Rethinking… Greatness

Rethinking… Greatness

Mark 9:30-37 So as we spoke about last week, Mark chapter 8 is the turning point of the gospel. For the first seven or so chapters, Jesus has been teaching, preaching, healing, casting out demons. He’s gathered a following, he’s challenged those in power, he’s reached out to those outside the Jewish faith (or perhaps […]

Rethinking… Messiah

Rethinking… Messiah

Mark 8:27-38 So we come today to a turning point in Mark’s gospel. It’s very common amongst those who study this gospel, to divide Mark into two parts. That’s everything that leads up to Mark 8:29, and Peter’s proclamation of Jesus as Christ. And then there’s everything that comes after it, everything that flows from […]

Rethinking… outsiders

Rethinking… outsiders

Mark 7:24-37 I guess if you were to make a list of adjectives that you would apply to Jesus, “racist” probably wouldn’t be amongst them. And yet here he is, in Mark’s gospel, meeting with a gentile, a Syrophoenician woman, in desperate need of help for her afflicted daughter, and basically calling her a dog […]

Think Different

Think Different

Mark 7:1-23 Back around the turn of the century, Apple computers ran an advertising campaign with the slogan “Think Different”. This was back when buying your computer from Apple was very much the exception – it was a bit of a statement, a bit idiosyncratic. So Apple took what, from a business perspective, was a […]

Bread of Heaven

Bread of Heaven

John 6:24-35 Last Sunday the lectionary gospel reading gave us the famous story of Jesus feeding the 5000. I mention that because it’s obviously an important piece of context for the conversation that we have in our reading today, the backdrop against which Jesus’ words about the bread of heaven have to be understood.

Good News?

Good News?

Mark 6:14-29 So here’s a challenge – take the story of the execution of John the Baptist, and put it into a series of sermons on the subject of “Good News worth sharing”. I mean, what could possibly be good news in a story of a prophet imprisoned for challenging the local king, and being […]

Two Healings

Two Healings

Mark 5:21-42 Today Mark’s gospel brings us two stories interwoven with one another. This is way of writing, a stylistic device that the author uses quite often, which seems to deliberately invite us to read the two each in the light of the other. So what is it that we learn from the combination of […]

In the Weeds

In the Weeds

Mark 4:26-34 Right back at the beginning of Mark’s Gospel the author gives us a one sentence summary of Jesus’ preaching: “Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’”. When you read […]

God puts the lonely in family

God puts the lonely in family

Mark 3:20-35 This week we’re starting a new series, following the lectionary readings through some of the early stories in the Gospel of Mark. In case you don’t know, the lectionary that we, and other Churches of many, many denominations across the world, follow, does a three year cycle, each year focussing on one of […]

Identify

Identify

Isaiah 6:1-8 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord The year, in our accounting, was around 740BC. The Kingdom of Israel had divided into two separate nations some two hundred years before, on the death of Solomon, and there had little peace or prosperity ever since.

Love in Obedience

Love in Obedience

1 John 5:1-6 The love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. Of all the Biblical authors John, both in the gospel and in the epistles (for whether or not they were written by the same person, they are certainly very closely related, both in style and theological outlook) is the one who […]

Love in truth and action

Love in truth and action

1 John 3:16-24 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. We hear the word love a lot. Especially in Church. We hear the word in our Bible readings, we use it in our prayers, we sing it in our hymns. “God is love” “Love one another” “God […]

Love is from God

Love is from God

1 John 4:7-21 | John 10:11-18 Some years ago, I was telling the story of the Good Shepherd to a Kindy scripture class. As the story unfolded, one of the kids interjected “the Good Shepherd sounds really nice”. Her neighbour, with all the confidence of a child who has heard the story before, piped up. […]

The Risen King

The Risen King

Mark 16:1-8 The fact that you are here this morning tells me that I don’t need to start at the beginning. I don’t need to tell you that Easter isn’t about chocolate eggs, or magic bunnies. I don’t need to convince you that it’s more than a convenient and very welcome four day weekend.

Triumphant Humility

Triumphant Humility

Mark 11:1-11 | Philippians 2:5-11 And so we draw towards the end of Lent, and move towards Holy Week. This time next Sunday it will all be over – the last supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, the trial, Peter’s denial, the crowd crying for the release of Barabbas, the […]