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Hirini Kaa speaks about the Christian Practice of Hospitality
Rev Dr Hirini Kaa
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To find out the coyote, Tena koutou katoa and Welcome to our service. This morning we are welcome to those of us gathered here this morning, welcome to. Those of us who've come through the code and the Oakland traffic which never ceases it, seems together here this morning to give. Thanks and praise to God. Welcome especially to our guests, our visitors If our Bishop panaqua, greetings to you, our greetings to you all and greetings to myself. My name is hidden e car and I it's a pleasure and an honor to be here this morning and to be part of the team. Now, here at Saint Matthews. I'll do anything for a free coffee at seems. And when Helen approached me, I should explain I'm from ngati porou. That's My Tribe on the east cape of the North Island, some other people would call us.
In moments of an generosity Nazi blow, because we like the sound of our own voices. So if I'm offered an opportunity to come and talk to a captive audience for an extended amount of time, I would never say no to that. So it's a pleasure and an honor to be here this morning amongst you George, Jocelyn can I called her? And again it's a pleasure to be here. I've along connection with this church. I used to come here as a child. My father, the late honey occur would come and preach as well, because yes, we're from the same tribe.
Obviously and have the same likes.
It's a pleasure to be here this morning to with our readings. This morning to come to share to engage with what God is saying to us at this time. And this morning we're talking about Hospitality. I was looking at the reading of Abraham and Sarah are a couple of other things I lecture at the University of Auckland and history. And theology, I got feedback from my students, um so I talked far too fast.
Sometimes I talk far too slow. So good luck with that. And I also enjoy the sound of my own jokes, so which can be hard to get it time. So if you don't get it, don't worry about it.
This morning, we had Abraham and Sarah, they have my new hoodie come to their come to, their footing, guests, and up at their door. Unannounced, unexpected. As you do.
And Abraham straight away. We must greet these visitors. We must offer them. The hospitality of our household of this place and because that is what we do that is what we do for visitors. And so he says, 20 you going to start preparing things? He says the servant start preparing it. Now I can just imagine Sierra in the servants, just rolling their eyes like as if we need to be told to prepare to welcome our guests, thanks. Thanks A Latte.
Him. There you go. Again telling us the Fairly obvious because that's what we do.
I had an Auntie and Uncle Uncle Gordon car, who happened to be a priest in the church and his wife, Auntie Rosie and they lived in pyro and was always a real, a real honor to go and visit them. My real gift, Auntie Rosie was extremely hard-working. She only got an electric oven when she was like 80 and this was like in the late 1980s. She loved cooking off her wooden stove, range, should The firewood should prepare it. She get up like, four o'clock every morning and start that range up, and it'll run all day. And who particular gift was the gift of cooking, of course, and particularly, who homemade bread? So you turn up at their house and Uncle Gordon. It's a rose Rosey, maybe he's here, go and put the kettle on, get the bread ready. And of course Auntie Rosie and her own way would roll her eyes and just be doing it already. Anyway. Thanks again for stating the obvious and if you are really lucky, you get there, she just prepared.
I'm bread that morning. And if you are really, really lucky, it was still under the tea towel because it was cooling down. And if you are super lucky, it was cool enough. She'd unwrap that bread and you'd have fresh hot bread with butter and probably golden syrup or Jam that they'd made themselves. It was a delight, a treasure. If you're a little bit, unlucky. Uncle Gordon was kind of old school and I was a city boy.
I went to Auckland grammar, right? So your tune up there and the breeder be a few days.
Because Auntie Rosie had made the next bunch and they be this big loaf of bread and if he's a mold on it and I'm going to just pull out this joint, butcher's knife and Momo like he hated wasting kite, you just didn't waste food at all. He just cut the mold off, can't you a piece and you'd be staring at it like it didn't even come in a plastic bag. So I'm not certain how to approach this but you need it all the same because you're slightly terrified of this generosity and hospitality.
But whatever it was it was instinctive that sense of generosity of hospitality of blessing. For those who come to you you came unannounced, you rang, you didn't ring, it didn't matter. They offered the best that they had to offer at the time it was entirely instinctive.
And the same with our story today with Mary and Martha. I picture, I read, I hear the gospel through my eyes through my not surprised. I hear it through my nights borough is and to me, when Jesus travels, the land talking to different people, he's going from madurai tomorrow. He's visiting these different hipuu. These different are we?
