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Changing the Story

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Gate Pa – Year B   29 th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2021 Readings: Psalm                               Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c                                  First Reading :              Job 38:1-7, 34-41                                Second Reading :          Hebrews 5:1-10                                   Gospel :                        Mark 10:35-45                                                       What I want to say: John explores the stories we use to make sense of life and God, and the invitation to let them go. What I want to happen: what ideas about God do we need to be freed of?   The Sermon        1.      Introduction: Poor old James and John They thought they understood what was happening. They thought they understood what God was doing in this person Jesus. They thought they knew what God was up to with Jesus. They thought they understood God. Jesus was the holy one from God. He had healed many of all that sought to bring death. He

What do we think God was up to in Jesus?

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As I was preparing for this week, the podcast I listen to in preparation each week talked about the letter to the Hebrews offered several responses to the question, “what do we think God was up to in Jesus?” As I thought about that, I think we can add, and what does that say about God?   Big questions that are there every week. How we answer them shapes what we think about the life of faith, church, and the mission of God. The people on the podcast suggest that Hebrews offers more than one answer to that first question. With Job, it encourages us to ask the question, and to hold lightly the answers we come to. We are reminded that our understanding of the nature and way of God is in the end limited and flawed. God is God. But they are still questions we need to reflect on. As I have said many times, the gospels address these questions through the story of Jesus; what he said and did, the people he mixed with, and his death, resurrection, and ascension. To put that more simply, Jesu

Some Thoughts about Super Saturday: Get vaccinated!!

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Grace and peace This Saturday is Super Saturday: Get vaccinated!!  And I have been asked by the diocese and by Jan Tinetti our local Labour list MP based in Tauranga. to help spread the word. You can find out more here about Super Saturday: Get vaccinated!!  here . Even if you are already double jabbed, we all have a role to play to get our vaccination rates up to a level up well over 90% for all ethnic and age groups in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Higher vaccination rates mean better we are better able to keep ourselves, all our families- whanau, and all our community safe. Especially the most vulnerable, what ever their age, who have underlying health issues like asthma. Higher vaccination rates are about keeping our hospitals open for all who need medical care. Overseas experience shows us that when hospitals and health care providers are swamped with Covid cases then other people who need m

Some Big Questions

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It might be that the last year and a half have raised some big questions for some of you. Questions about why this has happened. Questions about what being a follower is really about. Today’s readings, especially the readings from Job and Mark, are full of some of these big questions. We can join with Job in his absolute bewilderment at what is happening with him. Or more precisely in his pleading’ “why O God have YOU done this to me?” How often have we heard people ask that question? How often have we asked that question? At the heart of this question is our understanding of God, and God in our lives. It is such a fundamental question. And we will have to wait another week to hear how God responds. As we wait and ponder that question it might be helpful to remember that the lectionary has led us from the initial story of Job’s misfortune and completely missed his friends’ unhelpful attempts to aid him. They live in a very narrow theological world and they invite us to wonder in what

Thriving with Francis

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  Gate Pa –   27 th Sunday in Ordinary Time- Year B + 5 th Sunday in Season of Creation Francis of Assisi Readings: Psalm                          Psalm 26 First Reading:             Job 1:1; 2:1-10                                                 Second Reading:        Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12 Gospel:                        Mark 10:2-16        What I want to say: Francis understood at a deep level God’s deep desire that all creation might thrive. Also understood that for that to happen relationships between people, and people and creation needed to be restored. This is the deep longing in scripture. It is what the covenants longed for. It is what Jesus came to complete. It is what he taught and lived. We see that in the story today – Deuteronomy allows divorce when woman displeases the husband. The central theme of this years Season of creation remind us that we are all interconnected Because relationships broken too often women, children, and other people, creation s