Showing posts from November, 2020

Happy New Year!

by Annette Cater Happy New Year! We have survived. Some of us are a little stressed and strained. Most of us are tired. But here we are in a new church year! What new year’s hopes and resolutions do you bring into the year ahead? Despite what the shops and media are telling us, it is not Christmas yet. It is Advent – the four Sundays before Christmas. We often see these as a time to prepare for the coming of Christ in Christmas, but it is so much more. Advent is preparing for and celebrating the coming of Christ in history (Christmas) mystery (now) and in majesty (when God’s will be finally done on earth as in heaven).   During these weeks we are offered time to reflect on how we have experienced the crucified and risen Christ over this last time, and out of that what we look and hope for as followers of Jesus as we look ahead. Our gospel reading ( Mark 13:24-37) picks up one of the themes of the last few weeks in Matthew; actively waiting. Starting with the story of the ten virg

Feed Them on Justice

This week churches around the world are marking the end of another liturgical year and celebrating Christ the King or the Reign of Christ Sunday. For us it is also Aotearoa Sunday, which really reminds us of how slow we were in this land to live out the reign of Christ with ngā iwi ō Aotearoa and the first Anglican Church in this land. And it is Stir-up Sunday – all of this stirs us up, I hope. What is the deal with Christ the King or Reign of Christ Sunday? One of the people I read says it is a day to affirm God’s reign over empires that do not hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness. It is a day to remind ourselves that the reign of Christ as described in the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount is what we are invited to work toward. And no political entity can ever bring that about.   As we end our church year this Sunday is an opportunity for us as God’s people to look back and ask how did we the church live out God’s reign, what have we done to further the kingdom of God h

Talented Talents

This sermon can be listened to here Gate Pa – Year A 33 rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, 2020   Readings: Psalm                          Psalm 123                                                                   First Reading:               Judges 4:1-7 Second Reading:        1 Thessalonians 5:1-11                          Gospel:                         Matthew 25:14-30                   What I want to say: Suggest the point of Christianity is living in presence of God. The Beatitudes are how we live in the presence of God, in the reign of God – the Kingdom of Heaven. So how does this help us read passages like the Parable of the Talents?   Then use that to explore three ways of reading the parable of the Talents.   What I want to happen: People to think about how they live in the presence of God. The Sermon        1.      Introduction - Parable of the Talents For nearly last year listening each week Matthews understanding of who Jesus is -         

Talented Waiting

Last week we heard the story of 10 virgins/bridesmaids waiting for the bridegroom. Some were street-wise and had spare oil. They were ready to wait. Some were not ready and missed out on the party. There is more to waiting than sitting around. Then Jesus tells the well-known parable of the talents. We all know that it is about being a good and faithful servant to God by using our natural abilities in the service of the Kingdom. We see the “Lord” as a kind of Jesus figure – not a very nice Jesus figure though. And to be honest most of us are not so keen on the ending with all that outer darkness and the wailing and gnashing of teeth. But we just get on with it. Like most of the stories in the Bible it helps if you put the story back: back into its place in Matthew’s gospel, and back into the world it came out of. When we do that we find some others ways of understanding what Jesus was talking about. Some ask where this story fits with the beatitudes and the sermon on the mount. At