Author Archives: Avril Hannah-Jones

Sermon: The Beatitudes

Maybe it would help to put them in contemporary terms: Blessed are the boat people, for they will find a safe and welcoming home; blessed are those on unemployment and disability pensions, for they will be treated with dignity and respect; blessed are the First Nations people, for they will regain their stolen land; blessed are the do-gooders and trouble-makers, for they will be called the children of God. Continue reading

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Sermon: In favour of the Voice to Parliament

The final paragraph of the Uluru Statement is: ‘In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future’. I do hope that Australians will walk together with First Nations people and approve the Voice, in numbers comparable to the 90% who voted ‘Yes’ in the 1967 Referendum, because doing so will be, I believe, an act of love. Continue reading

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Sermon: The Church – always ‘of God’ but never perfect

We are those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints. We are the New Testament church. Despite all their failings, Paul could give thanks for the Corinthians because of God’s faithfulness to them. The same is true of us. Yet while our status as the New Testament church should comfort us, it must never blind us to the church’s failings and our need to constantly seek to be better so that we may ‘be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ’. Continue reading

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Sermon: Mutual epiphanies

As Christianity loses its place of privilege in Australia, there are some Christians who think the response should be to circle the wagons, to build walls between us and the rest of the world. But that is contrary to the mystery revealed to Christ’s holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, the mystery of absolute and utter inclusion. There can be no excuse for churches to re-establish walls between human beings when Jesus came to tear all those dividing walls down. Continue reading

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There is no ‘war on Christianity’ in Australia

This was going to be in this Sunday’s sermon, but there’s no room for it. But it took me ages to find the correct Synod Minute, so I’m sticking it here so that I will remember it. There is no … Continue reading

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Sermon: Christmas Day

Christmas is created by God’s Spirit doing a new thing, and God entering the world in a new way. It also happens because of the openness of Mary and Joseph to all that scandalous newness. Are we able, like them, to say ‘yes’ to God when God does something new in our lives? Continue reading

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Christmas Eve: All hands were drunk

Christmas tells us that God loves us so passionately that God became human, and so today we sing songs of joy. As we sing we also remember the lessons this baby grew up to teach us: to love God, our neighbours, and our enemies; to care for the poorest in society; to welcome those society most excludes. Continue reading

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Sermon: Joy Sunday

Today, I am not suggesting that those of us who struggle to find the joy in Christmas should pretend that everything in our lives is perfect. I suspect that our lives would be better were we able to say honestly that Christmas is a difficult time for us. Continue reading

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Sermon: Peace Sunday

I suspect that the people of Israel heard this prophecy as true for the same reason that we are hearing it in church two thousand years after the birth of the one we Christians believe is the Messiah. Prophecies of the peaceable kingdom speak to our deepest longings. They describe what we believe, in the core of our hearts and our guts, God’s good creation should be. Continue reading

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Sermon: Jesus’ female ancestors

I lived through a ‘think of the children’ scare campaign as a young gay woman; I do not appreciate politicians, political candidates, and neo-Nazis replaying it with trans people today. Continue reading

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