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Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost

Readings: Isaiah 65:17–25, 2 Thessalonians 3:6–13 & Luke 21:5–19 In the opening verses of today’s gospel passage, Jesus predicts the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, which of course came true in the year 70, when it was totally destroyed by the Romans after they had put down a rebellion by the Jewish people. This prophecy of Jesus prompted the disciples to…

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

Readings: Habakkuk 1:1–4, 2:1–4, 2 Thessalonians 1:1–4, 11–12 & Luke 19: 1–10 In our first reading this morning, from the Book of the prophet Habakkuk, the prophet is frustrated by the social injustice he is forced to continually witness, and he is even more frustrated by God’s failure to answer his prayer. The protest to God of unanswered prayer is a common…

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

Readings: Joel 2:23–32, 2 Timothy 4:6–8, 16–18 & Luke 18:15–30 The history of the Church, that is God’s universal Church, is marked by division. Division that has occurred as a result of disagreement among leaders of the church over certain teachings of the church. We see that from the very early days of the church in the first century. Take for example…

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Readings: Jeremiah 31:27–34, 2 Timothy 3:10–4:5 & Luke 18:1–14 One verse from today’s readings really stood out for me, and that was this verse from the Second Letter to Timothy: “For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires.”  The reason why…

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Religion & Spirituality: Part Two This morning is part two of the sermon I began last week on the topic of ‘Religion and Spirituality’. And I want to start by quickly recapping on several key points I raised last Sunday. First, I suggested that church doctrine (that is, church teaching) is perhaps a reason why people who are “unchurched” find it difficult…

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Readings: Jeremiah 8:18–9:1, 1 Timothy 2:1–10 & Luke 16:1–13 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. (1 Tim. 2:1–2 NRSV) The Apostle Paul tells us that we should pray…

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Readings: Jeremiah 4:11–12, 22–28, 1 Timothy 1:1–2, 12–19a & Luke 15:1–10 Recently I bought myself a new DVD player. My old one had broken down about three years ago and I hadn’t bothered replacing it, because at that time I started watching movies on iTunes and Netflix. But one of the parishioners from St Andrew’s kindly offered to lend me, on DVD,…

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Readings: Jeremiah 18:1–11, Philemon 1:1–25 & Luke 14:25–35  A lot of people in the world today, especially people in Western society, believe they have all the answers. They believe they are completely self-sufficient, and not reliant on anyone else. They believe they, and they alone, are completely in control of everything that happens in their lives. They deny the possible existence of…