Living the kingdom of God has come near

Our world seems so deeply divided at the moment. We see this played out on our screens from the USA with deep divisions around Roe vs Wade and gun law reform. We see it in Ukraine. We see it here. Social media hasn’t helped, with people feeling free to say appalling things they never would face to face.  I wonder in the midst of all this what we might have to say? Those division are not new. Maybe they are just more visible. They were around when Paul and Luke were writing. They were around when Jesus set his face to Jerusalem. And they are not part of how God desires this world to be. Jesus lived God’s shalom – wholeness, peace, wellbeing. He healed and restored community. His own community of followers was hugely diverse, including zealots, devout Jews, and tax collectors. Last week we heard him set his face to Jerusalem and all that lies ahead there – the seeming victory of all who seek to divide and devour. This week he sends out 70 (or 72) followers to join in his work proclaimi

Trinity and a Harvest Festival

This sermon can be listened to here  G ate Pa – 19th June 2022, 13 th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C Readings: First Reading:              Deuteronomy 26:1-11 Psalm:                         Psalm 100 Second Reading:        Gal 3:23-29                 Gospel:                          Luke 8:26-39                          What I want to say: Last Sunday was Trinity Sunday. One Sunday a year to think about the Trinity, and then put it back on the shelf for another year. One important aspect of The trinity is the relationship between the three persons – a relationship of mutuality, care, generosity. This is where we meet God, and are invited to live this out in our relationships. How then does this help us celebrate harvest festival? What I want to happen: What ways are we being invited to live in ways that allow creation and all involved in the harvest to thrive? The Sermon      1.      Introduction: Harvest festivals have been around for along time. Our reading fr

Trinity and Harvest Festival

Last week some of us struggled to keep up with St. Patrick once he gave up on his bad analogies. What he said was, "The Trinity is a mystery which cannot be comprehended by human reason but is understood only through faith and is best confessed in the words of the Athanasian Creed, which states that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in unity, neither confusing the Persons nor dividing the substance, that we are compelled by the Christian truth to confess that each distinct Person is God and Lord, and that the deity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory, coequal in majesty." (St. Patrick's Bad Analogies - ) Whew! For many, one of the important features of traditional Trinitarian theology is the relationship between the three persons. I wonder what words we might use to describe this relationship. For me words like mutuality, love, generosity, and compassion come to mind. I am invited to be o

Trinity – An Invitation to Awe and Humility

You can listen to this sermon here Gate Pa –  Trinity Sunday in Easter- Year C - 2022 Readings: Psalm                          Psalm: 8                                                                      First Reading :             Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31                                     Second Reading :          Romans 5:1-5     Gospel :                       John 16:12-15 What I want to say: At its origins and at its best the doctrine of the Trinity is an invitation to join those early Christians reflecting both on our experience of God the Father in the Risen Son, made known in the Holy Spirit, and the story of Jesus and the whole of scripture and how that makes visible the ongoing presence of God in our midst and in our world. We are invited to respond with awe and humility to the invitation to be immersed in the relationship of love that is at the heart of God. What I want to happen: •          How might we talk about the Trinity and its importance to our liv

Happy Trinity Sunday.

Happy Trinity Sunday. This day is a gift. It is a day where we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the awe and wonder at the mystery of God who is three in one. It is a day to acknowledge we don’t have all the answers and to learn humility. It is a day to repent of our desire to explain and control God, and instead to have our minds blown by the omnipotence and awesomeness of God. A few years ago, Archbishop Phillip wrote that “(h)owever difficult it might be, to speak of God as Trinity is to speak a wonderful truth, for the Trinity speaks to us of a God who is no distant, remote, isolate monad, but rather proclaims an experience of God who in essence is relational. God as Trinity is God in communion, three in one. Inter-dependence, mutuality, loving in communion are all expressions which flow from our knowledge of God as three in one. St. Augustine of Hippo described the Trinity as “the lover, the beloved and the love between them”. The doctrine of the Trinity was not developed as a

Living a Spirit Blown Resurrection Life

This sermon can be listened to here Gate Pa –   Pentecost Sunday - Year C - 2022 Readings: Psalm                          Psalm : 104:25-35                                                   First Reading :               Acts 2:1-21                                                      Second Reading :        Romans 8:14-17                                              Gospel :                          John 14:8-17, 25-27   What I want to say: How does Pentecost invite us, not so much to remember and celebrate a past event, but to reflect on what the recurring gifting of the Spirit sets in motion today. What I want to happen: invite people to take one of the flowers from our Easter resurrection cross as a reminder that the Spirit is at work beside us and within us, reminding, comforting, teaching, encouraging, praying in us and with us. The Sermon 1.      Introduction: show movie on Pentecost from Vol. 11: Spreading The Good News from ð W

Pentecost Thoughts

The Acts version of the coming of the Spirit in a new way swamps our understanding. We often miss it, but the writers of scripture offer several ways to describe the Spirit and to depict her work in the world. In Luke’s gospel the Spirit is there from the very beginning.  He tells the story slightly differently in his gospel than in his second volume. In Acts, Luke offers us drama. The Spirit comes in a new way with whistling wind and appears like tongues of flame settling on each disciple, both men and women. They are driven out to speak in languages they could not know. The diversity of God’s creation is affirmed. People far from home hear the language that speaks to their souls. In John, on Easter day, Jesus breathes the Spirit on each of those gathered. No whistling wind. No tongues of flame. A gentle breath they inhale in shock. As they breathe they know in their bones they are deeply held in love. Just as Paul will later say, there is nothing in all creation that can separate t