Wilderness – Outback

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge that we are on the land of the Kaurna people, the traditional custodians of the Adelaide Plains. We are awed that they celebrate the religious significance of place, plant and all living creatures; and that care for the earth is implanted in their law. We honour them and also delight in the sacred in our midst. We pray that in the power of the Holy Spirit we might work together for reconciliation and justice in this land.

Romans 8:18-27 CEV

I am sure that what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us. In fact, all creation is eagerly waiting for God to show who his children are. Meanwhile, creation is confused, but not because it wants to be confused. God made it this way in the hope that creation would be set free from decay and would share in the glorious freedom of his children. We know that all creation is still groaning and is in pain, like a woman about to give birth. The Spirit makes us sure about what we will be in the future. But now we groan silently, while we wait for God to show that we are his children. This means that our bodies will also be set free. And this hope is what saves us. But if we already have what we hope for, there is no need to keep on hoping. However, we hope for something we have not yet seen, and we patiently wait for it. In certain ways we are weak, but the Spirit is here to help us. For example, when we don’t know what to pray for, the Spirit prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words. All of our thoughts are known to God. He can understand what is in the mind of the Spirit, as the Spirit prays for God’s people.

Mark 1:9-13 CEV

About that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. As soon as Jesus came out of the water, he saw the sky open and the Holy Spirit coming down to him like a dove. A voice from heaven said, “You are my own dear Son, and I am pleased with you.” Right away God’s Spirit made Jesus go into the desert. He stayed there for forty days while Satan tested him. Jesus was with the wild animals, but angels took care of him.

Reflection

Wilderness is a place we all need to experience a few times in our lives. Places to get things straight & true. Places where we can be close to God without the usual distractions. Those big wilderness areas may be somewhere we can only reach on holidays. Flinders, Central Aust. WA etc.
Bound by the urban environment we could get to a nearby national park. Belair, Mt Lofty, Hallett Cove. Or a local park like the Wetlands on Oaklands Road.

Find somewhere experience renewal somewhere to sit and stop. To then gaze around for a while before beginning your conversation with God. Your conversation may be one of joy as God, like ourselves, does like good news stories. Or else, your conversation may be of confusion or of struggle. No matter the need, remember to make Wilderness time.

Prayers of the people

God of the wilderness,
we pray that we can better aim to protect, live with, and defend the wildness at the core of our beings and around the world.
Hear our prayer.

We pray for the restoration of full and flourishing life across the world,
in places that have seen destruction from humans and natural disasters.
Hear our prayer.

Help us to remember our connection with all elements of creation,
and to embrace that connection with exuberance, joy, and our full energy.
Hear our prayer.

For what else do we pray today?

(Invite the people to offer individual prayers, either silently or aloud.)

Hear our prayer.
Amen

Seasons of the Spirit