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Fourth Sunday after Easter

Readings: Acts 9:36–43, Revelation 7:9–17 & John 10:22–30 Today’s passage from John’s Gospel begins with the words, “At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem.” To get a better idea of what John is trying to tell us in this passage, we need to know something of the history of the festival of Dedication.  In the year 167…

Third Sunday of Easter

Readings: Acts 9:1–6, Revelation 5:6–14 & John 21:1–19 As most of you know, I was blessed to be part of a pilgrimage that visited the Holy Land in January 2018. During the pilgrimage, our group spent four days at the Sea of Galilee, and one of the places we visited in our time there was the Church of the Primacy of Saint…

Palm Sunday

Readings: Isaiah 50:4–9a, Philippians 2:5–11 & Luke 23:1–49 The one thing that really struck me about today’s readings, is the amazing strength required for someone to conduct themselves in a way that many others would describe as “weak”. I’ve spoken in the past about the four ‘Servant Songs’ that appear in the Book of Isaiah. Well our reading this morning from Isaiah…

Fifth Sunday in Lent

Readings: Isaiah 43:16–21, Philippians 3:3–14 & John 12:1–8 I first took my daughter Chloe, and my twin sons, Connor and Lachlan, to the Australian Open tennis tournament in 2008. That was the beginning of what became a family tradition. Each year since then, we have gone to the tennis together. I don’t know how much longer it will last though, because as…

Third Sunday in Lent

Readings: Isaiah 55:1–9, 1 Corinthians 10:1–13 & Luke 13:31–35 As I’ve mentioned in a number of previous sermons, we know for a fact that fewer Australians identify themselves as Christians these days than in years gone by. And we also know there is no one single factor that is responsible for this change.  But I’m reasonably confident that a strong contributing reason,…

Second Sunday in Lent

Readings: Genesis 15:1–12, 17–18, Philippians 3:17–4:1 & Luke 13:1–9 Today’s passage from Luke’s Gospel, follows an earlier series of prophetic warnings that Jesus has given to the crowds who have been gathering to hear him speak, while he is journeying toward Jerusalem and the destiny that awaits him there. The essence of those particular warnings, is for people to change their ways…

First Sunday in Lent

Readings: Deuteronomy 26:1–11, Romans 10:4–13 & Luke 4:1–15 The institution of Church, and by that I mean all mainstream Christian denominations across the world, was dealt another severe blow recently with the conviction of Roman Catholic Cardinal George Pell, on sexual abuse charges against two young boys. And I have to admit, it’s probably the first time since I’ve been ordained, that…

The Transfiguration

Readings: Exodus 34:29–35, 2 Corinthians 3:12–4:2 & Luke 9:28–36 Today we commemorate the feast day of the Transfiguration of Jesus; the event which revealed the true identity of Jesus, and which also revealed the glory of God. The gospel story shares a close parallel with the transformation that Moses underwent on Mount Sinai, when he came down from the mountain with the…

Seventh Sunday after Epiphany

Readings: Genesis 45:3–11,15, 1 Corinthians 15:35–50 & Luke 6:27–38 What a strange and disparate collection of readings for this morning! Our first reading, from the Book of Genesis, appears out of nowhere in the Lectionary cycle for this week. Normally we will read a passage from the same book for several consecutive weeks, following a particular story from its beginning to its…

Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

Readings: Jeremiah 17:5–10, 1 Corinthians 15:12–20 & Luke 6:17–26 We see some parallels today between our first reading, from the Book of Jeremiah, and our gospel passage, from the Gospel of Luke.  By way of reminder, in the Book of Jeremiah, the prophet was largely writing to the people of Judah and its capital city Jerusalem, to warn them of impending doom…