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Faith Philosophy sermons Suffering

Job and Jesus and the Revelation of God

What does suffering mean? What sort of universe is it that allows the suffering of a good person like Job? Are we better off just abandoning the whole idea of a good God?

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Christianity Failure sermons Spirituality Spirituality in the Ordinary Suffering

Branches

When we picture Jesus entering Jerusalem, do we imagine the whole of the city turning out to celebrate the arrival of the Messiah? Or is there something altogether stranger happening? What does it all mean?

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Religion sermons Spirituality Suffering

Stones and Ash

What is the meaning of Ash Wednesday? And what does this famous story about a rabbi with two stones have to tell us?

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Christianity Culture and Society Kingdom of God sermons Suffering

Longing and Complicity

“O that you would tear open the heavens and come down…” A year ago that text might have seemed a bit remote from our world. But devastating bushfires, fresh revelations about the injustice of our society, and, of course, the terrible plague which is devastating our world, make these words from Isaiah feel astonishingly fresh.

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Christianity Culture and Society Doubt Failure sermons Spirituality in the Ordinary Story Suffering

Suffering and Gratitude

As the lockdown drags on in Melbourne, gratitude just gets harder. Suffering becomes a kind of blindness as we are turned in on ourselves. But could suffering be an ironic teacher that knocks us out of our limited ways of seeing the world? Could gratitude be a way forward?

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Christianity Failure Faith Suffering

Take Up Your Cross

Why does Jesus persist in saying such depressing things? Take up your cross? It sounds like a real downer. I would pass – except that, in fact, you can’t actually avoid crosses. My choice appears to be: what do I do about it?

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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 […]

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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?

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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?

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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?