Author Archives: Alister Pate
When we look outwards, we see the wheeling, uncaring universe. When we look within we are stirred by the call to self sacrifice of ANZAC day. How do we make sense of our lives in a way that joins the little picture of my life to the big picture of the universe?
This is a complex passage, with a lot going on. Greeks want to see Jesus. But instead they go and talk to one of his disciples, who then finds another disciple, and then go to Jesus (with the Greeks?) Jesus then, instead of saying yes or no, makes the declaration that his hour has now […]
The opening line of the gospel spells out our theme for today: “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” This week we remember Jesus’ place in salvation history – the actual event of his coming into the world, in the context of the story of God’s dealings with the […]
What can the film Independence Day and 911 teach us about Jesus’ mysterious, not to say alarming, apocalyptic language in his prediction of the fall of the Temple? Is there anything more countercultural than hope?
In a video on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Brene Brown talks about how she “fell in love with the faith and the mystery piece.” However, over time her experience of church, “became less about faith and mystery, and more about politics and certainty.”
What does it mean for a church to live in “faith and mystery” rather than certainty? What is the relationship between “certainty” and “mystery” in a community of faith? Is the preacher really quite as certain as she or he seems? What lies behind the drive to certainty, and is there another way for a church to live with faith and well-honouring the mystery at the heart of life?
What is the Gospel? This is a harder question to answer than you might think. Especially when you’re put on the spot. And especially when you have been studying theology for most of the last ten years like I have. It’s actually not a question that comes up much in one’s life in such a […]
A sermon I preached at Glen Iris Road Uniting Church on 19/11/2017 on the Parable of the talents – Matthew 25:14-30 The video I just showed is a trailer for one of my favourite comedy series – the Detectorists. It’s a gentle, wry comedy about friendship and love and the deep desire for buried treasure. […]