Australia’s First Peoples
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.Luke 2:1-4
The Romans occupied Palestine at that time. They introduced their laws, economic system, military, politics, social etiquette and religion. They brought with them ideas on how to live and behave which were at odds with the Jewish people’s own laws.
Nations have occupied land that is not theirs throughout history. Many of the First Peoples of Australia are seeking Recognition within the constitution and Treaty. Many First People call Australia Day ‘Invasion Day’ as it’s the day they feel their land was invaded and the occupation began. This is challenging for those who are not First Australians but it is something we need to think about very deeply and truly hear.
Have you thought about what recognition in the constitution would mean for many First Peoples? Consider for a moment the amount of time and energy politicians spent on the dual citizenship issue and compare that to the way they rejected the Uluru Statement from the Heart earlier this year.
Let us pause to remember that the land we stand on now is the land of the Wurrunjeri people. We pay respect to their elders past, present and emerging, and commit ourselves to the work of reconciliation with Australia’s First Peoples.
You made all things beautiful.
You created the planets, the landscape, the fauna, the flora.
You created all life including us, all of us without exception.
Help us to recognise where we fall short to live out your commandment to love one another as you loved us.
Help us to see that our way is not the only way.
We pray in the name of Jesus who became one of us,