Thanks and Praise

Thanks and Praise
Pentecost 18; Luke 17:11-19
Between Samaria and Galilee –
conflicted space –
he made that journey to Jerusalem.
He set his face
to meet the fate the leaders planned for him,
death and disgrace.

Ten lepers cried, “Have mercy on us, Lord!”
(not coming near.)
He told them they could go and show the priests
their skin was clear.
They went rejoicing, finding they were healed:
no-one need fear.

Just one returned – despised Samaritan –
praised God and knelt.
“Of those made clean, where are the other nine?”
This stranger felt
true gratitude and honest praise of God –
distinctions melt.

Of ten made well today, would one be moved
to kneel and praise
the Christ whose death can heal our ailing world
and darkened days?
Let gratitude and awe turn back our feet, 
and mend our ways.
	Barbara Messner 3/10/2022

Growing Faith

Growing Faith
Pentecost 17; Luke 17:1-10
“Increase our faith,” they asked, as though he could
hand them more faith like cake upon a plate.
Their seed of faith was little understood
if they believed great faith would make them great.
They wanted power beyond what’s meant to be;
he mocked their wish to use their faith for gain
with showy tricks, tree planted in the sea,
when greater faith means service, hard and plain.
We work for love and not for a reward,
and kingdom wisdom stirs insights we own.
No riches earned, no brownie points are scored;
we stretch our faith in action, know we’ve grown.
The living Christ works with us, shares the pain;
that partnership restores our joy again.
	Barbara Messner 28/09/2022

At the Gates or Beyond the Chasm

At the Gates or Beyond the Chasm
Pentecost 16; Luke 16:19-31
Are we the rich ones at whose gates the poor
now starve for lack of food we well could spare,
while here our wasting comes from wanting more,
unbridled growth that robs the land and air?
Then will our laden tables soon be turned,
and wasteful plenty fall in the abyss?
Will we then thirst for hope from those we spurned,
and feel the fire consume our barren bliss?
Is it too late to learn new ways to care,
and fill the chasm threatening the Earth?
First Nations’ elders and bold prophets dare
to stir us to bring country to new birth.
It’s time to hear, before our time has fled,
the words of someone risen from the dead.
	Barbara Messner 21/09/2022

Dishonest Managers

Dishonest Managers
Pentecost 15; Luke 16:1-13
He said, “You can’t serve God and wealth,”
but greed seduces souls by stealth.
There’s some that dominate by maleness,
claim entitlement through paleness.

Slanderers are seeking votes,
and politicians turn their coats.
Some bribe, or tout for media fame,
or trade on their ancestral name.

There’s those who purchase plastic beauty,
make a show of faith and duty,
use publicity as lie fest,
build the high rise that is highest.

Returning Jesus to the tomb
for profit’s sake leads on to doom.
To serve the resurrecting power
is Earth’s best hope at this late hour.
	Barbara Messner 13/09/2022

Lost Sheep, Lost Coin

Lost Sheep, Lost Coin
Pentecost 14; Luke 15:1-10
Sometimes you turn around,
when you are lost and know it.
Then you begin to find yourself,
and are almost ready to allow
the compassionate God to find you.
Knowing how you have wandered,
let your pride go and dare to call out,
wanting at last to be heard.
Go to stand on a high, bare place
where you hope to be seen and to see.

Sometimes, despite your value,
you are dropped through a hole and roll
out of reach to a dark, dusty corner.
It takes shifting of rugs and tables
and vigorous sweeping and weeping
to dislodge you from that crack
and out into the searcher’s light.
Then there will be rejoicing.

Can it be true that God prefers
to search for the fallen and lost
than to keep the complacent ones
in their stagnant security?
If God cares to search like that shepherd,
or the woman with broom and lamp,
then rejoice, for all is not lost
in our wandering, blundering world.
	Barbara Messner 7/09/2022

Ears to Hear

Ears to Hear
Pentecost 13; Luke 14:25-35
He bids us listen if we’ve ears to hear.
I spin these words to tune out random noise,
and find good news amidst the static fear,
but contexts change, our meanings mask his voice.
He spoke of hate to crowds he knew were drawn
by love of healings, supernatural powers.
He warned them that disciples might be torn
from loved ones, life itself – mass fervour sours.
Around me I see crowds who might admire
some sports or pop star, but can any hear
that faith might heal, or spirit might inspire?
Our culture’s mindset tunes out priest or seer.
How can our churches estimate the cost
of building towers when space for God is lost?
	Barbara Messner 31/08/2022

