IT'S A MATTER OF FAITH
7 August 2022 Ordinary Sunday 19
Hebrews 11:1-3, 1-16 Luke 12:32-40
It’s all about faith, according to Hebrews and it’s faith that undergirds the gospel promises. Faith will provide and restore the fullness of life, secure us now and into the future. Faith will enable us to imagine as yet unknown possibilities and walk into them.
How do we know we have faith? Is it even something to be had?
BIGGER BARNS, HIGHER WALLS
31 July 2022 Ordinary Sunday 18
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-25 Luke 12:13-21
“We will not quickly be forgiven if this is another gathering that focuses on ourselves.”
Wise words from the Archbishop of Canterbury in his first keynote address to the Lambeth Conference on Friday evening. The Lambeth Conference is a gathering of all the bishops of the Anglican Communion which happens every 10 years. 14 years in this case because of the pandemic. There are close to 900 bishops in our Communion from 165 countries. 600 or so are currently in Canterbury at the Conference, including our own bishops from Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia.
Social Services Sunday
24 July 2022 Social Services Sunday
Ordinary Sunday 16
17 July 2022 Ordinary Sunday 16
3 July 2022 Ordinary Sunday 14
Isaiah 66:1-14 Luke 10:1-11
There are I think about 70 of you here this morning. 70 is a good biblical number. God instructed Moses to gather 70 elders to serve with him (Numbers 11:16) and in today’s account Jesus appoints 70 disciples to go ahead of him into the various towns where he is heading. Like John the Baptist they go to prepare the way.
26 June 2022 Matariki Sunday
Isaiah 25:6-9 John 11:21-17
On Friday 24th June there was a new legal public holiday for the peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand: Matariki. Legal public holidays are a mixed bag. Few people have any idea why the provincial district of Auckland, comprising about half of the North Island north of Mokau in the west and Wairoa in the east, needs to be celebrated in the last weekend of January.
TE POUHERE SUNDAY
19 June 2022 Te Pouhere Sunday
12 June 2022 Trinity Sunday
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31 John 16:12-15
On the front cover of our order of service today is the icon of the Trinity by Rublev from the 15th century; copied ever since by icon writers. It depicts the story from Genesis where Abraham offers hospitality to three mysterious visitors – the three angels are interpreted to mean God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
5 June 2022 Pentecost
Acts 2:1-21 John 14:8-17
Pentecost is here, 50 days after Easter. Each Sunday since Easter we’ve heard stories of characters in the fledgling community of the Way. We’ve heard of spirit outpouring on Saul, on Gentiles and prison guard families, restoring new life to the faithful and, perhaps less benevolently, Paul in a funk driving out a spirit of divination. But not until today do we hear of the Spirit outpouring upon the disciples gathered together.
NOTICING THE SLAVE GIRL
29 May 2022 Easter 7
Acts 16:16-34 John 17:20-26
Saul (or Paul), Tabitha, Peter, Lydia, Paul and Silas. Today we come to the end of our Easter season series of portraits from the Book of Acts. Stories or snapshots of some of the people who made up the early church. Today’s story is recorded to focus on Paul and Silas and their dramatic exit from prison, earthquakes and all, followed by the baptism of the jailer and his family. In biblical terms this is a long story – 19 verses – full of excitement and drama.
22 May 2022 Easter 6
FAITH IN REAL TIME
15 May 2022 Easter 5
Acts 11:1-18 John 13: 31-35
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. Today’s short gospel, part of Jesus’ farewell discourse is also read on Maundy Thursday as part of the foot washing service.
8 May 2022 Easter 4
CALL OF SAUL
1 May 2022 Easter 3
Acts 9:1-20 John 21:1-14
Have you ever used or heard the phrase “a road to Damascus experience” or “a road to Damascus moment”? A moment where things have suddenly changed and your life is upended or redirected.
