Sermons

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Open%20hearts

Open Hearts

The condition of a person’s heart is one of the chief concerns of Scripture. We may look on people’s appearance, “but God looks on the heart” and it is the condition of the heart that really matters to God. And it matters to God because it affects our relationships with one another. The heart can be open to God... Read More

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Non-Violent Holy War

No war can truly be holy if it pursues holy ends by unholy means. Even if you believe a violent war is justified, it is always a compromise with evil. If we must have soldiers, as Reinhold Niebuhr once said, we should have sad soldiers. But a non-violent struggle against poverty, against pollution, against climate... Read More

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Therefore...

Our faith is a grateful response to God’s faithfulness. God is faithful first. We live in God’s world, and God's loving grace is before and after, above and below, to our left and to our right, inside and out. Once we realize that, there is only one appropriate response, and that is to live with a similar grace in... Read More

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Good News: Extravagant Grace

Life isn’t fair. Some people get all the breaks. Other people get more than their share of hard knocks. To a huge extent, success depends on luck: where you are born, when you are born, and the accidental things that happen to you along the way. And over generations inequalities become entrenched. Some become... Read More

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United by Grace

Continuing the series of narrative sermons on the book of Ephesians, I tell the story of an important scribe named Demetrius, whose first contact with the Christian community in Ephesus comes when he is nursed back to health after a life-threatening illness: Demetrius was a skeptical man, and not given to new... Read More

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The Riches of Faith

I have always found Paul’s letters difficult to preach on. Most of them were written to address very specific situations, which often have little to do with our current settings. He uses long sentences with lots of subordinate clauses. To put it mildly, he takes a little unpacking. And long explanations strike me... Read More

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The Pilgrim Way

For us today, it is easy to travel. It is expensive, but for those with the money, it is possible to cross continents and oceans in only a few hours. But as former UN Secretary General Dag Hammerskjold once wrote, “the longest journey is the journey inward.” The most difficult journey is that in which we set aside... Read More

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Citizens and Disciples

The stories of the biblical prophets have a number of insights about citizenship that are worth  reflecting on as we observe our national holiday. Throughout the Older Testament, there is a tension between the rulers of the nation, and the prophets, who call the nation to account to a higher authority. The rulers... Read More

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First Things First

When Jesus said “Seek first the kingdom of God” I think he was inviting us to get our priorities straight by setting our lives in the largest possible context. God’s kingdom is when God is the ruler: not the hunger for power or wealth or self-centred desires. God rules in our lives, when we do what God wants us... Read More

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From Tiny to Tremendous

As parents, volunteers, neighbours, workers in God’s garden, we do the best we can. We scatter our hours, our words, our deeds of kindness and support and encouragement, trusting that they will fall into the good soil of God’s providence and lead to good growth. But we cannot control that. These parables do not... Read More