Category Archives: Sermons

Sermon: God’s priorities, according to the Prophet Jeremiah

It would take a great deal of faith to hold on to that hope while sitting in the ruins of Jerusalem, or while in exile in Babylon, just as much faith as it takes us to hold on to the hope of God’s justice when we look at the world around us. It is much easier to hold on to this hope in community than to try to do it alone and here in Australia, despite anything politicians or the media might say, we do have the great privilege of being able to meet together for worship and to share the words of God with each other. So let us encourage each other in our persistence, as we pray without losing heart. Amen. Continue reading

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Sermon: The shalom of the city

God has brought us here; God is already at work here; and in the shalom of our amazing, beautiful, challenging city of Melbourne, and our diverse, multicultural, multifaith, and ‘no religion’ Australia we will find our own shalom. So let us serve this city and the people among whom we live, in all the ways that we can. Amen. Continue reading

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Sermon: There is nothing we cannot say to God

Too often throughout history the church has been on the side of the colonisers, not the colonised; the slave owners, not the slaves; the rich, not the poor; adults, not children; men, not women; straight people, not LGBTIQ+ people; paedophiles, not the victims of clerical sexual abuse; and so on and so forth. Continue reading

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Sermon: When Jesus is being all too clear

It is absolutely important for us, as Christians, to donate to the work of Uniting, and FoodBank Victoria, and other emergency relief agencies. But in the twenty-first century it is no longer enough to expect the rich man to share what drops from his table with the beggar at his gate. We also need to use our intellect and our connections and our articulate voices to ask why there is any poverty at all in wealthy Australia, even if that takes us into the realm of ‘politics’. Continue reading

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Sermon: What is Jesus saying? (We don’t know!)

No one has any idea what today’s parable, the parable of the unjust steward, is about. The Church Fathers ignored it; renowned contemporary commentators have declared it to be incomprehensible; and people have suggested that the author of the Gospel according to Luke himself had no idea of its meaning, and so just added a series of morals to the end of the story in the hope that they would make sense of it. Continue reading

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Sermon: Thank goodness! We’re back to love!!!

Reflection for North Balwyn Uniting Church 11th of September 2022 Luke 15:1-10 Oh, thank goodness! After weeks of hard sayings from Jesus, during which preachers must remind congregations that Jesus is journeying to his death and so is understandably short … Continue reading

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Sermon: Losing our lives

I have also mentioned the Census numbers, because every church in Australia needs to take them seriously. They could be seen as evidence that Christianity in Australia is dying. I do not believe that it is. I believe that Christianity is becoming what it always meant to be: the salt, not the whole meal; the yeast, not the whole loaf. Continue reading

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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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