A Prayer for NAIDOC 2020 – Always Was, Always Will Be
Loving Creator God,
We rejoice in the beauty of this ancient land and her waters.
We marvel at the awesome way they have been formed.
We give thanks for her First Nations Peoples,
their stories of creation sung by countless Ancestors.
It is right, Loving Mystery that we name the dispossession, violence and bloodshed,
which First Peoples endured at the hands of Second Peoples.
We ask your forgiveness, and their forgiveness, on behalf of our forebears.
We pray for your healing of this land and her Peoples.
We pray that love will make a new way, a harmony way, the way of Jesus.
Today we are grateful, and we celebrate this nation’s true history,
beginning long before time.
The First People of this ancient land who gave them birth,
who gives them life – Mother Earth.
We honour them and share their joy.
You, Wisdom, call us body, call us one,
To walk together, people from many lands,
under this same golden sun, together
First Nations Peoples and all of us who have since come.
Together there is a new song to be sung,
as old as time.
Hear the yidaki, hear the bilma,
the Ancestors call.
Wisdom, help us to listen, to follow, to learn, to grow.
In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.
[Yidaki is the Yolŋu word for digeridoo as bilma is for clap stick]
Stu McMillan, National Consultant Covenanting
Assembly Resourcing Unit
Uniting Church in Australia
- In their video introduction to NAIDOC Week UAICC Interim National Chair Ps Mark Kickett and UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer reflect on 1 Corinthians 12:26.
“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.”
To “honour” in the Greek text is to ‘share in the joy’.
The President says:
“Paul goes on to remind us that we all need each other – working together as the Body of Christ.”
“I am also inspired by First Nations Peoples stories of spiritual connection to this ancient land, of community, of joy, of faith in the power of the Holy Spirit to transform our lives personally and as a country toward justice and healing.”
- Celebrating, sharing in the joy – sharing stories, is the way of life for First Nations Peoples as it was for the Hebrew peoples. See Deuteronomy 6:7-9.
“Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Laws for life are recited, or sung, spoken about, stories told to illustrate. Bound to the body, even painted on bodies and other objects. What can we learn from First Nations Peoples practices and life-giving ways which reinterpret this Scripture, or give deeper meaning?
- Jesus was a great story-teller. You could choose a story like Matthew 18:10-14 (the Parable of the Lost Sheep) to illustrate a simple story told to share a profound promise.