Weaving the kingdom of God

Weaving and re-weaving were employed as a powerful way to understand the God’s love and Kingdom as Rev. Dr Seforosa Carroll and Rev. James Bhagwan led their final morning Bible study on Friday at the 15th Assembly being held at Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne.

After opening worship led by Rev. Dr. Julia Pitman from the Synod of Queensland, Revs. Carroll and Bhagwan again invited Assembly members to participate in talanoa, the Pacific practice of story sharing.

The morning’s Scripture was Romans 5 1-11, which was read out in Korean, English, Samoan, and Arabic.

In the passage, Paul explains how Christians have been justified and reconciled to God through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

“We are called to follow as a people of the resurrection,” Rev. Carroll said.

Rev. Carroll explained how this hope in Christ builds character in adversity and calls Christians to see beyond the limits of the present and bring God’s healing to the world, which could be liked to a weaving of new possibility.

Rev. Bhagwan said that sometimes it was necessary to reweave mats where the strands had become unsuitable.

He said in the Pacific such reweaving had been required to replace strands of theology that were used to justify domestic violence.

Climate change was another example of needing to reweave the way we engaged with God’s creation.

Rev. Bhagwan asked if the Church could “revision each strand in the household mat of God until the mat is big enough to provide justice for all”.

At the conclusion of the study, Assembly members were asked to pick up small wooden crosses and dead leaves from their table’s central ceremonial bowl and reflect on what Christ death and resurrection says about God and says about those he died for.

On behalf of Assembly, Rev. Dr Vicky Balabanski offered thanks to Revs. Bhagwan and Carroll for their Bible studies.

She said Assembly members had been privileged to enter Bible stories with the pair and through their eyes experience fresh things in them.