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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?

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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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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”?

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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?

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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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Christianity Culture and Society deconstruct-reconstruct The Elephant on Mount Fuji

Google Maps versus the Pacific Ocean

What does believing in three impossible things before breakfast have to do with the transformative possibilities of a life in touch with that base reality we call God? What does Google Maps have to do with the Pacific Ocean? And can can Astronaut Mark Watney help?