Encounters with Jesus… Nicodemus

Genesis 12:1-4 | John 3:1-17 A couple of favourite passages come together, today. Our New testament reading from John, containing as it does the most cited verse in the Bible – John 3:16 – a favourite, especially, it seems, of people who hold up banners at American sporting events.

Encounters with Jesus… The devil

Matthew 4:1-11 Encounters with Jesus. For the next six weeks, as we journey through this time of Lent, the traditional forty days that lead up to Holy Week, to the death and resurrection of Jesus, we’re going to make that journey through a series of encounters with Jesus.

But I say to you

Matthew 5:21-37 Last week we explored the way that Jesus, in his teaching on the sermon on the mount, declared that he was not abolishing, but fulfilling the law and the prophets. And there’s a very important idea hidden in that phrase; that Jesus did not say “I have not come to abolish the law […]

Salt and Light

Isaiah 58:1-8 | Matthew 5:13-20 It’s a sad truth – but the Bible doesn’t always say what we want it to say, what we think it ought to say, what it would say if we wrote it. And that is certainly the case when it comes to Jesus’ words about the Old Testament law in […]

The Beatitudes

Micah 6:1-8 | Matthew 5:1-12 In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus’ three years or so of ministry is bookended by  the word disciples. It begins, with the calling of disciples, and ends with the great commission, to go and make disciples of all nations.

Baptism of Jesus

Matthew 3:13-17 The fact that we have four different accounts of Jesus’ life, recorded in the four gospels, is both a great blessing and a potential problem.

No one has seen God

John 1:9-18 One of the major themes of John’s gospel, perhaps his most striking imagery, is that of light and darkness.

Peace on Earth?

Matthew 2:1-12 One thing that has really stuck me over the weeks of advent, as we’ve taken as our theme Isaiah’s words that “he shall be called the Prince of Peace” – and that, judging by the comments I’ve heard from others, has struck more than just me, is how powerful an idea, and how […]

Fulfilled

Isaiah 7:10-16 | Matthew 1:18-25 I think it’s fair to say that it’s because of the author of Matthew’s gospel that we know so much about the writings of the prophet Isaiah.

Peace through justice through truth

Isaiah 11:1-10 | Matthew 3:1-8 A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. How timely an image is this for us in New South Wales at the moment, as we watch the news of bushfires and breath the smoke blanketing the city.

The Prophets

Isaiah 2:1-5 And so today we begin that journey of getting ready for Christmas, the journey of advent.

A Church for the Environment

Genesis 1:31 | Psalm 24:1-2 | John 3:11-17 So over these few weeks before we move into advent we’ve been exploring what it means to be part of a bigger Church – part of a Church which is more than just Roseville, more than just Uniting, more than just early twenty-first century.

Sycamore Trees

Luke 19:1-10 I doubt that there has ever been a society in which being a tax collector was a profession which would make you automatically popular amongst your peers. Even in a stable democracy like Australia, in which we have a say in the government that spends our tax dollars, and in which, for all […]

Keep my commandments

John 15:9-17 Chapter 15 of John’s gospel begins with the image of the vine – “I am the vine,” Jesus declares, you are the branches; abide in me and I will abide in you, and then you will bear much fruit. Here, in the second half of that saying, Jesus takes that phrase, “abide in […]

Frontier Services

Psalm 46:1-5 | Isaiah 40:28-31 When I was a kid, I lived in what I thought at the time was a small village in England, a long way away from the city. Well, it was in England, so I got that bit right, and technically it was a village, although Woodstock was big enough to […]