Categories
Bedtime Stories Faith Kingdom of God sermons Spirituality Story Uncategorized

Vineyards and Grace

The Kingdom of God is like this:

It’s a cool, clear morning in late summer. The sun hasn’t quite managed to peek over the eastern lake, and the workers wrap themselves closely in their cloaks and grumble. It’s just another day selling their labour for a measly pittance, just about enough to keep body and soul together. Just enough to make it worth being out of bed before the sun is, and to be standing around waiting here….

Categories
Christianity sermons

Forgiveness and Freedom

How often should I forgive? Peter asks a good question. As often as, like, every day of the week? Not just seven times, exclaims Jesus, but seventy-seven times! Imagine being a slave who owed all the money to the emperor. Then, suddenly, you’re set free – just like that! What will you do with your freedom?

Categories
sermons Suffering

A Canaanite Woman’s Faith

Who is God? This is a big question. Perhaps the big question. All our other questions about the meaning of the universe, how to have a meaningful life, how to live in this world of suffering and compromise and ethical grey space – but which also has moments of transcendent moral clarity and of great […]

Categories
Faith sermons

The Storm

The storm was fierce, the night was black and you could hardly see who was next to you. Then Jesus comes walking over the water. What would you do? What does faith look like in the context of our current storm? Can you open your mind and heart to hear Jesus say: “Take heart, it is I. Do not be afraid”?

Categories
sermons

Bread in the Wilderness

I don’t know about you, but I am getting soooooo tired of Zoom. Let me clarify: it’s not Zoom as such – and indeed thank God for it, given how much worse things would be without it. It’s more… this whole socially distanced life is getting pretty stale. And, with no sign of things improving […]

Categories
Christianity Faith sermons

In Which the Meaning of Life is Revealed to a Dodgy Geezer

What is the meaning of life? What does it all mean? This continual torrent of experiences, good, bad and indifferent? This world with so much beauty and terror? This sense that there is something more, something which will take everything and somehow harmonise it into something moving, powerful, and life-giving? Sometimes we can hide from […]

Categories
sermons

The Sower

“Listen! A sower went out to sow….” As Melbourne goes back into lockdown, what is the good news for us from Jesus’ parable of the sower? Also: just how much wheat were the hearers expecting from a head, and does it matter?

Categories
sermons Suffering

The Trauma of COVID-19 and the Easy Yoke of Jesus

The experience of living in the world of COVID-19 is a sort of trauma. Not, perhaps, the sort of trauma one gets from being buried by a fallen building for several days, but it isn’t nothing either. Our sense of what is secure and reliable vanishes into smoke. What does it mean to bear the easy yoke of Jesus in this new, radically uncertain, world?

Categories
Faith sermons Suffering

The Existential Faith of Abraham

“After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.'” Here begins one of the most disturbing stories in the Old Testament. God asks Abraham to kill his son. In the end (spoiler alert!) he doesn’t have to . But what sort of God demands that – and what sort of person is prepared to do it? Is this simply an appalling story we should ignore – or does it plumb the profound depths of human experience at the limit?

Categories
Failure Faith sermons Spirituality in the Ordinary Suffering

Abundant Life in the Time of COVID-19

What does it mean for Jesus to promise abundant life in a world beset by COVID-19? What does it have to tell us about abundance?