Showing posts from 2018

Job and the freedom of God

I read somewhere that within the rabbinic tradition of Judaism scripture was like a multifaceted diamond. You gaze, contemplate, read, discuss a passage from one angle, and then turn the diamond/passage a little and gaze, contemplate, read, wrestle with, discuss from another. How far we have come from that understanding. Today churches are pulled apart over the one right way to read scripture. And so often our way of reading is shaped by our world view, our hopes and dreams for ourselves and those we love – no the other way around. Even the disciples were not immune to that. James and John in today’s story were pretty sure they were being biblical and they were right – despite everything Jesus had been saying about his impending death. There were some big themes is Jewish scripture. One is: because God is moral and just, God will reward you if you are good with long life, wealth and children; and if you are not good, then the opposite. James and John were simply looking for the reward …

Some Reflections on Slavery in the USA and what that has to do with our story in aotearoa-New Zealand.

Bonnie and I have been in the USA over the last couple of weeks. For the first five days we were in New Orleans, and then three days in Washington DC. The final 2 days were spent in Philadelphia before I went off to a TSSF meeting. New Orleans was great. We did a couple of tours and learnt some of the history. This history is important. This year is the 300th anniversary from its founding as a French colony under Louis XIV. From New Orleans the French controlled the hugely important Mississippi River which provided an excellent transport system for the many properties that spoke wheeled off it. Louisiana was French and Catholic. The colony was built on huge numbers of European colonists - all of whom had to be catholic by law, and slaves. The Catholic church taught that black people have souls. And although France and Spain (who took over Louisiana in the 1760's) took part in the slave trade, those slaves had the right to buy their freedom and live as free people of colour within t…

Who do you say I am?

This sermon can be listened to here
Gate Pa – Year B  24th Sunday in Ordinary Time,

Psalm                          Psalm 19                                                        
First Reading:                         Prov 1:20-33               
Second Reading:                    James 3:1-12               
Gospel:                                    Mark 8:27-38     

What I want to say:
I want to use the questions Jesus used with the disciples to explore our response, and what that might reveal about who God is for us and what it means to be followers or disciples of this God
What I want to happen:
I want people to explore their own responses to the questions and what that reveals about their image of God and what it means to be a follower

The Sermon
Poor old Peter.
One minute he is top of the class
-somehow he has guessed it
-Jesus is the Christ, the messiah