an embryo of hope

for Port Phillip Prison tomorrow… still to be tweaked


We’ll be laying out a different image of the balloon girl in the centre of the worship space – towards the end of the service we’ll invite the men to light tealights and place them on the balloons… i love this image, but couldn’t find it in high res so we’re going to print it out small to give to each of the men with the following meditation attached. The bible reading will be Luke 1:26-38

there are few things more fragile
than an embryo of hope

given its chance of life only by those who say ‘yes’
to its promise

like the prophets who said yes to God’s urging
Mary who said yes to an angel
and Joseph who said yes to his Mary

like the people of faith through all of time
who have said yes to the promise of love

and as we sit by the side of our wall
– whatever that wall might be –
surrounded by the rubble and rubbish
of broken dreams and lives

what faith does it take to imagine
an embryo of hope
being brought to life here?

what ‘yes’ are you able to say
for it to be born in our world?


  1. Cheryl, I remember the first time I went into a prison…I was to put it mildly, scared to death. Not of the men…but that I really in a sense had nothing tangible to offer. What could I really say that would change things. Hope in the context of prison is different than hope in a comfortable church pew in suburbia. Many were murderers, waiting out life sentences. It was funny talking to one man who had been in prison for 24 years, and might be getting out in a couple of years. At the end of our conversation, mysteriously as if out of know where, like the balloon in your image, hope gently lifted. I simply asked him, ” what he hope for.” He hoped he’d be a better person, that he’d be able to mend the broken relationships with family, he hoped he wouldn’t go back to a life of addiction and violence. It just went from there to talk about a God of hope, you is hoping for exactly the same things.Hope isn’t just the future…it’s finding its peace, and rest in the moment.The more we live in hope, the more the embryo takes the form of real life. I send my prayers with you. Shalom.

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