Kind hearted

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Be kind, tender hearted & forgive one another. Ephesians 4:25-5:2. Acrylic on paper. Mark A Hewitt, 2015.

John 15:7-17. (NRSV)

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be  complete. ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

Bible Reading – Rev’d Mark Hewitt
Message – Dr Deidre Palmer

Community in Christ, Living Compassion and Hope.

Dr Deidre Palmer,
Moderator
Synod of South Australia,
Uniting Church in Australia

God, who sees far beyond our seeing,
who listens far beyond our hearing
and who speaks to us
in the longing hearts of all people
and all creatures,
arouse in us a deep and powerful love
for all you have created.
Amen

Tender Hearted 2, Prayerful Colouring, Mark A Hewitt 2015

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Be Kind

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Tender hearted. Ephesians 4:25-5:2.       Acrylic on paper. Mark A Hewitt, 2015.

Ephesians 4:25-5:2 (NRSV)

So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbours, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labour and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Rev’d Mark Hewitt.
Minister
The Corner Uniting Church.
Warradale, South Australia.

Do’s & don’ts are often listed
to help create a good culture.
Whether that be family or society.
The letter to the Ephesians
was written by Paul
or more likely by someone very close to Paul.
With a list of do’s & don’ts
For the church.
A balance is needed.
If it is all don’ts – it is a very negative place
If it is all do’s – boundaries are not clear.
To be kind to one another, tender-hearted,
forgiving one another.
Put simply –
Be kind is to be Christ.

Grant me the grace, O God,
to know what I should know,
to love what I should love,
to praise what pleases you, and
to cherish everything
that is precious to you.
Keep me from judging simply
by what my eyes see, or my ears hear;
help me to know the difference
between appearance and spiritual reality.
Above all, may I have the grace
always to seek your joy.
Amen.

Thomas à Kempis

Prayerful colouring. Be kind, tender hearted & forgive one another. Ephesians 4:25-5:2. Pen & paper. Mark A Hewitt.
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What we Experience

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One body – Diversity.  Mark A Hewitt Pen & paper. 2015

Ephesians 4:1-16 (NRSV)

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said,
‘When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive;
he gave gifts to his people.’
(When it says, ‘He ascended’, what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

Rev’d Mark Hewitt.
Ministry Team Leader, The Corner Uniting Church
Warradale South Australia.

Paul is giving us an image of the church
It is a body, that is unified or held together.
Unity though should not be confused with conformity.
As God’s glory is reflected in the body it is seen
through a diversity of gifts.
All gifts complement one another
in the work of building up Christ’s body.

Creator of all,
we give thanks that you created us
as unique people with diverse gifts,
that when knitted with others in community.
We build your loving world.
Amen

One body – Diversity. Prayerful Colouring.
Mark A Hewitt. 2015
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What we honour

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Feeding of the many. John 6:1-15.   1999   Mark A Hewitt.   Lino cut & water colour.

John 6:1-15 (NRSV)

Feeding the Five Thousand

After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming towards him, Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?’ He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, ‘Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?’ Jesus said, ‘Make the people sit down.’ Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’ So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, ‘This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.’

When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.


Rev’d Mark Hewitt.
Ministry Team Leader, The Corner Uniting Church
Warradale South Australia.

The miracle of God is bringing us together,
With all our differences; Different tempermants, personalities, likes, dislikes interests, skills, abilities
Bringing us together to work as one.
So that we can bring things into being.
Allowing people to be safe & nurtured.
Allowing people to see & be embraced by God’s Love.
Maybe its in such a community,
called the church, that God’s miracles can be revealed and brought into being.
Maybe we are miracle agents.

Loving God,
may we as your children
notice the miracles that take place everyday around us.
May we too be agents of change
enabling miracles to to place in the lives of others.
Amen

Prayerful colouring: Loaves & fish,
2015 Mark A Hewitt
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What we reconcile

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Limestone Wall. Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. Mark A Hewitt 2007

Ephesians 2:11-22 (NRSV)

So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called ‘the uncircumcision’ by those who are called ‘the circumcision’—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.

Being different or having differences
Is not the problem
We can embrace our differences & rejoice.
The problem is when we build walls – barriers
as a way of dealing with our differences.
We are brought together as one through Christ.
Together we are the house of God.

Breaking down the wall.
Prayerful Colouring. Mark A Hewitt.

Loving God
Assist us in seeing the walls
we build between us and others.
give us the strength to then tear them down.
through your love
may we build a community that
embraces difference and celebrates diversity.
Amen

Sunday 12 July 2015

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What we contribute

Ephesians 1:3–14 (NRSV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance towards redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

We have before us new ways of connecting.
New ways of bridge building.
New ways of being family.

Ephesians gives us a vision
Of what God desires.
The unity of all people even amid difference.

Creator God, you have created a family,
and you invite all people
to become brothers and sisters with one another, and with Christ.
May we heal the brokenness that divides us.
May we grow in love for one another and the earth,
and reflect the unity of your creation.
Amen.