These different tribes and their welcoming them into the Amara and they have this ritual oven Counter it. Often includes food, it includes encounter engagement, welcome sometimes not so well and Jesus is often critiquing. This welcome the sense of hospitality kind of saying, where are you? Why are you doing this? How you doing this again? Underpin, the intellectual encounter too often we read this as an intellectual encounter. Jesus coming to share some really big ideas and how the people engage with those ideas.
That's a very important but I think it's broader than that. It's really about this Hospitality. There's broader sense of menarche tongue. Our Maori concept for the sense of Welcome of Engagement is the word menarche menarche Tanya. Can you say it monarchy?
Close enough. So manaaki Tangy, the practice of menarche. So monarchies are very broad word, kind of hard to translate but means Hospitality means, welcome can even mean blessing. So the sins of blessing is tied to the sense of hospitality. The sense of welcome. It's it's alright. It's holistic the sense of Engagement with people.
Jesus is about menarche thing. And Jesus tests, people sense of menarche tongue on a regular basis. Partly this sense are beyond the intellectual. Right? Is because people don't really remember what you said. They remember how you made them feel. Now I could test you with that. Say a week from now I could ring you up or email you or on Facebook. What do you remember from my sermon? Nothing really maybe the word manaaki Tonka but I remember you made some half funny jokes and it was cold.
Because we remember how we feel more than an intellectual engagement in the Western World. We tend to e.r., perhaps towards the intellect direct. You got to watch my class to work this out. The like why are we actually learning anything? That's how you feel. It's more important until you sit your exam will do your assessment but this idea of it's a holistic sense of Engagement. It's more than just great ideas, it's welcoming its Hospitality, it's all around.
To be honest to as a church following in this English European tradition, we're not that good at it. We get people into our building. We have this really deep theological engaging with them and then afterwards. See you later.
Now, I'm not saying, we need to have a hanging at every after every service, not necessarily, but it's that wider sense of Engagement as an Anglican Church. We've kind of don't necessarily have that that. Well, and nowadays people really need that sense of Engagement, I think there's my critique, right? There's my Anglican NT, Anglican thing, you'll get used to, but I'm still here wearing the Rope see. Also, today we have these two women welcoming Jesus onto a motto. Now, in our to put o, nearly all of our ancestral houses. Nearly all of our mud. I are named after woman after woman ancestors for us, when we walk on people onto our motto, we are welcoming them as Evidence of those women, we're welcoming them in the name of these ancestral. Women leaders, it's very important to us.
So, for me, when Mary and Martha welcomed Jesus onto their motto, it's no biggie. It's Perfectly Natural. Come in come in will encounter, will engage with, you will feed, you will feed those with, you will have that sense of hospitality. The sense of Engagement is Old, Henry Williams in the 1830s was writing about going to a motto.
They sit there, they have this, welcome the corona. It's the he starts off the engagement starts off with a woman during a cutting. William Henry, William says it goes for about 20 minutes this Corona, not like nowadays, nowadays, we have a three-minute maybe blast and then we'll have a response and that's that out of the way. Now, that men can do all the important stuff, but it's not our tradition. A tradition was this woman Henry Williams and he's got the most terrible descriptions. He's Dismissive of the whole prices because he refused to actually engage with the mighty world. He just kind of wanted to look at it and change it anyway. So Henry, William says, it starts off with this 20. That's woman stands up and for 20 minutes, does a cut on her? She introduces what they're there for, where they are?
Why they're there through this cutting up, then it's a turn for the men to stand up and do their talk about whatever they think is important. But it starts off with the welcome from this woman.
The Marais is our perfect. Marty model for the sense of hospitality. The motto is all about the sense of menarche, tongue of Welcome of generosity of hospitality of Engagement, especially with new people. And the mother has two front two parts to it. Right? The motto has the part out the front, we're all the ritual takes place, where all the talk takes place with a welcome takes place, the mud. I also has out the back where the Fatality is generated with a food is prepared for visitors where all the facilities are really, the bids are laid down for the visitors.
From our perspective, the front won't work, unless the back is also in place as well. You can go to a motto. You can have the most wonderful rhetoric, the most wonderful oratorio I can be powerful stuff. Powerful, powerful words are, welcome powerful, cutting a powerful songs to follow up. Then you go out for the cup of tea and if it's not up to scratch, if it's not the best that they can offer, now I'm not saying it always has to be power.
