Author Archives: Avril Hannah-Jones

Sermon: The cosmos was not created for us

We do not know why bad things happen to good people, or even why bad things happen to people like ourselves, middling good and middling bad. The Book of Job does not give us answers; maybe there are none. What it offers us, instead, is the reassurance that despite the immensity of a universe that seems indifferent to us, we have not been left alone in it. Continue reading

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Sermon: Faithful complaint

Job complains and accuses God of wrongdoing, but he does that because he believes in a God of justice. Job does not believe in a God who is indifferent to human suffering. If he did, there would be no reason for him to demand a confrontation with God Continue reading

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Sermon: Job’s wife was right!

Reading Job through the Holocaust we can see that we should not accept the bad from God’s hands as well as the good. It would be unfaithful to accept a god who conspired with ha-satan to torment Job, a God who ‘sent’ the evils of the holocaust. Job’s wife is right; Job should charge God with wrongdoing; he should curse the God who has sent him evil. Continue reading

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Sermon: Why is Esther in the Bible?

The Book of Esther is a counter-narrative to that. Life is complicated, and while our religion and our scriptures can provide us with some explanations, there are times when our questions remain unanswered. Continue reading

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Sermon: Avril preaches to herself

James tells his readers: ‘the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy;’ and I confess that I am frequently not peaceable, gentle, and willing to yield. So in this Reflection I am preaching first to myself. Continue reading

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Sermon: Choose to believe – at the core of the cosmos is love

… why not make the choice to believe that the Creator of the cosmos loves us, that love is at the core of the universe, and that God has come as close to us as a next-of-kin, as this psalm tells us? If we hold on to this, then we can look up at heavens and the firmament and believe that we are just as important to God as they are. Continue reading

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Sermon: Not just those like us

this encounter between Jesus and a Gentile woman can remind us of the words attributed to John Wesley: ‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.’ Continue reading

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Sermon: Counting our blessings

I do encourage you to follow Bonhoeffer’s example in lockdown and be grateful for the little things, including being allowed outside and able to observe the coming of Spring. I am, as your minister, encouraging you to count your blessings. Continue reading

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Sermon: Blaming God

We may have ultimate faith that God is love, that God responds to our suffering with compassion, but in those times when we cannot feel God’s love, the heritage of our faith tells us that kicking and screaming and blaming God for God’s absence is also a faithful response. Continue reading

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Sermon: God comes to us in bread

We do not have a disembodied faith in which only the spiritual is important. We have an embodied, physical, material faith in which food is vitally important. Christianity is most definitely not about ‘pie in the sky when you die’. It is about bread here and now, because our God comes to us in bread. Continue reading

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