Sermons
Living in testing Times

Our Gospel for today immediately follows a most incredible event. Matthew recounts the story of Jesus had coming to the Jordan River to find John Baptist, his cousin. John, depicted as a wild man emerging out of the wilderness [always a metaphor for the place of deep inner searching]; John, in his powerful charismatic message was calling the people to repentance and to be washed, cleansed in the waters of the Jordan. It is dramatic indeed for the one whom he... read more

Christlike Living

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23 Matthew 5:38-48 We’ve heard three extremely challenging readings this morning, all of them guidelines or instructions so as to become more the kind of people God wants us to be. Let’s briefly go back to the opening verse in our first reading Leviticus 19:1-2 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” The OT reading is... read more

Waitangi Day

Isaiah 42:1-9 Ephesians 2:13-18 Luke 2:9-14 Tomorrow is Waitangi Day. What does that mean to you? How will you spend it? Have you ever been to Waitangi? Have you ever read the words of the Treaty? The document presented to many Chiefs on the 6th of February 1840 for signing. Which version have you read? The Treaty is considered the founding document for this nation. Yet this day of remembering has much in it that may make us feel uncomfortable. What... read more

Singing with the angels

Luke 2.1-20 Christmas 2016 Yesterday evening we had an angel in here at the Children's Christmas Service. Can you believe it? [Karen appears on the stage singing Hark the Herald — first line]. Crikey what was that? [congregation shouts it's an angel] I don't see an angel? Where is she? [Congregation point and shout — angel disappears as I turn around. I do a bit of the business around this and end up saying 'wow, well fancy that. Here is... read more

Be Not Afraid

A few days before Christmas, two young brothers were spending the night at their grandparent's house. When it was time to go to bed, and anxious to do the right thing, they both knelt down to say their prayers. Suddenly, the younger one began to pray in a very loud voice. "Dear Lord, please ask Santa Claus to bring me a play-station, a mountain-bike and a telescope." His older brother leaned over and nudged his brother and said, "Why are you... read more

Blessing of the Advent Wreaths

On Sunday we begin once again our Church's new year and the annual journey through the life, ministry, passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. We will follow the way to his ascension, to the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the birthday of the Church, to the Queen of Festivals on Trinity Sunday, the feast when all is brought together in the wonderful dance of mutuality and love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the three persons in... read more

Christ the King

As it says on the front page of our pew sheet this week, this is the last Sunday of our liturgical year. It is Christ the King Sunday. Next week we will begin the Advent journey towards Bethlehem to seek out the Christ child. Perhaps there came a sense of bewilderment as you listened to the Gospel reading today. It is almost Christmas, why are we reading about the crucifixion of Jesus? Why does this day take us to the cross?... read more

The courage to stand up and be counted

Remembrance Sunday Micah 4.1-5; John 15.12-17 What a week this has been. Donald Trump is to be the next President of the United States, and leader of what we call the Free World. I don't think at this stage I need to add to the commentary that is abounding around the world and what this says about our moral compass, which seems to have been reversed and our values turned up on their heads. There is much to reflect on in... read more

The persistent widow and the unjust judge.

Luke 18.1-8 ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. IN everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus’ Usually we read in the Gospels that Jesus tells a parable and then explains it to his disciples, often quizzing them as tits meaning. In this parable he is very clear, or at least the evangelist is so that the hearers are without a doubt about what the meaning of the parable. The reading begins ‘Jesus told them a parable... read more

170th Anniversary of the first service in St Mary's New Plymouth

‘For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be ,yes!' Some years ago I was at a lecture given by Marc Pachter, the then Director of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. It was most interesting and entertaining. The site of the NPG is at the centre of the grid which is Washington. The site was designated by Pierre Charles L'enfant who designed the city of Washington. What is interesting is that L'enfant saw that at the heart... read more

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