Church of England Diocese of Blackburn St. Leonard Penwortham

View from the Vicarage - January

31 Dec 2020, midnight

View from the Vicarage - January 2021

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I don’t remember most of my sermons, but I used this story in my first sermon as Vicar here 20 years ago this month!

When there is a bush fire in Australian outback, the wall of fire can travel at 100 miles an hour consuming all in its path. Most animals attempt to run away, most fail to escape. The Dingo is the exception. It digs a shallow hollow and lies waiting, facing the oncoming fire. When it judges the time is right, it runs full tilt at, and through the fire. Generally, they survive, not unscathed, sore paws and singed fur at best.

The story comes from the Australian theologian John Hull, and he describes it as “Dingo Theology”.

It feels like an appropriate theology for our situation. We continue to face difficult times, uncertainty seems to be the order of the days. We can bury our heads in the sand and hope that everything returns to “normal” and we can pick up exactly where we left off. We can try and run away, hoping to find security somewhere. Or we can prepare ourselves and meet the situation head on, we won’t come out unscathed, things will be different, the landscape beyond will be unfamiliar with continuing challenges to face. But we do so knowing Immanuel – God is with us.