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Sermons on Lent

The season of Lent extends for forty days from Ash Wednesday. If you don’t count the Sundays as days of abstinence, because we don’t fast when the bridegroom is with us on the Lord’s Day, forty days brings you neatly to Easter Saturday. If you don’t believe me that these Sundays are officially free of Lenten disciplines, note that the Prayer book and the Lectionary refer to these as Sundays in Lent, not Sundays of Lent (i.e. not like the Sundays of Advent, Epiphany and Easter). The season excludes the Sundays, though there are seasonal readings and liturgical observations on the Sundays.

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Fifth Sunday in Lent

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday in Lent Readings: Isaiah 43:16–21; Philippians 3:3–14 & John 12:1–8 The tennis world was shocked last week by the news of Ash Barty’s retirement, especially at a time when she seemed to be so dominant. Of course this isn’t the first time that she’s retired from the sport. In late 2014, at only eighteen years of age,…

Fourth Sunday in Lent

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent Readings: Joshua 5:2–12; 2 Corinthians 5:16–21 & Luke 15:11–32 When I was in my early teens, my friend’s sister, who was a few years older than us, became estranged from her parents. She moved out of home and shared a flat with a girlfriend who was a couple of years older than her. This girlfriend…

Third Sunday in Lent

Sermon for the Third Sunday in Lent Readings: Isaiah 55:1–9; 1 Corinthians 10:1–13 & Luke 13:1–9 I’m sure that at some stage of our lives, we’ve heard of something bad happening to someone we weren’t overly fond of, and we’ve thought to ourselves, serve themselves right, he or she deserved it. Well that’s basically what happens at the beginning of our gospel…

Second Sunday in Lent

Sermon for Second Sunday in Lent Readings: Genesis 15:1–12, 17–18; Philippians 3:17–4:1 & Luke 13:31–35 The news of Shane Warne’s passing last Friday came as a shock to many, even to those who weren’t avid followers of cricket. I know that when I read about it online, very early on Saturday morning, I was in a state of disbelief. It just felt…

First Sunday in Lent

Sermon for the First Sunday of Lent Readings: Deuteronomy 26:1–11; Romans 10:4–13 & Luke 4:1–15 Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of the Season of Lent, a period of 40 days during which we recall the time that Jesus spent fasting in the desert and being tempted by the devil, before commencing his public ministry. Today’s gospel passage is Luke’s account of that…

Fifth Sunday in Lent

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday in Lent  Readings: Jeremiah 31:31–34; Hebrews 5:5–14 & John 12:20–33 The world we live in today has become increasingly reliant on technology, and while I’m sure we’d all agree that advances in technology have delivered some incredible benefits to the world, particularly in areas such as medicine, transport and manufacturing to name but a few, we’d probably…

Fourth Sunday in Lent

Sermon for Fourth Sunday in Lent Readings: Numbers 21:4–9, Ephesians 2:1–10 & John 3:14–21 The gospels often depict Jesus quoting Scripture from the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament as we know it), and we see that in today’s passage from the Gospel of John. Jesus is engaged in a private conversation with Nicodemus, a Pharisee who has come to talk with Jesus…

Third Sunday in Lent

Sermon for the Third Sunday in Lent Readings: Exodus 20:1–17; 1 Corinthians 1:18–25 & John 2:13–22 What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “Ten Commandments”? Perhaps you might immediately think of  a set of rules or laws that must be obeyed. That was certainly how I understood the ‘commandments’ when I was growing up. They were a list of religious…

Second Sunday in Lent

Sermon for the Second Sunday in Lent Readings: Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16, Romans 4:13–25 & Mark 8:31–38 When I studied American History in secondary school, one of the most notable figures was Benjamin Franklin, who was one of the ‘Founding Fathers of the United States’, and a revered person in the history of America. However, I recently found out that he was also…

First Sunday in Lent

Sermon for First Sunday in Lent Readings: Genesis 9:8–17, 1 Peter 3:18–22 & Mark 1:9–15 We entered into the Season of Lent on Ash Wednesday when, under normal circumstances, we would have received the “imposition of ashes” on our foreheads. As I said during my homily on Wednesday morning, the ashes are a sign of repentance for sins. Such repentance is central…