Showing posts from August, 2017

Take up your cross and follow me

Jesus says, “Take up your cross and follow me”. Given I wear a cross most of the time this doesn’t sound too hard. Our churches are decorated with them. Some people go around wearing big styley ones. For others they are cool jewellery. These crosses were far from the minds of those first disciples. Just before this Sundays reading from Matthew they were euphoric. Peter had proclaimed Jesus as messiah and he was now "rock on which to build". And then Jesus blows their minds with talk of defeat and execution and when Peter objects he gets renaming "stumbling rock". He goes on - "Take up your cross and follow me".  It is hard to imagine a saying more offensive, more confrontational, more likely to get people moving in the other direction. Jesus was shaking all the old assumptions out of them. He wanted them to see their identity not in what they did or had done. So what Peter got it right momentarily. That was not so important. Only one thing would

Paul 6 – So What?

Can be listened to here Gate Pa – Year A  21 st  Sunday of Ordinary Time, Readings: Psalm                          Psalm:  124                                         First Reading:             Exodus 1:8 – 2:10    Second Reading:        Romans 12:1-8        Gospel:                        Matthew 16:13-20 What I want to say: Summarise Romans and Paul so far and explore the “How to live this out” – expand into next weeks reading, which includes our passage/whakatauki What I want to happen: People to reflect on how they live out Paul's framework of living in the fulfilled covenant The Sermon         1.       Introduction: So week six in our series looking at Paul and his letter to the churches in Rome. what I have been using to explore Paul’s writings is not the only way to read Paul – is the way that makes most sense to me and a lot people I have read over last couple of years. quick recap      a.       Paul is a Jew –– o    not a “lets

THE question

This week in our gospel reading Jesus asks THE question – “who do people say I am?” and then “who do YOU say I am?” Who do people say Jesus is? How often do those answers confuse us and lead us astray? How much do those answers influence who we say Jesus is? Mathew wrote a gospel in answer to that question, as did Mark, Luke and John. And Paul wrote his letter to the Roman churches answering that question as well. It is a good question. But I wonder how often we answer it without asking what comes next. Paul spent the first 11 chapters of his letter outlining his answer. He spends the next three and a half outlining the follow up question – the point of it all – so what? How do we live out that in Jesus the covenant is fulfilled? How do our attitudes and actions reveal that humanity is restored, creation renewed, Eden returned?