Category Archives: Sermons

Sermon: Jesus gets scary!

Today’s readings do not provide the gentle encouragement on which I prefer to preach. Today’s liturgy contains the word ‘love’ nine times, but it does not appear in either of the readings. And yet, as your minister, of course I am going to end with encouragement anyway. As one of my favourite saints, Julian of Norwich, wrote: God ‘did not say, “You shall not be perturbed, you shall not be troubled, you shall not be distressed,” but he said, “You shall not be overcome.”’ Continue reading

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Sermon: Be afraid, very afraid – or reassured and encouraged

The prophets told the people of Israel again and again that in order to be the people of God it was not enough for them simply to worship God, no matter how carefully they followed the requirements for such worship given in the books of the Law. To truly belong to God, the people of God needed to live out their calling in justice, and in caring for those most in need. Continue reading

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Sermon: Being rich toward God

We do not need to fear the future, even though we know it will not look like the past, because the God who cared for us in the past will accompany us into that future. We can be rich towards God, because God is always rich towards us. Continue reading

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Sermon: The women in the Gospel according to Luke

Maybe what Jesus is telling us is to focus on the one thing immediately in front of us as we do it, whether that is preparing a meal for a guest, or sitting with that same guest and paying attention to what they are saying. Maybe this is a story about being ‘pure in heart,’ as we translate one of the Beatitudes, having a single focus on whatever it is that we are doing, to do it well and to the glory of God. Continue reading

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Sermon: Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.

Violence against violence is worthless. Hate is always foolish, and love is always wise. Always try to be nice and never fail to be kind. Who was the neighbour? The one who showed mercy. Let us go and do likewise. Amen. Continue reading

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Sermon: The Uniting Church ‘radicals in politics’

We are involved in these apparently political issues because we believe that this is what the Gospel demands of us. Today we ordain women, we marry gay people, we are in covenant with the First Nations of this land, we celebrate our cultural and linguistic diversity, and we do all this because we are seeking to abide in Jesus and bear fruit. Continue reading

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Sermon: Trouble-making and scape-goating

But if the outsider was no longer an outsider, the insiders might need to examine their own lives. Without a contrasting ‘baddie’, the insiders might not seem to be as good as they had imagined. If there was no longer an external enemy to draw people together, the differences between them would become more obvious. They would no longer have simply been able to rely on being part of a community created by what it was not: a community made up of people who wear clothes and live in houses and do not need to be chained up. Continue reading

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Sermon: Relying on Holy Wisdom

I know that this is true, that God can give us wisdom as a gift, because I became a minister in my early thirties, and even now, fifteen years later, I am still much younger than most of this congregation. Yet every week I stand up and preach to people who in some cases have exactly twice as much life experience as I have. Continue reading

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Sermon: A quieter Pentecost

There is no wrong way to feel when people we love have died. But my prayer whenever I sit by the side of the dying is that they may go gently and peacefully into the loving hands of God, and I believe with every fibre of my being that as we say good-bye to someone we love we are giving them into the arms of the God who has loved them all the days of their lives and who continues to love them after death. Continue reading

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Sermon: Salvation and Liberation

God’s love does not save us from suffering. God’s love does, however, accompany us as we suffer. God suffers with us. Continue reading

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