Belinda Groves – 27 August 2017

Dear Friends

This week our electric kettle stopped working. It is not a big drama. We will buy another one (although Aron wants to buy it together which makes finding a time more difficult) but it has given me an opportunity to reflect on our time here in Canberra.

We bought that kettle in our first week here, and I remember Jim Barr dropping in and being fascinated with the glass see-through panel on the side enabling you to watch the water boiling and the lights changing colour once the water had boiled. There was some suggestion at the time that having come from the bright lights of Sydney we would find Canberra quiet, and that turning off our lights and watching our kettle boil might be the most excitement we would get! That has not proved to be the case!

But it has also given me the opportunity to think back – and try to calculate – all the cups of tea and coffee and hot chocolate that we have made with that kettle, all the ordinary moments as a family, all the times Aron and I have sat down for a quiet chat, all the events that have taken place, all the people we have served, all the conversations that have flowed, all the grace of and hospitality of God that has been present.

It is just a kettle, but – reflecting on Anne Mallaby’s sermon on operational theology and the symbols that speak to us of spirituality – I have realised that it more than a kettle.

It is – for me – a symbol of hospitality, of my opportunities to be guest and host, of my need for others and their need for me. It is something simple and every day and yet so sacred.

There are a few Leunig prayers in this morning’s service – as we celebrate the sacred story in the lives of three of our congregation, but I wanted to include this one for you, too, as it speaks both of teapots and to rising up to new life.

Dear God,

We rejoice and give thanks for earthworms, bees, ladybirds and broody hens; for human tending their gardens, talking to animals, cleaning their homes and singing to themselves; for the rising of the sap, the fragrance of growth, the invention of the wheelbarrow and the existence of the teapot, we give thanks. We celebrate and give thanks. Amen.