We were honoured to celebrate the baptism of Amy, daughter of Kim and Jon Cornford (ressies 1999-2001) on Saturday at Footscray. They are Common Lifers and, being AFL Grand Final Day, Peter Chapman was in fine form during his sermon…
“That other event being held today that shall remain nameless……”
“Unlike that other event that shall remain nameless you dont have to pay to get into this one…..and despite what many in our society may think….a quaint religious gathering…..this one is infinitely more important!”
More grainy pics & less grainy thoughts below…
“I certainly don’t hope that you will be a winner, or have a successful career or be wealthy…. I don’t care about any of those things….I hope that you will know God.”
The gathered covenanting community was made up largely of Common Life/Rule people and so Peter Chapman chose to speak only briefly about Amy and baptism. He basically said, with the people in the room, she’s got a lot going for her in terms of living spritual hertiage, rolemodels, community etc etc.
Using the scathing poem Only a Jockey by Banjo Paterson Chappo spoke passionately about the many in our world who (especially on AFL Grand Final Day) will never know the riches of Christ and what we have gathered to celebrate in any personally or culturally meaningful way. He called upon us on an occasion such as this to think of and remember them!
AB Patterson in The Bulletin 26th February 1887
‘Richard Bennison, a jockey, aged fourteen, while riding William Tell in his training, was thrown and killed. The horse is luckily uninjured.’ — Melbourne Wire.
Out in the grey cheerless chill of the morning light,
Out on the track where the night shades still lurk,
ere the first gleam of the sungod’s returning light
Round come the racehorses early at work.
Reefing and pulling and racing so readily,
Close sit the jockey-boys holding them hard,
“Steady the stallion there — canter him steadily,
Don’t let him gallop so much as a yard.”
Fiercely he fights while the others run wide of him,
Reefs at the bit that would hold him in thrall,
Plunges and bucks till the boy that’s astride of him
Goes to the ground with a terrible fall.
“Stop him there! Block him there! Drive him in carefully,
Lead him about till he’s quiet and cool.
Sound as a bell! though he’s blown himself fearfully,
Now let us pick up this poor little fool.
“Stunned? Oh, by Jove, I’m afraid it’s a case with him;
Ride for the doctor! keep bathing his head!
Send for a cart to go down to our place with him” —
No use! One long sigh and the little chap’s dead.
Only a jockey-boy, foul-mouthed and bad you see,
Ignorant, heathenish, gone to his rest.
Parson or Presbyter, Pharisee, Sadducee,
What did you do for him? — bad was the best.
Negroes and foreigners, all have a claim on you;
Yearly you send your well-advertised hoard,
But the poor jockey-boy — shame on you, shame on you,
“Feed ye My little ones” — what said the Lord?
Him ye held less than the outer barbarian,
Left him to die in his ignorant sin;
Have you no principles, humanitarian?
Have you no precept — “Go gather them in?”
Knew he God’s name? In his brutal profanity
That name was an oath — out of many but one.
What did he get from our famed Christianity?
Where has his soul — if he had any — gone?
Fourteen years old, and what was he taught of it?
What did he know of God’s infinite Grace?
Draw the dark curtain of shame o’er the thought of it
Draw the shroud over the jockey-boy’s face.
Whilst thinking of children I was checking out jonny baker and found a Dedication of an Infant Liturgy by kester with a cool 3 circles (parents, godparents,community) candle lighting type ritual which I liked.