Cannot and all those beautiful things or caviar, whatever. Our covenant might be, sometimes it might be cheese and crackers, but it's a really loving cheese and crackers. It's the best Hospitality that they can offer. If that's not there, you leave them on our thinking, actually, I'm not feeling it. Wonderful words out, the front didn't work for me at the back, didn't work for me that Mariah's. Not those people are not the people. I thought they were that sense of generosity.
With Mary and Martha. Today we have both the front and the back it's entirely natural. That Mary sits down at the front with Jesus. I know it's unusual. Perhaps in the context of the gospel and the context of the time for her to be sitting there with the disciples but from me as a Maori. So that's cool.
Of course, she's sitting in on Jesus quoted rule. Of course, she's listening taking part, she probably stands up to welcome them at the beginning. Does I'm here, maybe she doesn't cut on her, maybe she engages in the discourse.
The challenge in this pot is Martha, Martha is doing, who roll. Martha, is fulfilling those obligations of hospitality to visitors.
Martha loses. The plot a little bit around the nature of this Hoyt. Martha comes up to her guests and says, actually, I'm a bit busy at the back. I need my sister with me and Jesus says to who will actually, I think you've forgotten what's going on here. It's not just about me at the front and what I'm doing and this quarter out the front, it's about your sense of generosity your sense of hospitality. You need to remember why we're here.
Does holistic sense of welcome?
They didn't tell you, I don't tell you, if you intend to marry Ministry, our ministry is really set up for a motto. We're not, you can hear from my booming voice. We're not really set up to sit inside four walls and talk heavy intellectual discourse. We're supposed to be outside at the front of a motto and a force nine Gail. It's going to be raining. There's going to be hundreds of people. You've got no microphone. You certainly didn't have time to prepare anything many times. I've gone outside and they told me.
We persisting out that I'm preaching and there's hundreds of people there. This is my ride Ministry and you've got to get across to this people. These Maori people. You've got to get the sense of hospitality. You've also got to reaffirm for them through their Marty eyes. What the gospel is saying in this particular occasion, but that sense of generosity that sense of Engagement is essential to our Marty Ministry. I'm not a Ministry. And of course, there are whole Christian Ministry.
In this engagement Martha's kind of Forgotten a little bit of this Copa. Their sense of who role is just as important as their sisters, their sense of hospitality is what this is all about.
To be honest, that's a good reflection of our society today. We've lost perhaps and New Zealand. Our sense of generosity our sense of hospitality. Our sense of blessing What's the most important part of the Gospel? Love God. Love your neighbor regardless extend their Hospitality that generosity to your neighbor don't question them. Don't ask who they are. The story of Mary and Martha is preceded by the story of the Good Samaritan story of radical Hospitality. A story of those who should have been generous were not those who shouldn't have been generous were the Samaritan extends as Hospitality to the stranger while the others didn't Jesus, is always.
Giving us this point as a society, we've lost that in a lot of ways, homelessness is just the latest symptom. Could we argued perhaps New Zealand's always struggled with that sense of hospitality because we built on colonization quite difficult to say, we've always been a generous Society if we built on the economic and cultural subjugate subjugation of another. However, We are weaker than we have been in some ways. We're willing to put up with the marginalized, the oppressed the week, we're willing to say, well, that's just the way our society should be at the moment. It's a way that Jesus would challenge in my understanding. It's a way that should be challenged. We see to pull your mate out in South. Auckland, extending its mannakee tongue extending its welcome its Hospitality its generosity to the homeless.
Those living in cars to children, it's doing what we should be doing as a collective, as a people, as a nation that we're not doing the motto is just doing what it does. The mottos is living its life of manaaki tongue of hospitality, to be honest to a lot of Maori now struggle with this idea as well.
You'll get a mate where they won't offer hospitality and Lisa have prepaid. There's neoliberal ideology is creeping its way into our Mighty world just as much as it is into all of our T generosity is being challenged and if we lose our sense of generosity as a people, and as a culture, we've lost pretty much everything. We're tuned into individual consumers, who don't care for one another who don't need one.
Another So I see Jesus challenge to Martha as a reminder to all of us of the need for this Hospitality without bounds of this generosity without accounting for cost and of This Love Without End. I'll leave you with those words. It emitting aw, aw. Aw