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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?

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sermons Suffering

God, You Know

God picked up Ezekial and deposited him in a desolate valley of dry bones. A place where hopes had come to die. We’re not quite in the valley of dry bones yet – but I feel like we’re looking at one of those big green highway signs pointing down into a worryingly barren looking desert. These are dry, uncertain times, where a pitiless sun feels like it is beating down on us. And who knows when the rain might come again?

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Christianity Failure Kingdom of God sermons Suffering

#blessed

If we were writing the beatitudes today, what would we write? What does it mean to be #blessed? Could the church to be a blessing? And what does it mean to be blessed in the midst of grief and suffering?

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Doubt Religion sermons Suffering Uncategorized

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.

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Christianity sermons Spirituality Suffering

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?