Showing posts from February, 2013

Theme for the day - Lent 3

Recently I have talked about how the maps we used to understand what it meant to be church no longer work. I have also said that in this strange new world one of the key things we need to do is remember who we are and whose we are. In other words pay attention to who we experience and understand God to be and how we might see ourselves in light of that. That is what Lent is about, paying attention to how we experience and respond to God, who God is inviting to us to become, and we how might live that out. This week’s readings are all about whom we understand God to be. This is not just the names we apply to God. This is about the primary image that shapes our relationship with God, including our expectations of God and ourselves, the image on which our understanding of Good Friday and Easter is built on. For example, I might call God a God of love and still see God primarily as a Judge. So while I might talk about a loving God, it is a God who judges in love. Good Friday and


Mark 10: 1-12 is one of those readings preachers hate to get. It is all about Jesus being asked about divorce, and Jesus seemingly taking a really conservative line. It was the reading for the final service at Convocation last year, and I offered to preach. Why? Because I think we need read it in a different way. The world Jesus lived in was deeply divided. There were the various religious and ethnic groups: Jews, Samaritans, Gentiles. And they hated each other. Within each of those groups were further divisions. It was very important to know who was in and who was out of your group, to know the markers, and to work hard to preserve the boundaries. Being a male really helped in this process. For a woman to have a place in this world she needed a man, either a father or a husband. To not have a man: to be an orphan, a widow or a divorcee placed a woman at risk. She was on the edge of being out: out of her community, out of God’s community, seen as out of God’s love, care and conc

Doctrine commission will examine same-gender blessings

This seems like a really good and positive step forward. I hope the members are able to come from a range of theological points of view, and sit in the same room and work through this, and offer the church a robust and usable piece of work. My prayer is that we can model this for other parts of the church that seem incapable of staying in the same room.

Listening in the wilderness

 Gate Pa – 17 th February 2013 Readings: Psalm:                          Psalm:  91: 1-2, 9-16               First Reading:             Deuteronomy 26: 1-11            Second Reading:         Romans 10: 8b-13    Gospel:                        Luke 4: 1-13      What I want to say: explore Jesus in wilderness invite people to think about how that connects to their lives Use john Cassian to invite understanding of repentance as developing life giving habits What I want to happen: People to use lent not necessarily as a time as time fasting but time develop one life giving habit The Sermon      1.       Introduction: - Jesus in the wilderness Lent – what is that about? (ask) reading we just heard - traditional reading at start Lent Story of Jesus being tempted or tested in wilderness invites us into our own wilderness of lent Greek word - tested rather than tempted not about whether Jesus is moral enough and not eat the icecream          

Lent 1

On Wednesday ( Ash Wednesday ) we began the season of Lent.   This is the 40-day period (not counting the six Sundays, you can still eat chocolate and ice cream on Sundays) before Easter. It is traditionally a time for reflecting on what it means to follow Christ, and resolving to live as a follower of Christ in the world.  We traditionally begin Lent by having an ash cross signed on our forehead; Ash is a biblical sign of repentance (choosing to turn your life around). Traditionally this ash is made from burning last year's Palm Sunday palm branches, symbolising how our plans often end in ashes. In the early Church this was preparation for being initiated, or re-initiated, into the Christian community at Easter.  Lent provides a time to ask the big questions: who are we; whose are we; what is ours to do? It is a time we can develop habits and rhythms that allow us to pay attention to these questions, and to give space for the heart of God to touch and shape o