This year at church we will be following the 'Season of Creation' lectionary in September.
Year 2. Series B: The Word Series (year of Mark)
People don't have time for long Bible Studies - so I'm trying this...
See how it goes:
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2 To Timothy, my loyal child in the faith:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I urge you, as I did when I was on my way to Macedonia, to remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach any different doctrine, 4 and not to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that promote speculations rather than the divine training that is known by faith. 5 But the aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. 6 Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions.
8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. 9 This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, 10 fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
12 I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. 16 But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
18 I am giving you these instructions, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, 19 having faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith; 20 among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have turned over to Satan, so that they may learn not to blaspheme.
When I was young my dad had a little orange beach buggy bakkie that had a dent in its side panel. It had a clever bumper sticker:
I got banged in the parking lot by some other trucker.
Well I got banged in the parking lot the other day.
Our parking lot at Table View Methodist has some stories to tell.
On Wednesday afternoon I noticed that someone had been sitting in his car for an hour or so in the parking lot so I went to see if he was OK. I noticed he had a bunch of cans of lighter gas / butane on the seat next to him and when I asked him if he was OK he said he would go somewhere else.
But he was clearly high and very sluggish in his movements so I said "no" stay here. You don't have to move. When he tried to start the car I grabbed his keys out of the ignition and dropped them on the ground. He quickly jumped out of the car and attacked me.
And after doing some research today I went to the doctor for a medical examination and ask him to fill in a J88 (Get a J88 form here if you are ever assaulted).
I had to phone the police station again today to find out my case number and who the detective is who is investigating the case. I also had to do some research to see what needs to be done to make sure that justice is done.
Apparently many cases are dismissed because there is no J88 form. The sergeant who took my statement said nothing about getting one. The only reason I knew about the J88 is a friend of mine who is in the dentist business said I must get one (lucky I'm already short of teeth on my right bottom jaw!)
Those who know me know that I love peace and hate conflict. It disrupts my spirit and over the past few days I found myself going through the anger and grumpiness that comes of these things.
I've felt listless and struggled to focus on my work. It has made me aware of how lucky I am to be able to talk to my bishop / superintendent and tell them what happened. I am able to go to the police and lay the appropriate charges. And find out via the internet and friends the correct ways to make sure that justice gets done.
I am convinced that the young man who attacked me should face the consequence of his actions. I know that having a criminal record will be a burden to him - but if when these things happen we don't take action we will allow bullies to have their way in the world.
Things I've learned:
You have to follow up with the police to get a case number etc.
You have to have a medical examination and get a J88 if you are physically assaulted.
There are a lot more websites dedicated to getting away with assault than there are about how to proceed if you have been assaulted.
A criminal record will make it hard to get a job or a Visa etc. But it can be expunged after 10 years if you have been well behaved.
It is tempting to act all tough and not do anything about it but how will the person who attacked me get the help he really needs if he doesn't face the consequences of his actions.
I can also see how justice systems lean towards helping those who have privilege... I have the time, the means and the support to make sure that the case is pursued. If I judge by the online world there is a lot more reward in helping the bad guys get away than helping the good guys get justice.
So, my body is healing quickly - I have thick bones. My mind and spirit are adjusting to what happened - I need to keep my optimistic outlook on life and never lose it. Next time I see someone getting high in the parking lot I'll be a bit more 'strategic' in the help I offer.
Reflecting on Matthew 9:35-10:10 with Rev Angus Kelly and Rev Mpumelelo Masoabi.
Audio Link to 845am Service (Will expire after a few weeks)
Excellent TED Podcast. How to be anti-racist