Sermons & Blog


Jesus’ public ministry begins with one single person. A single human being who is oppressed. A child of God who is set free. What word would you use to describe today’s gospel? A healing? Certainly. Salvation? Yes. Redemption? Absolutely. Transformation? Clearly. All good words, great words to describe what happens in the synagogue when Jesus meets the man with an unclean spirit. But the particular word that jumps out at me today is this one: Liberation. In part that’s because of the way that the author Mark sets the scene. He tells us not only that Jesus’ act of power takes place in the synagogue, the gathering place, the place where God is proclaimed. He also tells us that it takes

"Follow Me"

How do you turn an explosion into a movement? We heard the explosion last week: “The heavens were torn apart and a voice from heaven said, ‘You are my Son.” We heard it again this morning. This time it’s Jesus who speaks: “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God has come near.” It’s time. The fullness of time has come. The key moment, the key moment in the story of the universe, the turning point in human history. The day that people had been dreaming of, longing for, prophesying, praying for, at long last it’s here. God has arrived. This is the incursion, the breaking in, the explosion. The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God has come near. Where is this kingdom of God? It’

Fooled by the Dove

Sometimes I wish that I could just take the dove that appears in today’s gospel and wring its neck. Because we get fooled by that dove. The image of the dove can lead us off in the wrong direction. We tend to think of the dove as gentle, we imagine a soft white colour, we associate it with peace. And we get misled about the gospel we just heard. Because this gospel is explosive. The imagery, apart from the dove, is forceful, violent even. There is a raw power that rips things apart in today’s gospel and that power is invading our world, and will be opposed, violently opposed. When the heavens are torn apart and God enters our world, God’s Spirit is not passive – she is a force, the f

An Epiphany

So what do you think? Is this story of the visit of the magi to the infant Jesus a happy story or not? We tend to position it as a happy story, and there are good reasons for that. It’s the story of God reaching out to foreigners in a far off land, of astrologers who observe a new star at its rising and undertake a long and difficult journey to pay homage to the one sent by God, the new king, the one we will come to understand as the very incarnation of God. Despite the challenges, despite obstacles, these wise ones persist in their journey and eventually, with the star to guide them, they arrive at the place where the child was, and they are overwhelmed with joy. And don’t we all long t

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