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Our Suffering: Part 1 - Savouring the Heartache

Where buildings had once fallen, now living souls have fallen into the rubble of anguish and suffering and the dust has stormed across the whole country. This time it’s different. It’s deeper. It’s a level of suffering we are not familiar with, yet it has brought a level of unprecedented togetherness.

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Erin RukaComment
The Albatross & The Angels

The angelic announcement came to these faraway farmers who left their flocks and went looking for the saviour. They found Baby-God in a wool-shed swaddled and placed in a food trough. 

Neon-lit angels announced to stunned shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest!”

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Rebecca ElliottComment
Kiingi Herod Professes Faith in Christ

It’s a big deal when State Representatives visit other countries. So it was only appropriate the magisterial Magi popped in for a cuppa with Kiingi Herod, te mauri o te motu, as Herod would like to believe. He had dodged bullets hard-out and manoeuvred alliances to keep himself as the Royal (with) Cheese of Israel.

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Erin RukaComment
Astrologers Anonymous

Let’s take a look as to who was present around the birth of Jesus: Mary; Joseph; animals; shepherds and Iranian Astrologers. Now let’s just make a note as to who was not there: the big-wig religious leaders of the day. Which in hindsight is unusual considering the 2000-year-old-tradition bent on the opinion that Jewish religion held the exclusive rights to God Inc. Yet no-one of the ‘Cloth’ was to be found at His birthday.

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Erin RukaComment
Joseph: Double-Downs the Super Abnormal

Ok, before we get too excited here, let’s be frank: a virgin birth is nuts! We’re not here to debate biology and magic, but to work with the story the storyteller told. So let’s look for a moment at an unsung hero of the Christmas story, St. Joseph, the patron saint of Chippies (well, of all workers to be precise).

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Erin RukaComment
Theological Woopsies Part 3: Animal Crackers

The Hebrew word for soul, is nephesh. It is described as soul, life, living being, person, appetite, desire, passion and emotion.. The Hebrew language uses the same word to describe both the souls of animals and people. And it is important to note that nephesh doesn’t refer to just a compartment of our being, but the totality of who we are: mind, will, emotion, body, spirit.

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Erin RukaComment
Theological Woopsies Part 2: Host With The Most

In an over use of our analytical tendencies, the Western worldview has created a division between physical realities and spiritual ones. This separation creates what is called a dualism: two independent ideas assumed to be opposites of each other. Yet the Christian faith was founded in a culture that didn’t think that way or have any tension between the seen and unseen.

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Erin RukaComment
Theological Woopsies Part 1: Augustine

Our Christian history is filled with brave characters, who had unique encounters with God and did amazing things, things that we rightly admire and celebrate. But many of these same heroes also acted out dumb ideas because their own cultural presuppositions were left unchallenged. So, in the quest of remembering and to aid us as we create the future, let me share some examples of how an unchecked worldview can trip us up.

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Erin RukaComment
St. Paddy Bonus

Patrick was a man who deeply learned from an indigenous European culture that was not his own, and in embracing indigeneity become a Christian minister of exception. He set a precedent that followers of Christ would do well to follow.

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Erin RukaComment
Changing Names

Well by now, many of you are aware that I have changed my name, either that or people are wondering who Jay Ruka is? When it comes to those who know me, those who know the book and then those, like say, the lady at the post office - depending on the person and the scenario people know me by differing names...

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Erin RukaComment
Pākehā Identity

Alistair Reese is a theologian and historian with particular focus on social reconciliation. He works with Te Kohinga Reconciliation Network in Tauranga. Through the lens of the Christian gospel and recognition of New Zealand history, this network seeks to strengthen the relationship between Māori and Pākehā in this region.

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Rob ByrneComment