Author Archives: Alister Pate

Faith After Christchurch

A broken, inarticulate sermon preached in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch Mosque shootings. The world can seem like a very dark place some days, and it is hard to preach a message of hope. Nonetheless, this is what I am called to do.

Why Does God Need Us To Tell Him How Good He Is All The Time?

Someone asked me once “why does God need us to tell Him how wonderful He is? Does He have some sort of ego problem?” Apart from the regrettable use of gendered language for God, it is a fair point. If God is a personal, as Christians like to insist, then it’s a bit weird. Surely […]

Encountering Christ in the Wilderness

Jesus, led by the Spirit, was tempted in the wilderness for forty days. It’s all very well for him – he is, after all, God’s son. But what does it mean for us?

Jesus Christ and the Meaningful Universe

The story of Jesus’ transfiguration is, even by Scriptural standards, pretty mysterious. What does it mean for the disciples to see Jesus’ “glory”? Why did his face shine? Why were Moses and Elijah there? And, most of all, why were they terrified when the cloud came down?

Love Your Enemies

Jesus tells us to love our enemies, do good to those who hurt us, not to judge, to do to other people what we would have them do to us. Is that possible? Is it even desirable?

Peter’s Story: Seeing and Calling

After a long night of unsuccessful fishing, Simon sits on the shore and reflects on his weird week. Little does he know that what he is about to see will change him forever.

Called to be blessed, or to be a blessing?

Imagine that Jesus walked into our service here, today. I it’s likely that I would offer him the pulpit – even though I have worked pretty hard on writing my sermon. I can imagine myself taking a chair, leaning forward interestedly to hear what he has to say. This is more or less precisely the […]