Celebrating connections

Celebrating connections

Isaiah 65:17-25 We’re drawing close to that time of year when we start to look towards Christmas; to the season of advent, when we will be preparing ourselves once again for our celebration of that most incredible of all miracles and mysteries, the coming of God into God’s world, not through a spectacular act of […]

How Long?

How Long?

Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4, 3:1-2 Habakkuk is quite unusual amongst the prophets of the day – not unique, but unusual – in his approach to the suffering that he saw around him.

The days are surely coming

The days are surely coming

Jeremiah 31:27-34 One more week in the book of Jeremiah. Last week we reflected on Jeremiah’s words to those who had been taken into exile, those for whom everything had changed so dramatically, who were wondering what it meant, how they were supposed to live now that they were in this foreign land, the land […]

Live where you are

Live where you are

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been spending some not inconsiderable amount of time thinking about where we should go next in terms of our sermon series. Since Pentecost, back in June, we’ve explored once again what it means to be followers of Jesus – empowered by the Spirit, following in the freedom we […]

Hope for all creation

Hope for all creation

Romans 8:18-25 Today we come to the end of our series for the Season of Creation, and we’re deviating from the principle that I set out at the start of the series, when I spoke about the challenge of taking the lectionary readings and trying to hear the voice of creation in texts where we […]

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 […]