Author Archives: Avril Hannah-Jones

Sermon: Success and Failure

We may think that we can only be sure that God is with us if we are growing greater and greater, like David. But the gospel according to Mark tells us that God is with us even if people take offence at us and we can do no deeds of power. Continue reading

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Reflection: Gender Equality in Jesus’ healings

You may have noticed my tendency to talk about the way that Jesus treated women, the way he welcomed them as equals in a patriarchal society. That is not just because gender equality is a personal obsession of mine; it is because this equality is a characteristic of the new community that Jesus created, the body of Christ. Continue reading

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Reflection for the 44th anniversary of the creation of the Uniting Church

We ordain both women and men to the Ministry of the Word because we believe ordination without discrimination on grounds of gender is a fundamental implication of the gospel of God’s love in Christ for all human beings, without distinction. For this our understanding we appeal to Scripture as testimony to the living Word, which is Christ. Continue reading

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Sermon: Introducing David, episode two of the soap opera

Augustine wrote that, ‘anyone who thinks that he has understood the divine scriptures or any part of them, but cannot by his understanding build up the double love of God and neighbour, has not yet succeeded in understanding them’. The Scriptures are complicated and contradictory; let us ensure that our reading of them always builds up love. Amen. Continue reading

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Sermon: Some mental exercise for lockdown

Reflection for North Balwyn Uniting Church6th of June 2021 1 Samuel 8:4-11 16-20 Here we are again: our second Sunday in our fourth lockdown. When I prepared this Reflection we had been in lockdown for less than a week, and … Continue reading

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Sermon: As we go into lockdown again, God is with us.

This week, as we experience the worry and frustration of another lockdown, the doctrine of the Trinity tells us that the God who created the universe is with us, closer than our breath, and among us, holding our community together while we must stay apart. I hope that that is a comfort to you through these next few days. God is with us. Continue reading

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Sermon: The radical roots of the Church at Pentecost

The Church was at its origin and is meant to be today a community that celebrates cultural differences, rather than trying to standardise them. It is a community that is meant to show radical equality between men and women, old and young, slave and free. Sadly, like many of Christianity’s radical roots, these lessons from Pentecost are ones that the Church has had to relearn over and over again. Continue reading

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Sermon: Don’t stand looking for Jesus in the sky

We could keep gazing up towards heaven in our attempts to see Jesus, or we could look for Jesus where he told us we would find him, in each other and especially in the least of these. Counter-intuitively, the message of the Ascension is that we will find God here on earth. Continue reading

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Sermon: In which Avril rabbits on about love yet again, because it IS all about love

And if God is love, as our faith tells us God is, then even our smallest loving actions will contribute to filling the universe with love and so with God. Continue reading

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Sermon: Christianity means something (liberation and love)

How can we discern that we are on the right path, that the spirit leading us is the Holy Spirit and not simply the spirit of the age? By testing everything against the life and ministry of Jesus, and through love. If it is not loving, loving in truth and action rather than simply word and speech, it is simply not Christianity. Continue reading

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