The time has come at last and the skyline of Sydney cries out in anticipation. Expectant tremors jitter through the city's spiritual faultlines as an excited and jubilant populace prepares for the long awaited event.
From all across the country, and indeed the Asia-Pacific region, pilgrims are flocking to the city, hoping for a week of liturgical rejuvenation and maybe, just maybe, a hint of doctrinal excitation. Desperate for the fabled chance that they may stand in the presence of their revered religious leaders and gain some small part of the blessings which purportedly manifest themselves around the very presence of these most holy and righteous of people.
Across the urban landscape, the infrastructure braces itself for the most testing, but also rewarding and redeeming challenge since the Olympic games.
It promises to be the most uplifting, awe-inspring and culturally revolutionary ... Hillsong Conference in recent memory.
I've been laughing all week at the ads on the radio talking up "the biggest line-up of special guests ever" that are presenting at the conference this year. I'm pretty sure the Catholic Church has got them thoroughly trumped no matter how many American super-pastors they bring out.
I was listening in amused horror to the radio broadcasts this morning coming live from Homebush where the convention is held. The presenters were giving the regular morning traffic reports, which went something like this: "Slow traffic this morning along the M4 due to ... The Hillsong Conference! (exultant cheering in the background) Major delays for east-bounders are expected." Woo-hoo! We're causing such a public nuisance that it made the traffic report! Lost the plot much? Throwing huge conventions is fine if you go for that sort of thing, but rejoicing in the inconvenience they cause seems a little bit... dumb.
Sigh. I can't wait until next week when things get back to normal...
Far from home
Garry with 2 Rs