These words, plus a couple of others, were what I said to the Reverend Lorna Green on Sunday after I walked from the lectern to the table after the notices on Sunday 8 October...
I had a sense that 'something had happened'.
Perhaps others did not experience it the same way. Indeed, maybe some hated it, and I have put them off our church community. I was afraid of that possibility as I began to speak.
And yet - in all honesty - apart from publicly reading the bible and saying the words of institution at Jesus' last supper - I can't shake the idea and feeling that what came out of my mouth was the most "sacred" speech I have ever uttered. When I began to speak, and the usual reasonable and reasoned (this is what I aim for anyway!!) articulations gave way to an increased measure of spontaneity - it was like the Spirit took the wheel. The words of Jeremiah in the 20th chapter of his book came to mind - "within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot."
I am suspicious enough of myself to posit this in as limited a way as I can. Maybe it was a momentary outlet because I knew, and God knew, that I would be disgusted with myself if I did not speak out - even if in various ways I may have been wrong on the detail. I really hope it is not the case that I was wrong, or under the guidance of a spirit other than the 'Holy' one, but, sinful man that I am...
Nevertheless - I spoke about the proposed Voice to Parliament boldly. I can't really describe the experience in detail, nor do I want to - it was a "you had to be there" moment.
To be clear - I voted 'Yes' on Friday just passed.
As our tremendous student in formation, Rhys Roberts-Brown, reminded me about some of the content of Glenn Loughrey's Synod sermon from Saturday - this Referendum is a culmination of lifelong advocacy by many Elders. People who have lived since before the 1967 Referendum! It's a really big moment in our nation. And - polling is not looking good for those longing for a 'Yes'. I'll be disappointed if the Referendum receives a 'No'. Really disappointed. For the elders mentioned above - I imagine the voice of lamentation and weeping would echo for years.
So - I needed to reflect on this 'event' from Sunday, the voice which proceeded from me, and wanted to put that reflection out there in some way.
In all honesty - I know people in the church which I serve will vote different ways. I love them all the same.
As we sang on Sunday - 'I am, you are, we are Australian'. More - we are the body of Christ. May his Spirit be with us.