Rubber gloves

During yesterday’s service I was struck afresh by the words “May God strengthen you in all goodness.” So often these are taken to mean, may God help us avoid evil, or may we listen to our conscience. But I think that we are constantly challenged by the world we live in the step up in our goodness. Not only by not doing wrong, but by deliberately doing something that is good, that shows God’s goodness to those God loves.

You see, it’s easy to live this life with rubber gloves on. I didn’t used to use gloves for doing the dishes, or for gardening, but recently I have been trying them out, to see if it makes a difference. Well, yes, the chores are quicker, and I get no dirt under my nails, and my nail polish doesn’t chip as quickly.

But today I was pricking out tiny Kohl Rabi seedlings, and I needed the sensitivity of fingertips, so that I didn’t break the tiny roots. I worked without gloves, and yes there is now soil under my nails. But what I discovered afresh was that I love the feeling of the soil on my hands, its living potential. I love to be so connected with the plants that I can feel the roots coming out of the ground, and I can snug them into their new home like tucking in a  litlte baby!

What would it feel like to minister to our world without gloves on, I wondered? Would I get dirt under my nails, and scratches and scars? If we are going to be really sensitive to the needs of others, we need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to be used up almost. We need to ask God to strengthen us in all goodness, so that our own desires for self-,preservation  are not limiting our ministry.

If I am brave enough, I could tackle a problem in our street, with a family who are not doing well. I could talk to them about how they swear at the little kids, and risk getting sworn at too. I could challenge them on their drinking, and risk getting an empty bottle thrown at me. But if God is strengthening me in all goodness, and if it is God’s idea that I get to be involved in this family, God will be with me, and I can leave the rubber gloves at home, and risk breaking a fingernail!

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Essay: A New Zealand Prayer Book

CHC 2051 Anglican Studies Essay 3

Felicity O’Brien

 

What seem to you to be the most significant features of A New Zealand Prayer Book /He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa as an expression of Anglican worship, especially when compared with the Book of Common Prayer (1662)?

This essay seeks to discover the significant features of ANZPB/HKMOA, looking first at the BCP and the developing needs of the Anglican Communion to find appropriate ways to worship in a changing world. It notes the similarities of the two prayer books both in intention and in content, and some of the challenges of developing ANZPB/HKMOA. Major features of note are changing theology around initiation rites, changing use of gendered language both in regard to human beings and how to address God, and the very ‘New Zealand’ language, both in use of Maori and Pacific languages and in local imagery and poetry.

In many ways ANZPB/HKMOA stands in continuity with the BCP, Continue reading