Sermons on God
my hope is to give you a taste of some of the thinking of scholars about how and when the Bible was written, by whom and for what reasons.
Being in Christian community means this: ‘if one member of the body suffers, all suffer together with it’ and ‘if one member of the body is honoured, all rejoice together with it’. (2)
Rev. Liz introduces the story of Abraham and Sarah. The we hear testimonials from each of Betty Chenoweth and Helen Brandt to expand on that theme. Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-8.
As we celebrate our ongoing need to grapple with the doctrine of the Trinity dating back to its inception some 300 years after Jesus walked the earth, my fond prayer is that we might risk daring to re-visit the topic anew.
Maybe you too, like the author of Isaiah, have been so fed up with the world around you, the way things seem to be, that in complete exasperation you have shook your fist at the heavens and declared “Oh, that you would rip open the heavens and descend!”
the paradox at the heart of our tradition, that our God is a merciful judge; that the one who preaches a way that is narrow has a love that reaches wide; the one who is all powerful walks each day beside us.
At the heart of this story is the question of who’s in and who’s out. How does any social group decide who’s part of ‘us’ and who belongs to ‘the other’.
Like the woman at the well, I too have a past that I am reluctant to speak of.
Lent is a season that brings our identity as Christians into conflict with our identity as consumer-citizens.
The whole point of the season of Epiphany is to point us toward a clear understanding of Jesus’ identity. It’s to help us to see who Jesus is, and how Jesus is a manifestation – an epiphany – of God.
The Season of Epiphany, which began on the 6th of January, is closely associated with the symbol of light, which is why we are using “This little light of mine” as our opening song until the beginning of Lent. Immortal, Invisible, the classic hymn we sang just a moment ago, also uses light as a central image. In doing so, Walter Smith, the lyricist, makes several references to a paradox – the fact that we need light in order to…
The two passages we heard read this morning make about as clear a contrast as one might find between the God of the Old Testament and the Jesus of the New. Jeremiah, the prophet who is so well known for preaching fire and brimstone that his name has become a synonym for warnings of gloom and doom, is at his most fiery here. Condemning the people of Judah as stupid, he warns them that a devastating wind is coming, earthquakes…
In the 1950s Disney movie Pollyanna Karl Malden plays a fire and brimstone preacher. In a scene that holds a certain appeal for me at least, we see him climbing into a high pulpit, taking a deep breadth and then thundering out at the congregation, “Death comes unexpectedly.” He proceeds to deliver a fire and brimstone sermon that could have been inspired by this morning’s scripture passage. “I came to bring fire to the earth and how I wish it…
Last week our text outlined the challenges that face those who follow Jesus. This week we continue reading in Luke’s gospel as he recounts Jesus’ instructions to the seventy followers he sends out. Jesus says there is a plentiful harvest, but does that mean that the people they meet are a crop to be picked, put in a basket and sold? I’m not sure.
In the early 1960s an aspiring 20-year-old folk singer took his guitar into the bathroom of his parents’ home to practice because he liked the slight echo chamber effect he got. One night he turned off the light and tried out a few lines, “Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk to you again…”
The late German/American theologian Monika Hellwig, wrote a little book that Heather and I read during our theological training, called Eucharist and the Hunger of the World. The book asked a question that has always stuck with me. Can we western, wealthy Christians truly experience the impact of communion, which is the gift of food that is life-saving, when very few of us have ever experienced real hunger?
We are meant to love radically, passionately, beyond all limits and beyond all sense, because this is what God does.
Psalm 63:1-8; Luke 13:1-9 This Lent, we’ve been exploring the theme of encountering God: going out into the wilderness to meet God; seeking to discover or uncover God amidst the fulness, the clutter of our lives. Last Sunday, John Burton reflected with you on some of the ways we encounter God: in the first, stumbling words of a grandchild, in music, and in the vast mysteries of the universe.
Psalm 27; Luke 13:31-35 Several weeks ago Jeff introduced the notion of ‘functional atheism,’ in his sermon. This label refers to the inclination many of us have to feel that all the work of the church is dependent on us and not God. Functional atheists may not give voice to this feeling directly but when you listen to the way they talk about the church it seems that their faith is summed up by saying, “If it is our efforts, our…
How can we use Lent to rediscover God in our life?