THOMAS: DOUBT AND TRUTH
24 April 2022 Easter 2
Acts 5:27-32 John 20:19-31
What’s the point of this story that the writer of Johns gospel has created? It doesn’t appear in any of the other gospels. Thomas may or may not have been a real person but, notwithstanding, Thomas and his doubt have entered the Western lexicon, and we all know what the phrase ‘doubting Thomas’ means when we hear it.
17 April 2022 Easter Day
Isaiah 65:17-25 Luke 24:1-12
Christ is risen, he is risen indeed! Great. Yet what we hear today is pretty inconclusive, an idle tale not believed, a witness amazed who head home. These are the highlights of today’s gospel. This is what, with expectant hope, we've been preparing for. Easter morn dawns to absence, no-thing, no-body.
15 April 2022 Good Friday
On Palm Sunday we heard the line “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, order your disciples to stop.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’” These words are only heard in Luke’s version of the gospel.
3 April 2022 Lent 5
Isaiah 43:16-21 John 12:1-8
Mary took a pound of costly perfume, made of pure nard -
It would have been in a jar or a flask of some kind. Nard or spike nard was from a plant grown in the Himalayas and was used for its strong perfume in the ancient world.
27 March 2022 Lent 4
Joshua 5:9-12 Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Our journey through Lent continues the theme of healing is with us as we go. I’m interested to see how the readings we have each week seem to be unfolding in an organic way. Seeing things as they are, lamenting, repenting and this week we might hear it as a gospel of returning.
THEOLOGIES OF REPENTANCE
20 March 2022 Lent 3
Isaiah 55:1-9 Luke 13:1-9
In this Lenten journey exploring healing we’ve been invited to have courage to see things as they are, to lament and now to repent. The gospel is frank about it - repent or die is pretty much its synopsis. So let’s explore.
13 March 2022 Lent 2
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18 Luke 13:31-35
In Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives there is a beautiful church called Dominus Flevit – Jesus wept. It is built in the shape of a teardrop.It is a modern church, built in 1955, but on the site of a 5th century church, which in turn was built over tombs dated as far back as 1600BC.
6 March 2022 Lent 1
Deuteronomy 26:1-11 Luke 4:1-13
Today is the first Sunday in Lent. This year we journey with wisdom from the gospel of Luke. Luke according to some strands of tradition is said to have been a physician, the word from Greek names one who heals.
20 February 2022 Ordinary Sunday 7
Genesis 45:3-15 Luke 6:27-38
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”
I said last week’s reading should have come with a health warning.
Today’s come with a “high level of complexity and difficulty” label.
13 February 2022 Ordinary Sunday 6
Jeremiah 17:5-10 Luke 6:17-26
You are all brave souls turning up for church this morning. Brave not because of covid but because by being here you have to listen to this gospel from Luke. It should carry its own health warning.
6 February 2022 Ordinary Sunday 5 / Waitangi Day
Isaiah 6:1-8 Luke 5:1-11
Every Waitangi Day our thoughts turn to our nation of Aotearoa and our ideals of partnership, and of rangatiratanga. We all have so much to learn still of our own history.
THE EDGE OF TODAY
30 January 2022 Epiphany 4
Jeremiah 1:4-10 Luke 4:21-30
Video available on Youtube
The season of Epiphany is all about ‘seeing’ who Jesus is and what he is all about - anticipating the ‘ah ha’ moment of sudden insight. The stories we have been reading from Luke and John over the past few weeks set out for us the ideas, and theology centered on Jesus, that was developing amongst the early Christian community as they discovered who Jesus had become for them - their 'ah ha'.
THIRD SUNDAY OF EPIPHANY
23 January 2022 Epiphany 3
16 January 2022 Epiphany 2
Video available on YouTube
When I first read this reading, I immediately could hear myself saying the same thing in these circumstances. “They have no wine” Our sons certainly couldn’t perform a miracle however in this situation I am sure they would obey my wish that more wine was provided.
BAPTISM OF JESUS
9 January 2022 Baptism of Jesus
2 January 2022 Feast of the Epiphany