Tag Archives: Year of Luke

Sermon: Longer than all earthly empires

In this world of violence and exclusion proclaiming such things might seem utterly naïve. And yet the reign of Christ has lasted longer than any of the empires of the world. Jesus was executed by the Roman Empire, which lasted for between 500 and 1000 years, depending on how it is defined. The British Empire, the reason that most of us are living here on this land, lasted four hundred years. Jesus was executed as a common criminal almost two thousand years ago and yet here we are, millennia later, on the other side of the world, trying our best to live as citizens of his realm. Continue reading

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Sermon: The Peaceable Kingdom

How can we look at everything that is happening around us, the homes and livelihoods destroyed by what is usually God’s good gift of water, the thousands of people who have died of covid19 in Australia and the millions who have died around the world, and say that God cares about creation? The author that we know as ‘Third’ Isaiah, from whom today’s reading from the Hebrew Scriptures comes, had the same challenge. The description of God’s holy mountain as a place where all creation is renewed seems completely unrealistic. But there was nothing fanciful in what Isaiah was doing. Continue reading

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Sermon: Forgiveness and Repentance

we cannot expect to remain the same when we joyfully climb down that sycamore tree. As we examine our lives, we may find ourselves relinquishing half of what we have, and doing four times as much right as we have previously done wrong Continue reading

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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: 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: 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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