All Who Exalt Themselves Will Be Humbled

All Who Exalt Themselves Will Be Humbled
Pentecost 12; Luke 14:1,7-14
To claim a place of honour, people scheme;
ambition may be sourced in selfish dream.
Tycoons and politicians lead the race,
but what’s the truth behind the public face?
Here real humility is seldom seen;
the term “low down” is spoken to demean.
Good life is not a ladder at a wall;
the first to climb risks being fast to fall.
Feet on the ground may save the toppling Earth,
if sharing can become a sign of worth.
So set your sights on what is close at hand,
and don’t build mansions on the shifting sand.
Self-serving hasn’t served this planet well,
for fame and fortune leave a broken shell.
	Barbara Messner 24/08/2022

Jesus, raise us up (lyrics)

Jesus Raise Us Up (lyrics)
Luke 13:10-17

1.To a daughter of God’s people,
one whose spirit was in bondage,
comes the One who sets her upright
to become what she can be.
Jesus, raise us up when we are
the bowed ones and the cowed ones!
Raise us, raise us up,
and set us by your side!
Jesus, raise us up when we are
the blind ones and unkind ones!
Raise us, raise us up,
when hope or love
have failed or died!

2.She speaks out amidst her people,
“Praise the God who is our maker! 
Praise the Lord, the Liberator,
and the One who raises me!”
Jesus, raise us up when we are
the bowed ones and the cowed ones!
Raise us, raise us up,
and set us by your side!
Jesus, raise us up when we are
the blind ones and unkind ones!
Raise us, raise us up,
when hope or love
have failed or died!

3.Jesus’ healing brings salvation
from the powers that are enslaving.
Let us seek in us His Spirit
that can set the captives free!
Jesus, raise us up when we are
the bowed ones and the cowed ones!
Raise us, raise us up,
and set us by your side!
Jesus, raise us up when we are
the blind ones and unkind ones!
Raise us, raise us up,
when hope or love
have failed or died!

4.Let us welcome home the exile,
treat the prisoner as our equal,
let us make a place of refuge
for the harried refugee!
Jesus, raise us up when we are
the bowed ones and the cowed ones!
Raise us, raise us up,
and set us by your side!
Jesus, raise us up when we are
the blind ones and unkind ones!
Raise us, raise us up,
when hope or love
have failed or died!
    Barbara Messner (a while ago)

Song: 

Click to access jesus-raise-us-up.pdf

Woman Set Free from a Spirit of Bondage

Woman Set Free from a Spirit of Bondage
Pentecost 11; Luke 13:10-17
She is not the only afflicted one
who is seen by Jesus and called over
on the Sabbath in a place of worship
to be set free and speak out her praise.
They said healing was work, not for Sabbath.
Would Jesus be ritually clean for worship,
laying hands on a woman, one possessed by a spirit?
By what right did she stand there praising God?

She is not the only afflicted one,
bent over, unable to stand straight,
crippled for years but still faithful.
For centuries, women have bent over cleaning,
polishing brass and trimming candles,
teaching children and counting money,
playing the organ and praying to be heard.
There are some who know he has called them,
but have not been allowed to respond,
though they longed for the laying on of hands,
and empowerment to praise God in public.

She is not the only afflicted one
whom Jesus names a daughter of Abraham,
bound by Satan for many long years,
and on the Sabbath set free from that bondage.
She is not the only afflicted one
to hear and be healed by this story,
by the words of Jesus to this woman,
but some remain unhealed and bent over,
while authorities call their bondage proper worship.
	Barbara Messner 17/08/2022

Interpreting the Times

Interpreting the Times
Pentecost 10; Luke 12:49-59
Now how do we interpret present times?
We seldom try to read the Earth and sky.
We all have little screens with message chimes,
computer games to help the day go by.
First Nations walked on Country every day,
respecting Nature and the spirit life.
Their dances, songs and stories showed the way
to live in harmony, not greedy strife.
Did Jesus bring division to the Earth,
dividing those who hear from those who don’t?
Can any human judge another’s worth?
Can those who see tell truth to those who won’t?
Can we repent a culture gone astray
and learn to live on Earth a better way?
	Barbara Messner 10/08/2022