NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community (Source).

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself. Find out more about the origins and history of NAIDOC Week.

NAIDOC week is from 2 to 9 July 2017.

For our mediation this week I thought that it would be appropriate to share this brilliant indigenous version of Psalm 23.

Rev Ron Williams was a “bushie” pastor, traversing thousands of kilometres around the
back blocks of Australia, stopping at Aboriginal camps, visiting prisoners
and others in adversity.

Emu Natural Incubation

By Rev. Ron Williams

My big fella boss up in the sky is like the father emu.
He will always look after me and take me to green grass,
And lead me to where the water holes are full and fresh all the time.
He leads me away from the thick scrub
and helps me keep safe from the hunters, dingoes and eagles.
At night time when I’m very lonely and sad,
I will not be afraid, for my Father covers me with His feathers like a father emu.
His spear and shield will always protect me.
My big fella boss always gives me a good feed in the middle of my enemies.
In hot times he makes me sit down in a cool shade and rest.
He gives me plenty of love and care all of my life through.
Then I will live with my big fella boss like a father emu,
that cares for his chickens in good country full of peace and safety,
Forevermore and evermore.


Why the Male Emu is likened to Father God.  

It is the male Emu that sits on the nest and incubates the eggs. The father is the sole protector and the one who nurtures the chicks.   Leading them and teaching them.

Newly hatched chicks a stay close together and remain with the male for four months. They finally leave at about six months.  Emus are nearly fully grown at one year.

In the footage shared by 7 News, the father of the pack leads from the front, with his flock of baby emus following closely behind.

Indeed the emu, which also happens to be Australia’s largest native bird, seemed right at home as he directed and watched over his attentive followers.

Click Link to see footage of Super Male Emu leading his 40 Chicks.

4 Comments on “Psalm 23 – Father Emu

  1. Contextualisation is an essential tool in reaching different ethnic groups. We cannot simply overlay their culture with King James translations of scripture. But, there is a danger when we contextualise. Something is always lost. The challenge for mission is to get the balance right so that in communicating with a different culture we convey the true message of the Gospel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can you elaborate Lance. Maybe because I know psalm 23 so well I found that I really resonated with this version. Pastoral models of shepherds in green pastures are not so identifiable in Australia. This pastoral
      Model of a Father Emu set in our country was refreshing. I am very interested to hear your thoughts. This is an area I am learning about and exploring as I endeavour to gain greater compassion and understanding for our First Nation peoples.


      • I love this contextualisation of Psalm 23. It places it within the vernacular of the intended ethnic group. I am writing on ‘Contextualising Word and worship for a post modern multicultural Australia’. In doing this work I am aware that placing scripture into the vernacular of the millennial generation within a multicultural society there is a challenge to keep faithfully and accurately to the original message. Actually, Eugene Peterson does a brilliant job of this in the Message bible. I am not interested in another translation but rather how we present the Gospel story of redemption to this emerging Australian culture in a way that will resonate deeply within the individual

        Liked by 1 person

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