Listen to the voice of creation

Listen to the voice of creation

Jeremiah 4:22-28 | Luke 15:1-10 There are, I think, three outstanding difficulties that we have when it comes to reading the Bible. The first, and perhaps the greatest of them is resistance. By resistance I mean that often we know exactly what the scriptures are telling us about the will and the ways of God, […]

Humility for the win

Humility for the win

Luke 14:1, 7-14 This week Sureka I will be celebrating our twenty fifth wedding anniversary. Now while many of the details of the preparations for the wedding have faded into the midst of time (actually, I managed to avoid much of the planning by the cunning strategy of still being in England when decisions had […]

Prioritise People

Prioritise People

Luke 13:10-17 Within the Judaism of Jesus’ day many debates raged around the correct interpretation and application of the law of Moses. I think it’s important to start with that truth, because there is a common human tendency to view those who are different from us as if they were undifferentiated, while seeing our own […]

Focussed on Jesus

Focussed on Jesus

Hebrews 11:29-12:2 Hebrews chapter 11 contains one of my favourite verses in the whole of the Bible. “By faith,” it reads, “they were sawn in two”. Now I don’t know about you, but when I think of the rewards of the life of faith, I tend to think of things a little bit less, well, […]

Justice not Religion

Justice not Religion

Isaiah 1:1-20 The book of the prophet Isaiah begins by jumping full on into a tirade against the people of the day.

A Prayer for Followers

A Prayer for Followers

Colossians 1:1-14 I’ve heard it said that we in the Uniting Church don’t read the Epistles very much. By contrast with more evangelical traditions, I suspect there’s truth in this: that we have a fairly strong tendency to favour the gospel passages from the lectionary. And I’m not suggesting that that’s a bad thing. I […]

Followers who make followers

Followers who make followers

Luke 10:1-11 Last week, looking at the end of Luke Chapter 9, we had a series of interactions between Jesus and potential followers in which, as we reflected, Jesus didn’t go out of his way to make it easy. He warned one man that following him might mean not even have a fox’s hole to […]

Following with Commitment

Following with Commitment

Luke 9:51-62 Today our series on “Followers of Jesus” brings us to some of the challenges that Jesus placed in front of those who wanted to follow him. To what are, let’s face it, some unreasonable seeming demands that he makes, some very negative marketing. “I’ll follow you wherever you go”, someone cries to him […]

Empowered to Follow

Empowered to Follow

Romans 5:1-5 | John 16:12-15 Last week was Pentecost, and in Churches around the world the followers of Jesus gathered to celebrate the festival, to mark the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on all people – or at least, the start of that process, for of course it would be some time later that […]

Seeking the Spirit

Seeking the Spirit

Acts 2:1-21 We’ve jumped back this week – from a series of four Sundays in which we’ve been looking at the way that the early Church acted, and the way it grew – its internal struggles with the radical inclusion of those who had previously been excluded, it’s living out of the love of God […]

Staying True

Staying True

Acts 16:16-34 Today’s reading continues straight on from where we left off last week – Paul and Silas, having met with Lydia and shared the good news with her, are now based at her home, speaking to the people of Phillipi.

Rejecting Prejudice

Rejecting Prejudice

Acts 16:9-15 Last week we reflected on one of the last of the stories from the Peter narrative – the conversion of Cornelius, a significant step for the gospel, out of its Jewish enclave and into the gentile world, in Acts chapters 10 and 11.

Including Outsiders

Including Outsiders

Acts 11:1-18 One of the things I often do when I’m preparing to talk about a passage, writing a sermon, is to go back to a big excel spreadsheet that I’ve got which lists every sermon I’ve ever preached – the Bible passages, the title, and a one-line summary. This isn’t because I’m trying to […]

Practicing Love

Practicing Love

Acts 9:36-43 Over the next five weeks we’re going to be looking at a series of stories from the book of Acts – the book, probably written by the same author as Luke’s gospel, though we don’t really know who that was, that charts the development of the early Christian Church, mostly through the stories […]

Easter Celebration – Sharing Good News

Easter Celebration – Sharing Good News

John 20:1-10 | Acts 10:34-43 Some preachers love preparing and preaching on Easter Day. I know that because my Facebook feed is full of them. So much enthusiasm for celebrating this most incredible of days with the faith community that they are part of, unpacking once again the miracle of the day as it unfolded, […]