Monthly Archives: November 2021

Very short reflection on baptism

The Uniting Church baptises babies and children without asking them to make any promises because we recognise that in baptism, as in all else, the initiative lies with the God who loves us and calls us here today. Continue reading

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Sermon: Hope in a time of pandemic

As we realise our vulnerability, we are offered reassurance. When we are tempted to despair, we are given hope. Continue reading

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Sermon: The Return of the King

Whenever we celebrate the Feast of the Reign of Christ, the last Sunday in the church year, I remind us of what a new festival this is. When people united their loyalty to ‘God, King, and country,’ as they did right up to the First World War, there was little suggestion that their loyalty to God might contradict their loyalty to an earthly ruler. But after that war fascism and communism began to dominate Europe, and so the Roman Catholic Church introduced the Reign of Christ as a feast to be celebrated in 1925. Continue reading

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Sermon: The faith and generosity of Hannah

Both Hannah’s and Mary’s songs are deeply political songs about the way God wants the world to be; a world in which the hungry are ‘filled with good things’ (Luke 1:53), in fact the ‘hungry are fat with spoil’ (1 Samuel 2:5); a world in which God lifts the needy from the ash heap to sit with princes (1 Samuel 2:8) while the proud are brought down from their thrones. (Luke 1:52) Both Hannah and Mary sing of a world overturned. Continue reading

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Sermon: Is the poor widow a good example or an awful warning?

If we read the story this way, then Jesus’ attitude to the widow’s gift is disapproval rather than admiration. The story is not about the difference between arrogant scribes and poor widows, or about the relative value of the gifts of the rich and the poor. Instead, it is an example of the ways that the official religion of the time was oppressing the poorest members of society. Continue reading

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