21 November 2017



2016
> The Hope of Christmas
> COMPASSION BREAKS DOWN BARRIERS

2015
> Northern Presbytery Moderator Christmas letter
> ANZAC DAWN REFLECTION
> Freedom of Speech or License to Stereotype?

2014
> Advent Hope and Interns
> 200 Years of New Zealand Christmas
> Prayer of the General Assembly 2014
> The Legal High Trade
> REFLECTION ON A JOURNEY
> Giving up for Lent - A Challenge from our Children

2013
> Christmas in the Graveyard
> FAREWELLS
> Mrs Hunters' Tea Party [Hunters Corner named ]
> PERSPECTIVE
> RISKS - HELP US GROW IN FAITH
> EMBRACING DIFFERENCE
> DOING OUR WORK
> 150years – We are part of this community

2012
> The Gift of Many People - Seven Years On.
> The Golden Rule - Don’t Do or Do?
> WATER, WIND and FIRE
> COUNCIL FOR WORLD MISSION at ST JOHNS
> Signs of Spring
> YOUNG, MESSED UP AND ON THE GAME
> REAL WORLD - AND THE HUNGER GAMES
> The Journey to the Cross - An Easter meditation
> Can Jesus Heal Cancer
> CHRISTIAN HERITAGE in PAPATOETOE

2011
> LIGHT ON THE HILL
> LOOKING FORWARD
> GOOD WORDS
> ALCOPOPS and EXCESS DRINKING
> COMPASSION in ACTION
> Christchurch Reports
> Shattered Illusions, Faithful journeys.
> EARTHQUAKE
> The Windows, Images of Faith - Opening Day

2010
> THE CITY CAN NEVER BE THE SAME
> "The Hope that Comes from Faith"
> SPARKING SPARKIES
> ADVERTISING A NON-GOD!

2009
> PRAYING FOR THE COMMUNITY
> DATES THAT COULD DESTROY
> MERCY, JUSTICE AND LIVING IN GOD'S WORLD
> Warmth in the Frost
> GENEROUS GIVING
> Hunter's Corner - A Dilemma of Publiic Space.
> Easter customs to tell the Story
> Our Mother Tongue God is too Small
> Tragedy at Fox Glacier

2008
> THE BIRTH STORIES OF JESUS
> CONNECTING WITH - FAMILIES IN OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD
> WELL If you want it Quiet ......
> Finding Pearls
> Of Winter fuel and things
> Disaster and Relief Work
> Prayer on hearing the News
> Conflict of Interest
> Practical Christian in the community.
> Who are these Christians?

2007
> We still keep singing the Christmas carols
> Getting our pirorities
> Travelling
> Spring flowers shout that life is not dead.!
> Focusing on the task
> Change
> Real Families
> Water - Source of conflict
> Prayer

2006
> Violence and Children
> Faith and Reason
> PEACETIME AND HOPE
> Playdough and PC
> Violence to Children
> Climbing Everest
> Celebrating the Good things
> THE GNOSTIC GOSPEL OF JUDAS
> Focusing on the Essential
> Living with other Faiths
> SuperVolcanoes and other worrying things

2005
> Advent - Saving the Earth Saving its Peoples
> Halloween - The time of the Saints
> Responding to Terror
> Time of Winter
> Noah - a Story of Conservation
> Off the Tracks
> Moving On and Looking Back
> Tsunami Prayers

2004
> Upside Down Christmas
> From Assembly - Dean Drayton address
> In the Community
> Weaving together the threads
> 150 years of History revisited
> July - Faithfulness
> Getting 150 years in perspective -
> Passion -The Film
> Letter From Niue

2003
> Christmas hope
> Maintenance and Mission
> Annual reports June 2002- June 2003
> Who will come to the Party?
> Time to Change
> Unity is Strength
> Prostitution Laws
> Gone Fishing


Minister's Minutes
September 2009

MERCY, JUSTICE AND LIVING IN GOD'S WORLD

Watching the news tonight at a friend's place while we are on holiday was fascinating. There were basically two main items.

One was about killer cows. “Four people have been trampled to death by cows in just over eight weeks this summer, prompting British farmers and the Ramblers Association to warn yesterday of the potential dangers “..A farmers union representative added “Cows are not generally dangerous, They are naturally curious, rather than naturally aggressive, as well as short-sighted, and they will often come right up to you just to see who is in the field with them." But it was important,” he said, “not to let your dog get between a cow and its calf. “

The other was about the release of the Lockerbie bomber -the only one caught anyway- on compassionate grounds. As the beat-up grew louder and the efforts to paint any decision made by Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish Minister of Justice [ this was the devolved Scottish parliament making the decision ] as a political one sucking up to Libya's flakey President Gaddafi for oil, it was clear what the decision should and would be.

Those freed from the decision-making bayed for the blood of the terminally ill man in the name of justice. The families of the bombing victims in the USA were quoted as not being able to see why he should be shown mercy, and the opposition parties in the Scottish coalition government objected loudly to his release – getting plenty of primetime publicity for themselves in doing so – but strangely they didn't take the paths available to them to influence the decision.
The Scotsman newspaper reported that it was established that Megrahi – the prisoner- is about to die, and of a particularly painful disease and that Scottish legal custom dictates that he should be set free. The Washington Times thundered that he is a mass murderer..”Mercy for this man would be a terrible mistake,- a betrayal of all he killed...and everyone who lives under the threat of international terrorism”

I wonder what could have more effect on tempering the hatreds underlying the fanatical terrorist movements?. Keeping a terminally ill man in prison until he died? What satisfaction do the grieving families get from that? - The “eye for an eye” retaliation which keeps feuds alive and fuels further conflicts.. Or the recognition of our common humanity and having compassion on a very ill man even if he has been the only representative of the “enemy” who has been able to be brought to justice .

Kenny MacAskill followed a legal process steeped in our Christian heritage . He was not swayed by the fact that his actions would be exploited by both the Libyans as propaganda, and by his political opponents and the threats .that this would affect the Scottish economy. Releasing Megrahi is the right thing to do. The law of Scotland [and hopefully of New Zealand] is not about vengeance or politics, it is solely concerned with dispensing justice – and justice tempered with mercy. The man is dying; let God be his judge

The killer cows were not destroyed for their actions either, tragic as the deaths were. Walkers, especially those with dogs, were told to keep away from cows who would defend their calves from the threat posed when dogs and humans separated them. They needed to recognise the risks of being with animals and learn to live respecting those boundaries..

In this world where it seems where people claim so many “rights' we need to remember that we do not have the final word. God has made us to live with one another and respect one another. Jesus tells and shows us that God shows us mercy and compassion and gives us the chance to start again and be able to forgive.

Lets us pray that showing justice with mercy in the case of Megrahi, reaches heart and minds and brings some glimmers of peace.


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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