND an estimated 30 people still missing 
AND now its Ash Wednesday


The darkness asks us questions.
You are out there and we do not see.
You invite us into the night,
the stillness,the loneliness,the desert place. 

We cannot see our shadow;
the cold damp of unknowing rises up from beneath our feet.
We tread cautiously,tentatively. 

We are afraid,
afraid of ghosts
haunting us with spectres of guilt
and shame. 

We would like to run back,
reach the river bank,
and swim the Jordan,
sit in the sun by the sea,
mending our nets.
But you have brought us here
– with no bread. 

When we look we can see only ourselves,
our darkness.
When we read,
it is invisible words which cannot be grasped,
thoughts we cannot clutch,
hope we cannot capture. 

Yet the wild honey remains a taste in our mouth,
a memory for a new day. 

Why have you brought us here?
What miracle will you perform for us? 

The darkness sighs around us,
dense with your unseen presence,
close to our breathing,
close to our breathing. 

O darkness,enlighten us,
embrace us with your invisible love.
Let us see your glory in the ashes.
Take us by the hand that we may trust the darkness.
Minister to us by your Spirit that we may not be afraid.
Jesus,keep the beasts away.     AMEN

William Loader 15.2.99 
NB This was taken from which circulates not only ideas for Sunday worship,but produces some excellent “first thoughts” on the Sunday lectionary.


*1 in 6 people lack access to safe drinking water
*2 million people,mostly children die each year from waterborne disease
*Australians spend $500 million on bottled water
*Coca Cola uses 1.3 litres of water to make 1 litre of bottled water
*65% of plastic bottles are not recycled 

The World Council of Churches,EWN, invites Christians during this season of Lent to reflect and act on water justice. Theologians and activists will be sharing biblical meditations each week.Check it at: 

*Australian Religious Response to Climate Change:
* The Green Bible – verses and passages that speak to God’s care for creation highlighted in green;contributions by N.T.Wright,Brian McLaren,Desmond Tutu,etc. 

The UCA site carries the most comprehensive collection of resources;NB.There are some excellent recovery and pastoral resources at the end of the list;eg.”After a major event:The recovery life cycle”.There will be other disasters and crisis so file this list away. 

“Memorial hymn for the Australian people”,written by Shirley Murray in the aftermath of the bushfires.