Posts by John Barr

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THE LITTLE GIRL IN HER BEST DRESS

by John Barr

Eshoroma lies on a woven mat in a crude bamboo shelter. This two year old is wearing her best dress as her mother gently strokes her hair. This is not a happy family reunion. Nor is it a time for joy and celebration. Little Eshoroma is being prepared for burial, the victim of disease that […]

THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

by John Barr

Christmas in my family has always been a little mixed up. When we lived in Indonesia gift-giving took place, not on the December 25th, rather, it took place on 5th – the Feast of St Nicholas. This is a tradition inherited from the Dutch. Christmas then continued through December 25th (Christmas One), December 26th (Christmas […]

REFORMATION 500th ANNIVERSARY

by John Barr

500th ANNIVERSARY OF REFORMATION A “hero-protestant” who “re-founded” Christianity or a “wild boar who was let loose in the vineyard? Renewal almost as profound as Pentecost or the unleashing of sectarian schism in the church and the creation of mayhem across all society?” In a recent presentation to the NSW Ecumenical Council, Bishop Mark Lieschke, […]

A TRAGIC WEEK

by John Barr

A few we weeks ago, on a Sunday, a lone gunman stormed a worship service and massacred 26 people as they sang in the First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, Texas. Then on the following Tuesday morning a vehicle crashed into a classroom in Greenacre, here in Sydney. Two little boys were killed. Meanwhile, an 82 […]

IS THE SKY FALLING IN?

by John Barr

“It’s a debacle!” This is how the current state of our federal parliament is being described by some media. I know it’s important to sell newspapers and hold a TV audience. But a “debacle”? “Debacle” refers to a sudden downfall, a rout or a defeat. Here we refer to a “total failure”, a “right-off” or […]

A SPECIAL KIND OF FAMILY

by John Barr

What kind of buildings around the world serve to inspire you? What kind of buildings leave you breathless because of their sheer magnificence and beauty? The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, left me stunned and awe-struck as I rounded a curve after an arduous trip by car from Delhi. Then there was Sikh Golden Temple […]

GOD PROVIDES

by John Barr

GOD PROVIDES My first placement more than 30 years ago was as a lay missionary in Indonesian Timor. Together with my wife and our four month old baby we boarded a flight to Denpasar and then Kupang with around 50 kilos of luggage and nothing much more. The rest of our belongings were to follow […]

A REMARKABLE STORY

by John Barr

Today we focus on the remarkable story of Mary and Martha. We read this in Luke 10:38-42. Mary and Martha are sisters. But that’s where the similarity ends, it seems. Mary is cool and collected. Martha is anxious and distracted. And this becomes particularly obvious as Jesus is welcomed into their home. Mary welcomes the […]

JON SNOW FOR PM?

by John Barr

On Election Day I must admit I became rather lost as I attempted to fill in the massive white Senate paper. Instructions were to either number six boxes above the line or number a minimum of twelve boxes below the line. My attention was drawn to below the line. But I must admit I ran […]

FOLLOWING JESUS TODAY

by John Barr

When Omar Mateen stormed the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando USA last Sunday with an AR-15 type rifle and a handgun what was he on about? Was it an absurd passion for Islamic State or a bizarre longing for the establishment of a fundamentalist Muslim Caliphate? Or was it a sinister hatred for gay people and […]